[ {"id":"5e025c2f-ff5f-596d-94c4-0430236552f8","type":"article","starttime":"1481407080","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-10T14:58:00-07:00","sections":[{"entertainment":"entertainment"},{"arts-and-theatre":"entertainment/arts-and-theatre"},{"books-and-literature":"entertainment/books-and-literature"},{"collectibles":"lifestyles/collectibles"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Brass figure of deity sets world record for Tibetan sculpture","url":"http://tucson.com/entertainment/article_5e025c2f-ff5f-596d-94c4-0430236552f8.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/entertainment/brass-figure-of-deity-sets-world-record-for-tibetan-sculpture/article_5e025c2f-ff5f-596d-94c4-0430236552f8.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/entertainment/brass-figure-of-deity-sets-world-record-for-tibetan-sculpture/article_5e025c2f-ff5f-596d-94c4-0430236552f8.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Danielle Arnet\nThe Smart Collector","prologue":"A brass figure of Canda Vajrapani set a world record for Tibetan sculpture when it sold for more than $6.3 million","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["tibet"],"internalKeywords":["#weekend"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"5109dc4d-a730-5dae-bf9e-1e15cd701f8b","description":"At more than 3 feet high, the brass figure is exceptionally large.","byline":"Bonhams","hireswidth":1609,"hiresheight":1287,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/10/5109dc4d-a730-5dae-bf9e-1e15cd701f8b/5849eea30eb62.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"496","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/10/5109dc4d-a730-5dae-bf9e-1e15cd701f8b/5849eea30e141.image.jpg?resize=620%2C496"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"80","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/10/5109dc4d-a730-5dae-bf9e-1e15cd701f8b/5849eea30e141.image.jpg?resize=100%2C80"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"240","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/10/5109dc4d-a730-5dae-bf9e-1e15cd701f8b/5849eea30e141.image.jpg?resize=300%2C240"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"819","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/10/5109dc4d-a730-5dae-bf9e-1e15cd701f8b/5849eea30e141.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C819"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"5e025c2f-ff5f-596d-94c4-0430236552f8","body":"

WHAT: A brass figure of Canda Vajrapani set a new world record for Tibetan sculpture when it sold for more than $6.3 million at Bonhams Hong Kong in November. In this version, the deity, translated to \u201cfierce holder of the thunderbolt,\u201d has one head and two arms with the right hand up. The left hand is in the karana mudra hand position to banish demons.

MORE: At more than 3 feet high, the figure is exceptionally large. That makes the masterpiece of 13th century Tibetan sculpture \u201cmonumental\u201d according to Bonhams. It is also a significant survivor of Tibetan brass sculpture.

SMART COLLECTORS KNOW: From the collection of a known expert, scholar and author on Tibetan sculpture, this figure and others offered bidders a chance to own part of a master collection. That is catnip to connoisseurs.

HOT TIP: Note that Bonhams elected to sell the figure in Hong Kong, a nexus of new wealth. Featuring it in a sale titled \u201cImages of Devotion,\u201d it acknowledged Far Eastern objects of veneration in a season when much of the world is focused on other religious holidays.

BOTTOM LINE: Another figure from the same collection, dating from the 1600s, sold for $1.9 million.

BOOK IT! \u201cCollectibles Handbook & Price Guide 2016-2017\u201d by Judith Miller & Mark Hill (Mitchell Beazley, $27.99), a softcover in its 24th edition, has photos of more than 4,000 items ranging from 20th century glass to toys, vintage costume jewelry and luggage. Prices listed are gathered from the market and realistic. Best of all, the authors (Miller is a long-time expert) provide hints, picks and comparisons.

"}, {"id":"832af635-51bf-570f-8cdf-22fec0cb5149","type":"article","starttime":"1481407020","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-10T14:57:00-07:00","priority":25,"sections":[{"books-and-literature":"entertainment/books-and-literature"},{"lifestyles":"lifestyles"},{"faith-and-values":"lifestyles/faith-and-values"},{"families":"lifestyles/families"}],"application":"editorial","title":"2016's top Southwestern children's books","url":"http://tucson.com/entertainment/books-and-literature/article_832af635-51bf-570f-8cdf-22fec0cb5149.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/entertainment/books-and-literature/s-top-southwestern-children-s-books/article_832af635-51bf-570f-8cdf-22fec0cb5149.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/entertainment/books-and-literature/s-top-southwestern-children-s-books/article_832af635-51bf-570f-8cdf-22fec0cb5149.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"special to the Arizona Daily Star","prologue":"Colorful illustrations, engaging storylines for young kids and teens.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["children","families"],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#weekend"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"e338a08f-783b-58c6-a547-7dc611c84ecf","description":"Mary Jan Bancroft, right, founder of Make Way for Books, uses a rabbit puppet to say hello to 2-year-old Emma Allen and her mom, Nicole Allen. The nonprofit organization provides early literacy resources for children, families and educators.","byline":"Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Star","hireswidth":1500,"hiresheight":1014,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/33/e338a08f-783b-58c6-a547-7dc611c84ecf/55d7a5fd9a2e5.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"419","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/33/e338a08f-783b-58c6-a547-7dc611c84ecf/583cecb01e4c8.image.jpg?resize=620%2C419"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/33/e338a08f-783b-58c6-a547-7dc611c84ecf/55d7a5fddbb06.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/33/e338a08f-783b-58c6-a547-7dc611c84ecf/583cecb01e4c8.image.jpg?crop=1500%2C843%2C0%2C85&resize=300%2C169&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"575","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/33/e338a08f-783b-58c6-a547-7dc611c84ecf/583cecb01e4c8.image.jpg?crop=1500%2C843%2C0%2C85&resize=1024%2C575&order=crop%2Cresize"}}}],"revision":8,"commentID":"832af635-51bf-570f-8cdf-22fec0cb5149","body":"
Animal Talk: Mexican Folk Art Animal Sounds in English and Spanish

By Cynthia Weil. Wood Sculptures from Oaxaca by Rubi Fuentes and Efrain Broa. Cinco Puntos Press

Bees say bzzz bzzz in English and zum zum in Spanish. Frogs say ribbit ribbit in English and crua crua in Spanish. Oaxacan-carved wooden sculptures illustrate this 30-page bilingual picture book of animals and the sounds they make in two languages. With beautiful and playful depictions ranging from roosters to snakes, this little book is just right for interactive animal play with kids and adults.

Desert Dark

By Sonja Stone. Holiday House

A suspenseful young adult thriller about four teens who have been recruited to attend a CIA Black Ops training school in Arizona. Nadia joins Jack, Damon and Libby on a team, but the news that there\u2019s a double-agent at the school has them suspecting each other. Exciting right to the very end! This book would make a great movie for teens or adults. Ages 12 and up

The Donkey Lady Fights La Llorona and Other Stories/La Se\u00f1ora Asno Se Enfrenta a La Llorona Y Otros Cuentos

By Xavier Garza. Pi\u00f1ata Books/Arte Publico Press

This fun, bilingual collection of Mexican-inspired short horror tales would be a treat for a camp fire read-aloud or other get-together for kids ages 9-12. One of the offerings, \u201cTunnels,\u201d starts with a boy falling into a tunnel and confronting some drug dealers. Luckily his dog, Chato, comes to his rescue. Is Chato actually a dog or a chupacabra? You\u2019ll have to read \u201cTunnels\u201d and the other stories to find out!

Maya\u2019s Blanket/La Manta de Maya

By Monica Brown; illustrated by David Diaz. Children\u2019s Book Press

Maya\u2019s blanket, handmade by her abuelita, has become frayed and worn, so they turn it into a vestido (dress). As it becomes more and more worn out, the remnants are used as a rebozo, a cinta (ribbon), and a bookmark. This story was inspired by the Yiddish folk song \u201cI Had a Little Overcoat.\u201d The colorful illustrations and engaging storyline make it a perfect choice for bilingual story time. Ages 5-9

Slingshot and Burp

By Richard Haynes; illustrations by Stephen Gilpin. Candlewick Press

Slingshot and Burp are two boys riding around dusty trails on their trusty steeds (bikes), looking for action. When they return to their bunkhouse, the boys find that their sisters have turned it into a pink doll house. They shoot up the dolls and suffer two days of \u2018jail\u2019 time for the crime. Once released, Slingshot and Burp go back to their adventures, hunting for snakes, scorpions, and a Ghost Cat. Ages 7-10

Stealing Indians

By John Smelcer. Leapfrog Press

As recently as the middle of the last century, when this book is set, Native American children were routinely taken from their families and sent away to government boarding schools in an attempt to assimilate them into white society. The motto of the time was \u201cKill the Indian, save the man,\u201d and the boarding schools tore apart the lives of thousands of Native American families. Smelcer focuses on four Native American children. One of them, Simon Lone Fight, a Navajo from Four Corners, lost his parents when they were killed in a car accident and was turned over to the authorities by his grandparents. He spent the rest of his teen years at the school, along with hundreds of other Native American children. A disturbing, factual account. Ages 12 and up

