Sign in

I write about nature, birdwatching, the outdoors, and conservation issues. I like to share pictures and sometimes my dogs show up. Twitter: @kimclawson2


The leaves aren’t changing yet, but other signs are here

Gone to seed. Photo by Kim Zuch.

After a hot, dry, smoky summer, it’s hard to believe Fall is on its way. I’m looking forward to cooler temperatures, sweater weather, and pumpkin spice everything (I know…I’m one of them).

The leaves on the trees aren’t changing yet, but there are other signs. Summer wildflowers and grasses are going to seed. Fall flowers are starting to bloom.

Soon enough, we’ll feel that slight chill in the air, even on warm days. The light will be different, with longer shadows and slanted rays.

I’m a dog mom, small business owner, volunteer, and I work outside

Image Provided by the Author.

Hi! My name is Kim and I joined Medium in mid-October. I like to write, but I’ve never really written consistently. Most of my writing is for work, which is fun, but I don’t get to choose my topics or content. I’ve written fewer than 20 stories so far, but I’m having fun with it and I enjoy the opportunity to choose my topics and explore different ideas.

I Have a Blended Family
I was born in Las Vegas, Nevada. My dad worked in the oil field so we moved around a lot. My mom and dad eventually separated. …

I was eavesdropping, but it made my day

Two bright yellow flowers against a yellow and green background.
Photo by Kim Zuch.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the negative. The news (pick your channel) is always bad. Someone is angry. Today we had a drunk guy in the campground, yelling at other campers. Later, we had to call the sheriff and four deputies showed up to help (this wasn’t even about the drunk camper — that’s another story).

In the middle of all of that, I was in my office trying to finish some paperwork and a couple month-end reports that were two weeks late. …

Two yellow tomato blossoms against dark green leaves.
Monday’s tomato blossoms. Photo by Kim Zuch.


Week 15: September 6–12

I’ll never take a clear blue sky for granted again. This week we’ve been blessed with a blue sky, clouds, and even some rain. I’ve been able to spend more time doing yard work and being outside.

The California wildfires are slowly losing ground. More people have gone home, while others are still under mandatory evacuations. The rain and humidity are helping the firefighters make more progress.

I took the lead photo on Monday when I noticed my tomato plants had blossoms. I didn’t expect them to do much, since I didn’t take care of them as well as I…

Monday’s blue sky! Photo by Kim Zuch.


Week 14: August 30-September 5

This week we got to see blue sky for the first time in a long time. The wind shifted and the smoke cleared out of the valleys for a while. It’s been clear in the mornings, but the smoke comes back in the afternoon. It’s definitely not as heavy as it was.

Because of the change in the weather, the firefighters have been able to make some progress. Today, September 5, evacuation orders for South Lake Tahoe were lifted. Some people were able to return home. Fire experts are hoping for containment by mid-September.


These sweet-looking predators can help protect your garden from harmful insects

A bright red and black ladybug sitting on a milkweed plant.
Ladybug. Photo by Kim Zuch.

Most people around the world would recognize these bright red insects with black dots. There are many species of ladybugs and most of them are colorful. Some, like above, are bright red. Some are black with red dots. Others are various shades of yellow and orange.

I’m lucky enough to live and work in an area where we see ladybugs regularly. I recently noticed that, this time of year, I can observe them in various stages of their life cycle. It’s been fascinating to learn about these insects.

The milkweed plants in our pollinator garden are infested with oleander aphids…

Kim Zuch

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store