Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Golden Rain Blossoms

April 21st, 2011 by pattiebell

Golden Rain Blossoms

The Goldenrain tree or “Pride of India” (tree species: Koelreuteria paniculata) is an ornamental species from Asia that has been widely planted in the Spanish cities of Madrid and Barcelona.  The name “Goldenrain” refers to the bright yellow flowers that cover the tree with a golden color in late spring.

There are 2 of these unusual trees on the property. I have never seen one in Tucson before. They are similar to China Berries, with papery seed pods instead of “berries”.

2011 Top 10 Romantic Inn

March 31st, 2011 by pattiebell

Out of 30,000 Inns and Bed and Breakfast in North America, El Rancho Merlita Ranch House Inn, was chosen as one of the top ten most romantic by after months of research and deliberation.  It provides the perfect location, world-class hospitality, personalized touch and loving environment that dreams are made of.  As president and 30-year bed and breakfast connoisseur Deborah Sakach remarks, “These kinds of properties deeply touch the hearts of their guests.”

Butterfly Season

September 22nd, 2010 by pattiebell

Recently, when I was at El Rancho Merlita Ranch House Bed and Breakfast in Tucson, AZ, I was impressed by the number of butterflies flitting around.  It greatly enhanced the peacefulness  and the beauty of the ranch.  Here are a few of the butterflies I enjoyed:

The Arizona State Butterfly - The Two-tailed Swallowtail

The state butterfly is marvelous!

The Arizona Sister - Adelpha bredowii eulalia

Mormon Metalmark - Apodemia mormo mormo

Yuccas in the Moonlight

May 28th, 2010 by pattiebell

Yucca in the Moonlight

Close-up of Yucca blossoms

Building the Rancho Merlita Labyrinth – Day 8

April 18th, 2010 by pattiebell

Day 8 – The final rock is placed and the labyrinth is watered one final time.

A beautiful sight!

Desert broom is cleared between the labyrinth and the entry area under the large mesquite.

Building the Rancho Merlita Labyrinth – Days 6 – 7

April 13th, 2010 by pattiebell

Beginning at the center.

Day 6 – Stakes are set to locate the center and 16 radial points.  String connects the center and a stake (used for scoring a line) at the radius for the center and the first path.  Next, the radials are tied off to locate each change in direction.

Rock is collected from the site in various sizes with one dimension approximately 3 inches wide.  The scored lines are deepened using each unique rock so that they set securely into the earth.  Water compacts the soil at the end of the day.

ERM RH Bed and Breakfast Inn Labyrinth Tucson

More lines drawn, more rocks laid

El Rancho Merlita Bed and Breakfast Inn Labyrinth

After work is done for the day, water and compact.

Day 7 – Scoring, laying rock and watering continues.

El Rancho Merlita Bed and Breakfast Inn Labyrinth

Same process, another days work

Future home for a modern petroglyph

A pictograph on this rock will indicate the entrance to another alcove leading to the labyrinth.   The landscape light will illuminate the sloped surface at night.

Building the Rancho Merlita Labyrinth – Days 1-5

April 8th, 2010 by pattiebell

Labyrinth at El Rancho Merlita Bed and Breakfast Inn Tucson Az

Phew! That was a lot of work!

Designing maze puzzles for my sisters was a favorite childhood pastime.  Now I have the chance to build a labyrinth and have chosen the respected Tohono O’odham Man in the Maze pattern.

The desert gardens south of the Ranch House are extensive.  A fire pit, horseshoes, bocce ball, stargazing patio and a profusion of wildflowers are playfully encountered along the meandering paths.  The desert landscape, like the Ranch House, seems to absorb activities without feeling crowded.

There is a very special place bordered by mesquites to the east and south, the path to the north, and creosote to the west.  The area is a natural 32-foot arena.  Two creosote, some weeds and a few wildflowers lived here.  This area will be the future home of the El Rancho Merlita labyrinth.

Day 1 – My daughter, Valerie, and I dug up the creosote for transplanting.  2 hr.

Day 2 – My husband, John, and I dug up all the weeds.  We staked the center and marked the circle with the radial points.  4 hr.

Day 3 & 4 – Decomposed granite was spread about 1” thick to create a clean smooth level surface and watered to begin compaction.  5 hr.

Day 5 – More watering.

**Next step: Lay out the path.

1924 North Corte El Rancho Merlita, Tucson, AZ 85751-1017
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