Sand Dune Daisy: A Pocket Mouse Tale

By Lili DeBarbieri; illustrations by M. Fred Barraza. Westcliffe Publishers

Daisy is a tiny pocket mouse living in a sand dunes burrow. Gypsum, a kit fox, is hunting for food for his family and likes to eat mice. Daisy gets lost one day and is chased by Gypsum and a hawk when suddenly she sees a child sledding down a dune. Daisy hops onto the sled and whooshes away! There is a good glossary at the end of the story as well as a \u2018Did You Know\u2019 section that describes four of the largest sand dunes in the United States. Ages 5-8

\u2014By Ann Dickinson

"}, {"id":"40597e29-3dd3-5c28-a9f9-d9fc7722aa1f","type":"article","starttime":"1481406180","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-10T14:43:00-07:00","priority":35,"sections":[{"entertainment":"entertainment"},{"lifestyles":"lifestyles"},{"askrosie":"lifestyles/askrosie"},{"home-and-garden":"lifestyles/home-and-garden"},{"recreation":"lifestyles/recreation"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Rosie on the House: Serious pest could slowly be killing your ash tree","url":"http://tucson.com/entertainment/article_40597e29-3dd3-5c28-a9f9-d9fc7722aa1f.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/entertainment/rosie-on-the-house-serious-pest-could-slowly-be-killing/article_40597e29-3dd3-5c28-a9f9-d9fc7722aa1f.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/entertainment/rosie-on-the-house-serious-pest-could-slowly-be-killing/article_40597e29-3dd3-5c28-a9f9-d9fc7722aa1f.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Rosie Romero\nSpecial to the Arizona Daily Star","prologue":"There are no effective treatments for the carpenter worm.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#columnist","#weekend"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"8b3632d0-9754-5cfb-b98c-fc03e8f8b833","description":"Unfortunately, there is no effective treatment for carpenter worms. The adult carpenter worm moth lays eggs in the crotch of tree limbs.","byline":"USDA","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"327","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/b3/8b3632d0-9754-5cfb-b98c-fc03e8f8b833/5848a55b668a1.image.jpg?resize=620%2C327"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"53","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/b3/8b3632d0-9754-5cfb-b98c-fc03e8f8b833/5848a55b668a1.image.jpg?resize=100%2C53"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"158","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/b3/8b3632d0-9754-5cfb-b98c-fc03e8f8b833/5848a55b668a1.image.jpg?resize=300%2C158"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"540","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/b3/8b3632d0-9754-5cfb-b98c-fc03e8f8b833/5848a55b668a1.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":6,"commentID":"40597e29-3dd3-5c28-a9f9-d9fc7722aa1f","body":"

Each year, thousands of Arizona residents email or call Rosie Romero\u2019s radio show with questions about everything from preventing fires in their chimneys to getting rid of tree roots invading their sewer system. His goal is to provide answers that suit the specific lifestyle wherever someone lives in Arizona.

QUESTION: I have a 16-year-old ash tree and some of its tree limbs are starting to die off. This process started in August and has been continuing ever since. What could be causing this?

ANSWER: It could be a minor issue including water stress. Ash trees are pretty thirsty and need periodic deep watering. Sometimes entire branches will die but the tree will still survive. On the other hand, there is a serious pest \u2014 the carpenter worm \u2014 that can infest ash trees. The adult carpenter worm moth lays eggs in the crotch of tree limbs, and the larvae eat the interior wood of the tree. They weaken branches that can suddenly fall. It\u2019s a problem that will eventually kill the tree. Unfortunately, there is no effective treatment for carpenter worms.

To check if you have this pest, start by looking for small \u215c-inch diameter holes near branch crotches and for a build-up of what looks like little piles of sawdust around the holes. If you confirm that you have this pest, you need to carefully remove the tree as soon as you can to prevent the insects from moving to other ash trees in your yard or neighborhood.

Q: My front sidewalk has gotten pitted over the years and is looking pretty shabby. Is there any way to cover up the damage without air hammering the walkway and removing it?

A: There are a couple of options. You can overlay the sidewalk with thin concrete pavers that are manufactured for these kinds of overlay projects. It\u2019s possible you will have to make some step transitions if you have stairs in front of the house or if your sidewalk ties into the driveway. Another option that might take care of the transitions as well could be having an acrylic coating laid over the damaged area.

Q: I bought my house about a year ago and recently pulled up the linoleum in the bathroom and the garage. Underneath, I found that I have very wavy concrete flooring. What can I do to level off the flooring so that I can lay tile on top of these areas? And can I do this job myself?

A: Stores that specialize in building materials can sell you self-leveling coatings that can practically do the job for you. You simply pour the coating over the floor and it spreads out across the surface without you having to trowel extensively. The coating usually adds only about 1/64th of an inch to the floor, so it won\u2019t create a problem with doors and cabinets.

Q: I have a huge acacia tree in my yard that I planted five years ago. Not long ago, I had a huge root from the tree that surfaced near the house. It\u2019s about 3 or 4 feet long and about 4 inches in diameter. Another large one seems to be developing as well. Can I cut them off and dig them out before they manage to get under the house? Or will that kill the tree?

A: You have a couple of options. You can often simply cut off one or two roots without hurting a tree. They represent a very small percentage of the tree\u2019s overall root mass. Another possibility would be to have a root barrier inserted into the soil in front of the house or in front of any other object you need protected. Before you take on this job yourself, it might be helpful to call a certified arborist to get an accurate diagnosis and management plan.

"}, {"id":"ebe82c76-cdcd-5c86-8273-be13fe6b997f","type":"article","starttime":"1481405580","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-10T14:33:00-07:00","priority":45,"sections":[{"books-and-literature":"entertainment/books-and-literature"},{"outdoors":"entertainment/outdoors"},{"travel":"travel"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Pima County Public Library presents Southwest Books of the Year 2016","url":"http://tucson.com/entertainment/books-and-literature/article_ebe82c76-cdcd-5c86-8273-be13fe6b997f.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/entertainment/books-and-literature/pima-county-public-library-presents-southwest-books-of-the-year/article_ebe82c76-cdcd-5c86-8273-be13fe6b997f.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/entertainment/books-and-literature/pima-county-public-library-presents-southwest-books-of-the-year/article_ebe82c76-cdcd-5c86-8273-be13fe6b997f.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":17,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Special To The Arizona Daily Star","prologue":"The long wait for the year\u2019s best Southwest reading is over. \u201cSouthwest Books of the Year,\u201d Pima County Public Library\u2019s (PCPL) annual review of regional literature, will arrive in libraries this week. 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The long wait for the year\u2019s best Southwest reading is over.

\u201cSouthwest Books of the Year,\u201d Pima County Public Library\u2019s (PCPL) annual review of regional literature, will arrive in libraries this week.

This free, library-produced publication connects readers with books that are new, noteworthy, and sure to keep you turning pages. They are selected by the \u201cSouthwest Books of the Year\u201d panel of reviewers, composed of librarians and subject specialists, who read the books as they become available and meet regularly throughout the year to discuss them. Their favorites become the \u201cSouthwest Books of the Year\u201d Top Picks.

The panelists are:

Bill Broyles, author, retired teacher and research associate at the University of Arizona\u2019s Southwest Center; Bruce Dinges, Arizona Historical Society director of publications; Vicki Ann Duraine, adult services librarian for PCPL; Christine Wald-Hopkins, longtime high school and college English teacher, book reviewer, and occasional essayist; and Helene Woodhams, literary librarian for Pima County Public Library and coordinator of Southwest Books of the Year. Ann Dickinson, retired librarian and children\u2019s book selector for PCPL, reviews Southwest books for children and youth.

This is the publication\u2019s 40th year. The Arizona Daily Star began the program and the library took it over in 2000. Books considered for Southwest Books of the Year are set in the Southwest (in the case of fiction) or focus on a southwestern subject or personality. This year 10 terrific titles \u2014 both fiction and nonfiction \u2014 rose to the top of the 200 books that were considered. Here they are, with reviews from the panelists who recommended them:

Desert Boys

By Chris McCormick. Picador

Characters cycle in and out of the stories in this wise, affecting debut collection set mostly in Antelope Valley, California, in the western Mojave. Opening with a tale of three boys who test themselves in paintball wars, experience 9/11 only remotely, and come of age during the Iraq/Afghanistan conflicts, Chris McCormick introduces Daley Kushner, the sensitive son of an Armenian immigrant, who serves as the pivotal presence in the interrelated collection. Kushner goes off to Berkeley, comes out as gay, becomes a writer, and lives in San Francisco, but the stories he\u2019s part of and that he narrates\u2014about his Uncle Gaspar\u2019s tenant and the two reckless girls; the black kid who plays the Confederate mascot at Antelope High; the struggling alfalfa farmer \u2014 fondly recall the paintball-shooting, dirt-bike riders we started out with.

\u2014Christine Wald-Hopkins

Also selected by Bruce Dinges

The Disappearances: A Story
of Exp
loration, Murder, and Mystery in the American West

By Scott Thybony. University of Utah Press

Master storyteller Scott Thybony does it again, and gives us Southwest mysteries ripped from sandstone canyons and lonesome byways. He sets out to find three people who suddenly vanished in the Four Corners Country in 1935: Dan Thrapp, out exploring for Indian ruins and long overdue; Lucy Garrett, a 13-year-old girl abducted by a man who had murdered her father; and, Everett Ruess, a bright young artist gone walkabout who disappeared without a trace. Ever the detective, Thybony walks the ground of one of America\u2019s most remote regions, quizzes insiders to shake out the truth, and ponders the cold-case evidence and newspaper morgues. His riveting verdicts weave regional history into touching personal stories with startling endings. If we close our eyes we can imagine these sagas being filmed in Monument Valley by a master movie-maker like John Ford, or being uncorked like ghost stories around a flickering campfire, sip by sip.

\u2014 Bill Broyles

Also selected by Helene Woodhams

The Fire Line: The Story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots and One of the Deadliest Days in American Firefighting

By Fernanda Santos. Flatiron Books

A stark diagram showing the placement of nineteen bodies sets the somber tone for this mesmerizing account of wildland firefighting and the tragic deaths of Prescott\u2019s Granite Mountain Hotshots at Yarnell Hill on June 30, 2013. Santos, the New York Times Phoenix bureau chief, combines impressive skill as an investigative reporter with a novelist\u2019s feel for character and pacing to describe the ecology and culture of wildfire and unravel, minute-by-minute, the events of a day when nature and human error turned the world upside down for a band of dedicated men and the families who loved them. Santos writes with passion, knowledge, and empathy about an overwhelming tragedy and the lessons it holds for fire management and the built environment.

\u2014 Bruce Dinges

Also selected by Vicki Ann Duraine

Georgia O\u2019Keeffe: Watercolors 1916-1918

By Amy Von Lintel and Georgia O\u2019Keeffe. Radius Books/Georgia O\u2019Keeffe Museum

No Southwest artist is more revered than Georgia O\u2019Keeffe as her paintings continue to please and her legend endures as the \u201cmother of American modernism.\u201d But far lesser known is her art from the period of 1916 to 1918 when she \u201ccame west\u201d and lived in Canyon, Texas, teaching art in a small college while exploring techniques, color palettes, and subjects. During that period she grew confident in \u201ccomposing spaces creatively through the rhythmic patterns of tight lines, flowing curves, and open spaces,\u201d and, according to her husband, Alfred Stieglitz, it was a time when she found her \u201cself\u201d as well as bridged from watercolors to her later, more recognizable oils under the influence of Santa Fe. This edition, arguably 2016\u2019s most beautiful Southwest book, reproduces 46 of her watercolors at full-scale in a bound book and slips in a 57-page back-pocket bonus booklet of gallery notes and biographical photos. At $60 the set is a bargain.

\u2014 Bill Broyles

Also selected by Christine Wald-Hopkins and Helene Woodhams

The Kid

By Ron Hansen. Scribner

His slight stature and cocky good looks secured him his soubriquet, but it was his deadeye aim and proclivity for being in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people that earned Billy the Kid his reputation as a remorseless murderer. Mrs. McCarty\u2019s favorite son spent his short career wreaking havoc on the run while seeking to be exonerated of murder charges for killings he didn\u2019t actually commit. But whether or not it was wholly deserved, his legend loomed large and became the one jail he couldn\u2019t bust free of. His story has been frequently told, but it would be hard to beat Hansen\u2019s well-researched and fast-paced account. No formulaic Western this \u2014 Hansen populates his meticulously researched novel with characters who are three-dimensional and richly realized. Far from being the blood-thirsty sociopath of Wild West lore, Hansen\u2019s Billy lives and breathes, at times tender, often conflicted, loyal to his friends, always articulate and frequently very funny.

\u2014 Helene Woodhams

Also selected by Bruce Dinges and Vicki Ann Duraine

Mythical River: Chasing the Mirage of New Water in the American Southwest

By Melissa Sevigny. University of Iowa Press

Imagine a world in which a river\u2019s conservation was as important as the community it supports. With the insight of a hydrologist and the heart of a poet, Sevigny champions this ideal in her lyrical and exhaustively-researched science journal cum memoir, interweaving the centuries-old paradigm of unlimited natural resources with the facts as she knows them: the Southwest is running out of water and rain does not follow the plow. The mythical Buenaventura River is a case in point. Spanish explorers believed the nonexistent river ran from the Colorado River to the Pacific Ocean. Despite all evidence to the contrary it remained on U.S maps for a century, a testament to the same kind of wishful thinking that supports our current reliance on the Colorado River \u2014 which has been litigated, dammed, and drained almost to death \u2014 and our faith in technological sleight-of-hand to produce water where there is none. Realizing that what can\u2019t be fixed by politics may be remedied by love, and in keeping with recommendations from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Sevigny promotes conservation at the local level. It is a call to arms: Mythical River may be the most important book you read all year.

\u2014 Vicki Ann Duraine

Also selected by Bill Broyles

News of the World

By Paulette Jiles. William Morrow

It\u2019s a familiar theme, the unlikely pairing of a gruff old guy and a poor little orphan girl \u2014 think \u201cTrue Grit,\u201d or better yet, \u201cHeidi.\u201d Now, take Heidi out of the Alps and set her down in Indian Territory, where she\u2019s just been freed after four years as a captive of the murderous Kiowas. She needs to make the perilous, 400-mile journey across Texas back to her family, and 70-year-old Capt. Jefferson Kidd is the (unlikely) man for the job. It\u2019s an unpromising start \u2014 fully indoctrinated into the ways of her captors, 10-year-old Johanna speaks only Kiowa and her Indian ways are as inexplicable to Capt. Kidd as his old-man manners are to her \u2014 but he is patient and courageous and she is plucky and resourceful. In the face of adversity, they learn to trust and value each other. Jiles is a gifted storyteller, and in her capable hands the familiar becomes fresh \u2014 she never sounds a false note in her delivery of this truly captivating narrative.

\u2014 Helene Woodhams

Also selected by Christine Wald-Hopkins

The Sonoran Desert: A Literary Guide

Edited by Eric Magrane and Christopher Cokinos; illustrations by Paul Mirocha. University of Arizona Press

This field guide celebrates the very best of Sonoran Desert biodiversity \u2014 its plants, invertebrates, birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians \u2014 and its essayists, artists and poets. Drawing from The Poetic Inventory of Saguaro National Park, a 2011 project that invited 80 writers to create literary pieces addressing species found in the park, this book presents more than 60 species. Paul Mirocha illustrated them, Eric Magrane and Christopher Cokinos scientifically described them, and writers from the region responded to them. Mirocha\u2019s drawings are clean and lovely, the text by Magrane and Cokinos is informative and entertaining, and the accompanying writings are delightfully diverse. Check out Alberto Rios on jackrabbits (\u201cThose ears have heard things/ And they\u2019ve brought back/So many stories to tell about you\u201d); and, Valentina Quintana on the parthenogenetic Sonoran whiptail lizard (\u201cPersonal ad: ... SWL seeks independent companion for fun in Sonoran desert.\u201d)

\u2014 Christine Wald-Hopkins

Also selected by Bruce Dinges

The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement
in Ameri
ca

By Andr\u00e9s Res\u00e9ndez. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

In his riveting chronicle of \u201cgood intentions gone bad,\u201d UC Davis historian Res\u00e9ndez recounts the dismal story of enslavement of native people in the New World from Columbus\u2019s landing through Spanish and Anglo settlement of the American Southwest up to the present day. Combining a firm grasp of the scholarly literature, deep research into documentary sources, and a facile writing style, he describes in moving detail how warfare and conquest over five centuries created an economy of involuntary servitude in the Western Hemisphere, and its impact on conquered peoples. This landmark book opens a window on an important but overlooked chapter in American history.

\u2013 Bruce Dinges

Also selected by Christine Wald-Hopkins

The Terranauts

By T. C. Boyle. Ecco

Beginning where the real-life Biosphere left off (its mission compromised when one of the occupants was released to treat a finger injury and returned with pizza), Boyle envisions a second mission in which four men and four women enter the sealed glass compound outside Tucson in a two-year experiment to test human beings\u2019 ability to survive in an artificial environment. Told from alternating points of view, this insightful and often hilarious novel deftly examines the foibles of human nature viewed through the eyes of a supremely self-involved cast of characters committed to achieving a cause that is at once transcendent and totally banal.

\u2014 Bruce Dinges

Also selected by Vicki Ann Duraine and Helene Woodhams

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The silverware should not be wrapped in the napkin.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#editorspick","#weekend","#latest"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":1,"url":"http://tucson.com/lifestyles/families/how-to-set-a-formal-table-for-a-dinner-party/collection_1036f4fe-b64f-11e6-a692-6b9b52094949.html"},{"id":"54642687-c8e3-58b6-80f4-96668e1c65b9","type":"link","starttime":"1481322480","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-09T15:28:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1481401029","application":"editorial","title":"Photos: Tanque Verde Swap Meet","permalink":"http://tucson.com/lifestyles/photos-tanque-verde-swap-meet/collection_8394f518-d811-11e4-8dc3-0fd444b8bda4.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/lifestyles/photos-tanque-verde-swap-meet/collection_8394f518-d811-11e4-8dc3-0fd444b8bda4.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"Images from the 1970s at Grant and Tanque Verde, through today at Palo Verde and Ajo.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#editorspick","#weekend","#latest"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":2,"url":"http://tucson.com/lifestyles/photos-tanque-verde-swap-meet/collection_8394f518-d811-11e4-8dc3-0fd444b8bda4.html"}],"revision":10,"commentID":"ab12a0b5-0cfc-5394-a0e1-ce027d1115f8","body":"

It\u2019s been a rite of passage through the years.

A family member \u2014 grandma, grandpa, mom, dad \u2014 passes away and leaves a trove of keepsakes that tells a family\u2019s story, through photos, letters, books, artwork, clothing, even furniture.

The surviving family would gather and lay claim to various items. Someone would take the photos. Someone else would take the china or crystal. Someone else the love letters exchanged between a couple that may have spent a lifetime together.

It probably wouldn\u2019t be difficult to find a family that actually argued over those treasured items, rationalizing why one family member was more deserving than some other family member of getting that one keepsake that everyone knew meant the world to the family.

But in the current era of technology and mobility with cellphones and computers virtually serving as yesterday\u2019s hope chest, with every element of people\u2019s lives contained in a hard drive measured by gigabytes, family keepsakes aren\u2019t remaining as keepsakes anymore. They\u2019re increasingly becoming merchandise.

It was a typical Friday morning at the Golden Goose Thrift Shop recently, and general manager Stephanie Urdiales was directing traffic inside the cramped storage area and orderly sales floor where volunteers and staff were getting ready for another busy day.

\u201cThe Goose,\u201d as customers, staff and volunteers call it, is where thousands of items that back in the day might have been passed down as family heirlooms end up and are put up for sale to raise money for charity \u2014 more than $8 million has been donated to the community by the business in 13 years of existence. Browsing through the shop at 15970 N. Oracle Road in Catalina is like browsing through the histories of faceless families from throughout the community and beyond.

Items come to the Golden Goose from many directions. They\u2019re items left over from estate sales. Sometimes they\u2019re donated directly by family members who have decided not to keep them for any one of a number of reasons \u2014 lack of storage space, the surviving family lives far away and doesn\u2019t want to haul the goods home or, as Urdiales said, \u201cit just doesn\u2019t fit into their lifestyle.\u201d

\u201cWe get pieces of history and just remarkable things,\u201d Urdiales said. \u201cSadly, where I\u2019m concerned, they just don\u2019t have time to deal with it.

\u201cThe world has become so fast-paced. I think a lot of people feel like if they\u2019ve got that iPhone, it\u2019s pretty much all they need. A lot of these things were statements about people\u2019s families, who they were, their ancestors, and they used to be proudly displayed on walls and people would surround themselves in their homes with them. And it\u2019s just not so much anymore. Not that it\u2019s necessarily a bad thing. It\u2019s just different.\u201d

Pat Moore has been in the collectible and estate sale business with her husband, Bob, for more than 40 years, and is a little more direct in her opinion of what she considers a trend toward families getting rid of potential heirlooms instead of keeping them for future generations.

\u201cWe\u2019ve got two grown daughters in their 40s and I think they\u2019re a very good example of this,\u201d Pat said. \u201cWhen I say I have something that was mine or their grandmother\u2019s or theirs when they were young, their idea is to take a picture of it and get rid of it. They\u2019re that blunt. That\u2019s what we\u2019re seeing.

\u201cIt\u2019s clutter and they don\u2019t like clutter,\u201d Pat said of modern families in general. \u201cThey\u2019re busy out there, moving their lives, trying to do as much in their lifetime as they can and not worry about having to have a place to put all these things and take care of all these things.\u201d

Urdiales said she has come to expect donations of a large volume of certain items that fall in that don\u2019t-fit-the-lifestyle category, or that technology has made obsolete and considered by many to be unusable.

\u201cThere are things that aren\u2019t surprising like silver-plate serving pieces. Nobody wants that,\u201d Urdiales said of the once must-have wedding gift. \u201cNobody uses it. They don\u2019t want to polish it. So we get a ton of that.

\u201cWe get the china and fine dishes and fine crystal because frankly they\u2019re not microwavable. They\u2019re not dishwasher safe. You have to hand-wash them. When people get married now, they don\u2019t get a service for 12 of Noritake china and Waterford crystal and silver-plate flatware.\u201d

Those aren\u2019t the items that Urdiales and the Moores shake their heads about from time to time. It\u2019s the stuff that used to be considered sentimental.

At the Golden Goose, one might open an old book and find a personal, handwritten note. Or one can browse through a collection of Bibles, many that were gifted at one point and even passed down previously. Military medals, citations and uniforms come in and are sold, usually to collectors who place a high value on them.

\u201cWe\u2019ll get family photographs and love letters still tied with string,\u201d Urdiales said.

There\u2019s art for sale that clearly had meaning at the time it was created, including an original painting of a young girl who was someone\u2019s daughter, granddaughter or mother long ago.

The staff at the Golden Goose currently is dealing with a unique item dating to World War II. It\u2019s a book titled, \u201cI Knew Hitler,\u201d written by a man who, based on a letter that was found in the book, was suspected of being a Nazi. He apparently had been detained by the U.S. Government and the letter was a carbon copy of his plea to officials that he was not a Nazi. The letter was dated 1942.

\u201cWe\u2019ll get whole swaths of people\u2019s lives in boxes that are expressed through writing and memorabilia and photographs,\u201d Urdiales said, listing examples like theater programs, old newspapers, maps and souvenirs. \u201cThat always surprises me.\u201d

Those items require special handling and care because, Urdiales said, they were special to someone\u2019s life at some point even if they\u2019re for sale now. The more delicate items are locked under glass in the shop until someone comes along to buy them.

And, just because someone didn\u2019t think enough of an item to keep it, there is a market for all of it thanks to technology, Bob Moore said, pointing out \u201ceBay is an amazing thing.\u201d

Television has latched onto the trend to produce a bevy of reality shows such as \u201cAmerican Pickers,\u201d \u201cPawn Stars,\u201d \u201cAntiques Roadshow\u201d and others where sorting through, buying and selling family keepsakes apparently makes good television.

But as time passes, Moore said, he thinks regrets can and do creep in as family members realize what they gave away or sold and that they\u2019re missing it.

\u201cWhat happens oftentimes when people get (older) is they\u2019re sorry,\u201d Moore said. \u201cI hear that sometimes. \u2018My mother had one of those and I really wish I had taken it.\u2019

\u201cI think sometimes when they get older, they may wish they had taken something. If they\u2019ve been thinking about it all these years, then you know they\u2019re sorry.\u201d

"}, {"id":"0dedba2b-4a1b-5aad-a606-0b486bd6833d","type":"article","starttime":"1481320020","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-09T14:47:00-07:00","priority":35,"sections":[{"entertainment":"entertainment"},{"lifestyles":"lifestyles"},{"families":"lifestyles/families"}],"application":"editorial","title":"You catch more flies with honey, but a barrage of salt takes them out every time","url":"http://tucson.com/entertainment/article_0dedba2b-4a1b-5aad-a606-0b486bd6833d.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/entertainment/you-catch-more-flies-with-honey-but-a-barrage-of/article_0dedba2b-4a1b-5aad-a606-0b486bd6833d.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/entertainment/you-catch-more-flies-with-honey-but-a-barrage-of/article_0dedba2b-4a1b-5aad-a606-0b486bd6833d.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Bonnie Henry\nSpecial to the Arizona Daily Star","prologue":"Pet peeve:\u00a0items going out of season in a town with two seasons: hot and not so hot.\u00a0","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#columnist","#bonniehenry","#weekend","#latest"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"e441d64b-e7d7-5813-8b3e-c5d5a48110ec","description":"Bonnie Henry","byline":"Ron Medvescek/Arizona Daily Star","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"493","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/44/e441d64b-e7d7-5813-8b3e-c5d5a48110ec/57edd9b39e321.image.jpg?resize=620%2C493"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"79","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/44/e441d64b-e7d7-5813-8b3e-c5d5a48110ec/53d7e897b6318.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"239","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/44/e441d64b-e7d7-5813-8b3e-c5d5a48110ec/53d7e897b6d2d.preview-300.jpg"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"814","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/44/e441d64b-e7d7-5813-8b3e-c5d5a48110ec/53d7e897868a9.preview-1024.jpg"}}}],"revision":5,"commentID":"0dedba2b-4a1b-5aad-a606-0b486bd6833d","body":"

It started with a fly. A very pesky fly, insistent on dive bombing me as I drank my morning coffee and read the paper.

After a few ineffectual swoops with my hand, I headed for the closet where I knew the fly swatter would be \u2013 or rather what was left of the fly swatter. Half of its plastic \u201cswatter\u201d was torn and flopped over. The fly must have laughed.

Later that day, I was shopping at your usual big-box store \u2013 the one where insecticides and mouse traps are inexplicably shelved in the same general area as peanut butter and kumquats.

So naturally, I assumed fly swatters would be hanging around as well. Looked. Could not find. Up and down the aisles I went until I finally spotted a clerk. Before she could make a clean getaway, I corralled her.

\u201cWhere are the fly swatters?\u201d I asked. She looked at me as if I\u2019d asked where was Santa, and his eight tiny reindeer.

\u201cOh,\u201d she replied. \u201cIf we have any, they\u2019re down the next aisle. But we usually don\u2019t have fly swatters this time of year. Out of season.\u201d

Who knew all the flies had skipped town for Acapulco?

Naturally, I had to challenge her. \u201cC\u2019mon. You know we have flies in Tucson year \u2018round.\u201d Logic, however, seemed to escape her \u2013 and me. With a shrug of her shoulders, she was gone.

This, of course, is one of my pet peeves, items going out of season in a town that has two seasons: hot and not so hot. Try buying a bathing suit in August, or flip-flops in November.

Undeterred, I wheeled the cart down the aisle the clerk had pointed to and \u2013 Eureka! \u2013 I found, perhaps, the last two fly swatters in town. I bought both of them because that\u2019s the way they came. Two for 98 cents. What a bargain.

So far, they\u2019ve not been put to use. For the fly seems to have disappeared. Perhaps, he, too, is winging it down to Acapulco. Nevertheless, I am prepared.

Curious as to what the internet might have in the way of fly swatters, I logged on and found the most amazing thing. It\u2019s called the Bug-A-Salt 2.0 Fly Shooter. Sale priced at $37.49 (Yes, you read that right, $37.49) it \u201ctakes out pesky flies with table salt without splattering them.\u201d

What\u2019s more, it\u2019s \u201csmooth-cocking slide makes it easy to operate\u201d and its \u201cpowerful spring delivers exceptional range.\u201d It also offers a \u201ctextured grip for sure handling\u201d and \u201cfires 80 shots before reloading.\u201d

Comes in yellow \u2013 or \u201ccamo\u201d for $39.74. Must be 18 to order. No word on whether it\u2019s approved by the National Rifle Association. Guaranteed to arrive by Christmas.

Want something a tad less expensive? How about the Dynazap Flying Insect Zapper. Fully extendable and bendable, it kills mosquitoes, wasps, flies, hornets and yellow jackets with one well-placed zap. Two AA batteries included, $24.50.

And for the traditionalist in the family, there\u2019s always the Real Old-Fashioned Fly Swatter. Yep, that\u2019s its name. Comes with wire frame, wood handle, and strong mesh with sewn edges. \u201cThis is the way your grandparents remembered this essential tool of summer,\u201d reads the ad. Um, at $7.95 for one, $35.95 for five, I think not.

Actually, my granny had a fly swatter that looked a lot like these and it was sturdy enough to not only swat flies but to also swat the bottom of any unruly grandchild. Ah, memories.

She also kept a tuft of cotton stuck to the front of her screen door with a bobby pin as a way to keep out the flies. No idea if it really worked. Then again, it probably worked about as well as shooting flies with salt.

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Q: I am beyond upset and frustrated. Last year, I booked a vacation at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, for my pregnant girlfriend and me. It was supposed to take place in early January of this year.

After news of the Zika virus broke last January, we contacted Sandals to get a refund for the trip because of the seriousness of the health advisory. That is the only reason we don\u2019t want to go to Jamaica.

At that point, Sandals advised us that we already had paid in full, and it claimed that we were outside the refund period. We provided a note from our doctor stating that travel to Jamaica was highly discouraged and against her medical opinion due to family-planning concerns and the issues with Zika. The Sandals reps should have refunded our trip at that time.

They were not swayed, and in an effort to find a solution, we temporarily accepted their idea of pushing the trip back a year, which laughably cost us a fee as well. I was skeptical, but felt we had no choice, given that the trip was days away and we clearly could not go. In the time since then, concerns about Zika have only intensified.

We contacted Sandals again this past July to try and refund our purchase. We originally had paid for a trip, been told that we could not cancel because it was too close to the date, and then paid a fee to move the trip forward a year. We spoke with a customer-service representative on the phone and were led to believe that we could get a refund for the trip. But that has not happened. Can you help us get a refund from Sandals? \u2014 Kevin Kordosky, Tucson

A: You\u2019d think a company like Sandals would try to help you in a situation like this. But its refund policy, which you agreed to when you booked your vacation, is clear. If you cancel 30 to 15 days prior to arrival, you\u2019ll receive 50 percent of the purchase price, including any applicable airline fees. If you\u2019re anywhere from 14 days to zero days before arrival, no refunds. It\u2019s all spelled out on Sandals\u2019 website: sandals.com/general/legal

Sandals and your travel agent probably also recommended travel insurance. Some insurance, such as the pricier, cancel-for-any-reason variety, might have helped you secure a partial refund. But most normal insurance, which would have excluded any pre-existing medical conditions, would have been useless.

I\u2019m troubled that a manager left you with the impression that you might get a refund. You could have avoided that by putting your request in writing. I list the names, numbers and email addresses of Sandals\u2019 executives on my consumer-advocacy site: elliott.org/company-contacts/sandals

The real question is: Who should take the financial loss for the Zika outbreak? Sandals \u2014 or you? I\u2019m not sure if this is an \u201ceither/or\u201d kind of question. In a perfect world, no one would be left holding the bill. Sandals would get its money, and you would be able to keep your vacation.

I contacted Sandals on your behalf. The company says it agreed to refund your room upgrade fee and a private candlelight dinner you\u2019d paid for. You should see both of those items on your credit card statement soon. Sandals told me that it \u201cunderstands your concern,\u201d and has extended your trip credit for one year from your current travel date.

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Question: We have tiny black gnat-like bugs flying around the house. They seem to live in the dirt of my plants and though they don\u2019t bite, they annoy us endlessly. I put the plants outside to see if the change in temperature would encourage them to fly away but to no avail. They seem to end up even in rooms with no plants. We read somewhere to put dishes of soapy water out and we do catch a few this way, but I\u2019d rather find a permanent way to rid myself of the annoying pests.

Answer: Your gnats are living on fungi in the soil of your plants. For this reason, we often call them fungus gnats. Unfortunately, the photo you sent wasn\u2019t close enough to help identify which species. Fortunately, these are common insects in houseplants so we have a good understanding of their life cycle and some general methods for managing them. As you noticed, they don\u2019t bite; in fact the adults don\u2019t even feed. The adults are only alive for a week or so and their mission is to mate and lay eggs in the soil. They may fly to other rooms nearby seeking places to lay eggs. The larvae feed on decaying plant matter and fungi in the soil and complete their development in three to four weeks. The first step in managing them is to let the top 1 or 2 inches of soil dry out completely between watering. This step alone might be enough to solve your problem. If the population persists for a month after you change watering practices, you might need to use an insecticide. There are a few available including Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), pyrethroid-based insecticides and parasitic nematodes. Some of these are not easy to find in stores so you might need to order them online.

Question: The last couple of years, the fruit on my pom tree gets brown spots, and it is rotten inside. Any ideas?

Answer: Yes, it\u2019s likely that insects are feeding on your pomegranate fruit and the feeding allows entry for a fungus that subsequently rots the fruit. The most likely suspect is the leaf-footed bug (Leptoglossus species). There are three species in the Southwest. These insects are common in our area and may be found feeding on a variety of plants including citrus, pecans and pomegranates. As adults, these insects are difficult to manage because they can fly, they can sense predators and they are quick to run around the other side of the plant or fly away. The best time to remove them is when they are in the egg stage, laid in a strand \u2014 end to end on the underside of leaves. There are insecticides available and effective against newly hatched nymphs. Either of these requires monitoring your pomegranate tree on at least a weekly basis with the goal of detecting them before they mature to the adult stage. If you only have one tree and you are looking closely for them anyway, you might be able to just remove them by hand or sweep them into a bucket of soapy water.

Question: This question is a shot in the dark concerning a bushy plant we saw in Alton, Illinois, this past September. The cluster berries are striking in their vibrant color. No one we spoke with including park personnel knew what the plant was called. It was in a landscaped area, and planted in a manner that would suggest a landscape architect was involved. Any guess?

Answer: The plant is American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana). It is native to the southeastern U.S. from Texas to Virginia and is easily grown in that area. I had it growing in my front yard in Virginia and it really tied the landscape together. It has also been found in the Caribbean and northern Mexico as it adapts to a wide range of soil pH. It is a striking plant and there is a variety called \u201clactea\u201d with white berries that is sold by nurseries although it can\u2019t compare to the purple in my opinion.

Question: Is it necessary to cut back our red bird-of-paradise bushes in the late winter (here in Sierra Vista)? Some folks in town don\u2019t and their red birds seem to bloom OK. Is it also necessary to cut back (or really, cut down) our Tecoma stans-orange jubilee each winter?

Answer: There are three species of bird of paradise (Caesalpinia) grown in the Southwest, red (C. pulcherrima), yellow (C. gilliesii), and Mexican (C. mexicana). In general, the pruning of bird of paradise shrubberies is necessary only to remove frost-damaged limbs or to remove dead, crossing or damaged branches. More pruning will be needed if you are growing the Mexican bird of paradise and plan it to be developed and maintained as a small tree. Once blooming is finished, the flower stalks may be removed to prevent seedpods from forming and to reduce the likelihood of volunteer seedlings. If the pods are left on the plant to dry and split, the seeds can be thrown a surprising distance. The red bird of paradise dies back to the ground at temperatures below freezing. It generally regrows in spring from the ground and can be pruned to a few inches above the ground in late winter. Mulching the base of plants in colder areas may protect the crown until spring. For Tecoma stans, it is not necessary to cut way back or cut them down each winter. Generally, you should prune dead wood in early spring and otherwise just do light selective thinning as needed to maintain the size. Hard pruning Tecoma stans-orange jubilee back to 12-inch canes is sometimes done to reduce the size and to maintain its upright shape. Hard pruning is stressful for the plants so if you choose that method you might do it every third year.

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Give the gardener on your holiday gift list a little bit of Tucson in and for the landscape.

Here are details of locally created items for outdoor living and where in Tucson you can find them. Some also can be ordered online.

Tohono Chul Park\u2019s 2017 Calendar, $10. Find inspiration from the photos of the northwest Tucson botanical grounds that grace this wall calendar. The images were taken by Tucson professional photographers Andrew Brown and Robin Stancliff, park graphic designer Austen Arnould and park volunteer Larry J. Parkhurst, a photography hobbyist.

The calendar also contains dates of annual events at Tohono Chul Park, including concert series, plant and art sales, free admission days and special events such as the Sonoran Spring Gala and Holiday Nights.

It\u2019s available at the park\u2019s gift shops.

\u201cIncredible Edibles\u201d 2017 Calendar, $10. Learn how to grow edibles from this wall calendar by the Pima County master gardeners. It focuses on the monthly needs of fruits and veggies in pots, raised beds and the ground.

Each page is full of information gleaned from University of Arizona research. The photos of the demonstration gardens at the Pima County Cooperative Extension were shot by master gardener Tony Knight.

Calendars are available at Harlow Gardens, various farmer\u2019s markets and the extension office, 4210 N. Campbell Ave. Proceeds support the master gardener program that trains people to become gardening educators.

\u201cMonth-to-Month Gardening: Arizona, Nevada & New Mexico,\u201d Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc., $24. Prolific Tucson garden writer Jacqueline Soule covers the planning, planting and caring for specific edibles and ornamentals for each month in her newest book.

She includes general gardening issues such as soil, composting and dealing with weather conditions.

It\u2019s available at Tohono Chul Park, Native Seeds/SEARCH, Antigone Books and the Rillito Nursery & Garden Center, 6303 N. La Cholla Blvd.

\u201cSouthwest Foraging,\u201d Timber Press, $25. Forager and herbalist John Slattery owns Desert Tortoise Botanicals. His newly released book shows how to find, gather, prepare and grow 117 edibles in the wild.

Some of the book\u2019s advice also applies to native plants grown around your house.

\u201cThe first step for most people into foraging is learning to use what\u2019s already in their yard,\u201d Slattery says.

In his book, Slattery suggests using your landscape to practice identifying useful plants that you can then find in the wild.

The book\u2019s Southwest definition covers Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, southern Utah and southern Nevada.

Slattery will hold a book signing on Saturday, Dec. 10, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., at Alfonso Gourmet Olive Oils & Balsamics in St. Philip\u2019s Plaza, 4320 N. Campbell Ave. The book also is available at Antigone Books and Native Seeds/SEARCH.

Window paintings, $225-$325. Sandra Montgomery combines her love of gardening and painting in her works, which are mostly of Arizona scenes and garden flowers in permanent acrylic on framed window glass.

\u201cI have a studio of old sash windows I constantly collect for my canvas,\u201d she says.

The paintings can be hung indoors or outdoors under a covered porch or patio.

They are available at Art House Centro in Old Town Artisans, 186 N. Meyer Ave.; Sweet Poppy Boutique, 19 Tubac Road in Tubac; and Harlow Gardens. Montgomery also sells them at art festivals and the Rincon Farmers Market.

Clay hangings, $25-$125. Midtown artist Susan Stokes likes to play with color and texture in her artwork of plants and animals.

She\u2019s sold her pieces, which can be hung in a patio, for 12 years through her company, Horseplay Clay.

Her works are available at Harlow Gardens. She also can be found at art festivals.

Wind chimes, $65-$150. Kimber DeLorenzo walks the washes of Tucson to find broken glass for her colorful wind chimes. She also checks out thrift shops and estate sales for dishware.

While some pieces play with color, shape and texture, DeLorenzo also creates time capsules of sorts. \u201cI like to keep specific periods of glass together, the 1960s, 1940s,\u201d says DeLorenzo, who owns Pieces of the Past.

The chimes are available at Tohono Chul Park and Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way.

Olla spikes, $13. You may have heard about olla balls, unglazed clay orbs that irrigate plants using less water than other irrigation methods.

Tucson company Cutting Edge Ceramics has come out with an olla spike specifically for potted plants. The spike is inserted into the dirt. You fill the container through an opening that\u2019s not covered by soil.

Water seeps through the clay, attracting roots that then grow toward the water source. In essence, the water goes directly to the roots.

In traditional irrigation, water has to make its way through the soil first and eventually to the roots.

Olla spikes are available at EcoGro, 657 W. St. Mary\u2019s Road.

Seed packets, $3-$6. Native Seeds/SEARCH, headquartered in Tucson, packages seeds collected from its conservation farm in Patagonia, among other local sources.

Most of the seeds are of native plants; others are proven to grow well in the Tucson environment.

The seeds are not genetically modified. While the farm is not USDA certified as organic, the plants are grown using organic-growing practices. All the seeds are open-pollinated varieties.

Retail associate Laura Neff says the best veggies to plant from seed right now include I\u2019itoi bunch onion, Magdalena acelgas (a type of chard), San Luis pea and Magdalena cilantro.

The organization also sells wildflower seed mixes ($2) from local sources.

Seeds can be purchased at the organization\u2019s retail store.

Bee habitats, average price is $130. Tucson artist and landscape designer Greg Corman turns found objects into artful habitats.

In his owls series, the bodies are made of scrap lumber or mesquite. \u201cI spend a lot of time in scrap metal places, firewood yards and back alleys looking for materials,\u201d Corman says on his website. \u201cThe hunt is half the fun.\u201d

Corman drills holes on the sides of the wood for solitary native bees to create nests.

His owls and other works are available at Harlow Gardens.

"}, {"id":"49a14634-80ee-5e5c-a9c5-fcb31a3826e4","type":"article","starttime":"1480799820","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-03T14:17:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1481155929","priority":34,"sections":[{"lifestyles":"lifestyles"},{"askrosie":"lifestyles/askrosie"},{"home-and-garden":"lifestyles/home-and-garden"},{"recreation":"lifestyles/recreation"}],"flags":{"web_only":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"It\u2019s too tough for a homeowner to clean out a fireplace chimney","url":"http://tucson.com/lifestyles/article_49a14634-80ee-5e5c-a9c5-fcb31a3826e4.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/lifestyles/it-s-too-tough-for-a-homeowner-to-clean-out/article_49a14634-80ee-5e5c-a9c5-fcb31a3826e4.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/lifestyles/it-s-too-tough-for-a-homeowner-to-clean-out/article_49a14634-80ee-5e5c-a9c5-fcb31a3826e4.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Rosie Romero\nSpecial to the Arizona Daily Star","prologue":"Professionals have important tools you don't.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["oleanders"],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#weekend"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"9ae8f58a-9db8-504b-aaaf-d2e352f99a52","description":"Trying to sweep the chimney yourself can create a sooty mess inside your home.","byline":"Rosie on the House","hireswidth":1662,"hiresheight":1246,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/ae/9ae8f58a-9db8-504b-aaaf-d2e352f99a52/5838ae8a4e977.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"465","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/ae/9ae8f58a-9db8-504b-aaaf-d2e352f99a52/5838ae8a4cbf4.image.jpg?resize=620%2C465"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/ae/9ae8f58a-9db8-504b-aaaf-d2e352f99a52/5838ae8a4cbf4.image.jpg?resize=100%2C75"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"225","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/ae/9ae8f58a-9db8-504b-aaaf-d2e352f99a52/5838ae8a4cbf4.image.jpg?resize=300%2C225"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"768","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/ae/9ae8f58a-9db8-504b-aaaf-d2e352f99a52/5838ae8a4cbf4.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C768"}}}],"revision":8,"commentID":"49a14634-80ee-5e5c-a9c5-fcb31a3826e4","body":"

Each year, thousands of Arizona residents email or call Rosie Romero\u2019s radio show with questions about everything from preventing fires in their chimneys to getting rid of tree roots invading their sewer system. His goal is to provide answers that suit the specific lifestyle wherever someone lives in Arizona.

QUESTION: Where can I buy a chimney sweep brush so I can clean my chimney and fireplace myself?

ANSWER: You can probably call a chimney sweeping company to find out. I don\u2019t think I\u2019ve ever seen one for sale anywhere. But cleaning a chimney is a difficult job if you don\u2019t have all the right equipment. You can end up with a very sooty mess inside your house if you try to make this into a DIY project \u2014especially when you have a wood burning fireplace with heavy creosote buildup on the walls.

Although creosote is not a problem in a gas-burning fireplace, you still want to remove carbon on the walls and floor and clean up the artificial logs for cosmetic reasons. With a gas- or wood-burning fireplace, you also need to have someone check out the chimney on the roof to be sure it\u2019s capped so birds cannot nest inside. The cap also keeps out leaves and debris.

Q: I want to replace a south-facing wooden exterior door that leads to the laundry room in my home. The problem is that the door has problems with swelling depending on what the temperature is like outside. The door does not seem square, and it\u2019s not plumb either. What time of year would be the right time to replace it?

A: Instead of buying a wooden door this time, buy a metal or fiberglass door and use a metal frame. Due to the location of the door, you\u2019ll always have problems if you buy wood. Metal or fiberglass can be painted, and it will be more durable. Any time of the year is OK for replacement.

Q: Can you graft branches of two different kinds of fruit onto a dwarf citrus tree?

A: Yes, that\u2019s possible to do; that\u2019s what people sometimes call a cocktail tree. You can also graft two kinds of apples on an apple tree. But you can\u2019t graft apples on citrus trees, for example, nor can you graft branches of citrus onto apple trees.

Q: Driving through Texas recently on my vacation, I heard lots of radio commercials for some type of extra thick, textured paint that could presumably provide a lifetime rubberized \u201craincoat\u201d as well as extra insulation for the exterior walls of houses. Why don\u2019t we use that kind of paint here in Arizona?

A: Homeowners did try paints with those extra coatings here in Arizona back in the 1960s, and 15 years later, all the homes had to have coatings stripped off again. The coating eventually fails, and then the textured paint sits there and begins to get moldy and musty. These types of paint as well as elastomeric coatings do not work well on homes in the desert. Be very cautious about trying them on your house.

Q: I planted 85 oleanders on a long fence line on my property some months ago. Most of the bushes took off and grew well, but there are a couple of them that aren\u2019t very tall. I\u2019ve checked all the irrigation drippers, and the shorter plants seem to be getting enough water. So what could be the problem?

A: Try treating the short plants with a slow-release fertilizer for a while to see if they grow more quickly. However, things like this often happen when you plant a row of plants. Some might not flower as often as the others or may grow more slowly or may even die. They\u2019re not all going to develop in precisely the same pattern. It could be that you accidentally were sold some dwarf plants or it could be a pocket of hard soil that\u2019s under the short oleanders, or it could be some other problem.

"}, {"id":"ef902023-da30-5f35-9877-4977e03f950d","type":"article","starttime":"1480799280","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-03T14:08:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1480849281","priority":35,"sections":[{"entertainment":"entertainment"},{"arts-and-theatre":"entertainment/arts-and-theatre"},{"lifestyles":"lifestyles"},{"collectibles":"lifestyles/collectibles"},{"home-and-garden":"lifestyles/home-and-garden"},{"recreation":"lifestyles/recreation"}],"flags":{"web_only":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Tiffany Studios dragonfly table lamp sells for more than $500K","url":"http://tucson.com/entertainment/article_ef902023-da30-5f35-9877-4977e03f950d.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/entertainment/tiffany-studios-dragonfly-table-lamp-sells-for-more-than-k/article_ef902023-da30-5f35-9877-4977e03f950d.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/entertainment/tiffany-studios-dragonfly-table-lamp-sells-for-more-than-k/article_ef902023-da30-5f35-9877-4977e03f950d.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Danielle Arnet\nThe Smart Collector","prologue":"\u00a0Long favored by the Japanese as a symbol of transformation, dragonflies were a popular theme during the heyday of Tiffany Studios.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#weekend"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"a38f72e1-8727-5d07-8e8d-8312671fe61a","description":"In the early 1900s, the dragonfly theme, in both table and floor lamps, was a favorite at Tiffany Studios.","byline":"www.juliaauctions.com","hireswidth":1288,"hiresheight":1600,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/38/a38f72e1-8727-5d07-8e8d-8312671fe61a/583e6ea514de2.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"499","height":"620","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/38/a38f72e1-8727-5d07-8e8d-8312671fe61a/583e6ea51321e.image.jpg?resize=499%2C620"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/38/a38f72e1-8727-5d07-8e8d-8312671fe61a/583e6ea51321e.image.jpg?crop=1288%2C724%2C0%2C48&resize=100%2C56&order=crop%2Cresize"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/38/a38f72e1-8727-5d07-8e8d-8312671fe61a/583e6ea51321e.image.jpg?crop=1288%2C724%2C0%2C48&resize=300%2C169&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"576","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/38/a38f72e1-8727-5d07-8e8d-8312671fe61a/583e6ea51321e.image.jpg?crop=1288%2C724%2C0%2C48&resize=1024%2C576&order=crop%2Cresize"}}}],"revision":6,"commentID":"ef902023-da30-5f35-9877-4977e03f950d","body":"

WHAT: When a Tiffany Studios table lamp with a leaded glass shade in a blue dragonfly drop-head design brought $515,475 at a James D. Julia auction in Maine recently, few were surprised. Done in shades of mottled purple, blue, green and brown glass, the lamp features a 22-inch shade and an adjustable bronze base.

MORE: L.C. Tiffany often used nature and Eastern influence in his designs. In the early 1900s, the dragonfly theme was a favorite at Tiffany Studios, where table and floor lamps were made with assorted dragonfly shades on varied bases.

SMART COLLECTORS KNOW: Widely copied since Tiffany Studios set the standard, the dragonfly theme is available to this day in leaded glass shades on table lamps, hanging lamps or floor lamps in a range of skill and taste tailored to every wallet.

HOT TIP: Long favored by the Japanese as a symbol of transformation, dragonflies were a popular theme during the heyday of Tiffany Studios around the turn of the 1900s. Blue shades are just one variety; others were done in yellows/browns, greens, iridescent, or mottled glass.

BOTTOM LINE: Especially fine for traditional reasons, including condition and rarity, the six-socket, signed dragonfly lamp shade features a degree of artistry and hand work that does not exist today. Random glass cabochons in different sizes and shapes plus multi-colored wings set on striated glass and rich patina of the base are just a few examples.

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The moon, Venus, and Mars form a straight line around 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1. Look at the western sky to see the beautiful 2-day-old crescent moon about 15 degrees above the southwestern horizon.

If you are lucky, you can catch fleeting Mercury just 3 degrees above the horizon. To the left (south) of the moon and higher above the horizon is ever-brilliant Venus. Farther to the left of Venus and higher up is red Mars.

Take a look at the western sky starting around 6 p.m. Friday night and this weekend. You will see the 3-day-old moon get close to Venus, and you may be lucky enough to catch Mercury low in the southwest. Sunday night the 5-day-old moon will be 4 degrees to the west (right) of Mars.

A good challenge for the next three nights is to look for Cetus the Sea Monster (or Whale) after the moon has set. Cetus is directly south around 9:30 p.m. It is a large constellation, but dim. I find it one of the most challenging constellations in the sky.

At its western end is Deneb Kaitos, a fairly bright star visible even in light-polluted skies. Cetus also has the wonderful star Mira, a red giant that varies considerably in brightness over many months from being easily visible to requiring a telescope to find, most remarkable indeed.

"}, {"id":"fb1075f5-1c66-5154-96b1-aec5e68911df","type":"article","starttime":"1480196880","starttime_iso8601":"2016-11-26T14:48:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1481154493","priority":45,"sections":[{"weekend":"entertainment/weekend"},{"lifestyles":"lifestyles"},{"gardensage":"lifestyles/gardensage"},{"home-and-garden":"lifestyles/home-and-garden"},{"recreation":"lifestyles/recreation"}],"flags":{"web_only":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Garden Sage: Tree trimming guidelines and really tiny insects","url":"http://tucson.com/entertainment/weekend/article_fb1075f5-1c66-5154-96b1-aec5e68911df.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/entertainment/weekend/garden-sage-tree-trimming-guidelines-and-really-tiny-insects/article_fb1075f5-1c66-5154-96b1-aec5e68911df.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/entertainment/weekend/garden-sage-tree-trimming-guidelines-and-really-tiny-insects/article_fb1075f5-1c66-5154-96b1-aec5e68911df.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Peter L. Warren\nSpecial to the Arizona Daily Star","prologue":"Natural enemies may keep spider mites in check to some extent and so it is sometimes a bad idea to use products that kill all insects and mites. \u00a0","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["citrus","mites","pruning","arborist"],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#garden","#weekend"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"f15e03b9-3c83-56e3-9d1c-27e8174b8325","description":"Flea beetles are so-called because they jump about using their back legs. Some are common pests in vegetable gardens or on ornamental plants.","byline":"Mark Marathon","hireswidth":1159,"hiresheight":869,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/15/f15e03b9-3c83-56e3-9d1c-27e8174b8325/5834d8c365a6d.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"465","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/15/f15e03b9-3c83-56e3-9d1c-27e8174b8325/5834d8c363d0d.image.jpg?resize=620%2C465"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/15/f15e03b9-3c83-56e3-9d1c-27e8174b8325/5834d8c363d0d.image.jpg?crop=1159%2C651%2C0%2C108&resize=100%2C56&order=crop%2Cresize"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/15/f15e03b9-3c83-56e3-9d1c-27e8174b8325/5834d8c363d0d.image.jpg?crop=1159%2C651%2C0%2C108&resize=300%2C169&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"575","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/15/f15e03b9-3c83-56e3-9d1c-27e8174b8325/5834d8c363d0d.image.jpg?crop=1159%2C651%2C0%2C108&resize=1024%2C575&order=crop%2Cresize"}}}],"revision":9,"commentID":"fb1075f5-1c66-5154-96b1-aec5e68911df","body":"

Question: I would like to ask for your help with an ID on this insect, since my resources do not show a good match. My bok choy plants are 4 to 5 inches in height, and small holes on plant leaves started showing over the past several day and now cover most starts. The insect is black, flies, and has a \u201cgolden\u201d light reflection bouncing off its topside.

Answer: The insects are called flea beetles for their habit of jumping about using their back legs. There are multiple species, and some are common pests in vegetable gardens and some feed on ornamental plants. Adults chew small holes in the leaves that after feeding give the appearance of the leaves being hit with buckshot. Their lifecycle takes about six or seven weeks, so they can have multiple generations each year. In the offseason, they live on other plants such as weeds or discarded vegetable material from the previous crop.

Keeping the area free of weeds and removing or composting old vegetables can help reduce the population. Using row covers, especially when the plants are young, will shield them from the beetles somewhat. Diatomaceous earth may be sprinkled on the plants to help manage them.

Question: I have one grapefruit tree and one lemon tree age 25 years and one orange tree aged 6 years. Since the freeze of 2013, I have covered the trees at each and every frost. In 2014, the grapefruit yield was about 120, the lemons only 10 or 12 and the orange zero. In 2015, the grapefruit was greater, about 150, the lemon 100 and the orange three. In 2016, the grapefruit yield was 150, the lemon 150-200 (large sized) and the orange seven. This fall, the yield looks poor; grapefruit 25, lemon 100 (small) and no oranges. The trees are healthy, with good new growth. I water and fertilize regularly. Why the low yield? Also, when is the best time to prune the trees?

Answer: From your description, everything should be fine, so I am interested to know your irrigation and fertilization schedule and amounts in case they might be tweaked to help improve performance. The recommendation for watering is every seven to 10 days in the summer to a depth of 36 inches. In the spring and fall, watering should be done every 10 to 14 days and in the winter, every 14 to 21 days. Fertilization is recommended three times per year. The amount of fertilizer is based on the tree size and age, and the timing varies slightly based on the type of citrus. I recommend the publication that describes this because a graph is sometimes worth 1,000 words and I don\u2019t have that much space. Google AZ1671 \u201cCitrus Fertilization Chart for Arizona.\u201d In the latest analysis, the oranges and grapefruits are fertilized on a different schedule from the lemons and limes, as you will see from the publication. In general, pruning is something that isn\u2019t recommended for citrus trees unless there are dead, damaged or structurally unsound branches. In those cases, you can prune anytime the saw is sharp.

Question: My tree is in need of a professional trimming. I wonder if you could recommend an arborist or company that could do this. It is a wonderful tree.

Answer: I can\u2019t recommend one company over another because I am supposed to be unbiased. You might want to check with friends and neighbors to see if they can recommend someone they used previously with good results. What I can do is recommend you seek someone that is certified by the International Society of Arboriculture for tree work.

This organization requires a certain amount of training and passing an exam to be certified. They have a place on their website where you can search for arborists in your area by zip code. The web site is: www.isa-arbor.com/findanarborist/arboristsearch.aspx

Question: I have a bougainvillea that\u2019s been growing in my big south-facing window for 45 years. Occasionally, it gets aphids and more recently red spider mites.

Though I have used a systemic on occasion, my usual solution to pests has been to get rid of all the leaves and prune back the spindly limbs so they have nothing to eat. I\u2019ve done this twice in the past six months, but the spider mites seem to persist. The nursery lady told me that root systemic poisons do not work on spider mites, but recommended Bayer Advanced Insect, Disease and Mite Control, which I applied as soon as the plant began to leaf out again. Although I have yet to see a mite, I see the little webs, so I know they\u2019re lurking. Any thought on how to get rid of these guys?

Answer: Mites are microscopic and especially hard to see when they are young. You can manually wipe off the webbing, and that will help reduce the population. Natural enemies may keep spider mites in check to some extent, and so it is sometimes a bad idea to use broad-spectrum products that kill all insects and mites. It is better to use something labeled specifically as a miticide. Mites may also be managed a bit with water. They do best in very dry conditions and simply spraying the leaves with a hose periodically can help reduce their numbers. Be careful not to overdo the water, since bougainvilleas don\u2019t respond well to overwatering.

Keeping the plants in good health is important, and removing all the leaves is contrary to that idea. The mites might also feed on the spindly limbs. Don\u2019t overdo the fertilizer as it makes the plants more attractive to the mites.

"}, {"id":"d7b5238c-907a-5e97-9c78-ade39409dd70","type":"article","starttime":"1480195380","starttime_iso8601":"2016-11-26T14:23:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1480244569","priority":25,"sections":[{"collectibles":"lifestyles/collectibles"}],"flags":{"web_only":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Rare snuff box brings more than $62K at Heritage Auctions","url":"http://tucson.com/lifestyles/collectibles/article_d7b5238c-907a-5e97-9c78-ade39409dd70.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/lifestyles/collectibles/rare-snuff-box-brings-more-than-k-at-heritage-auctions/article_d7b5238c-907a-5e97-9c78-ade39409dd70.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/lifestyles/collectibles/rare-snuff-box-brings-more-than-k-at-heritage-auctions/article_d7b5238c-907a-5e97-9c78-ade39409dd70.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Danielle Arnet\nThe Smart Collector","prologue":"Watch fanciers do love gears, cogs, widgets and things with moving parts.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#weekend"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"28639fe7-16f3-5024-82aa-60108b31d2c3","description":"The circa-1800 gold and enamel snuff box was included in a $1.3 million sale of watches and fine timepieces.","byline":"Heritage Auctions","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"86","height":"100","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/86/28639fe7-16f3-5024-82aa-60108b31d2c3/5834fb6d1240f.image.jpg?resize=86%2C100"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/86/28639fe7-16f3-5024-82aa-60108b31d2c3/5834fb6d1240f.image.jpg?crop=86%2C48%2C0%2C48"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"167","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/86/28639fe7-16f3-5024-82aa-60108b31d2c3/5834fb6d1240f.image.jpg?crop=86%2C48%2C0%2C48"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"572","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/86/28639fe7-16f3-5024-82aa-60108b31d2c3/5834fb6d1240f.image.jpg?crop=86%2C48%2C0%2C48"}}}],"revision":6,"commentID":"d7b5238c-907a-5e97-9c78-ade39409dd70","body":"

WHAT: A three-compartment snuff box, circa 1800, with concealed automaton and a timepiece, sold for $62,500 at Heritage Auctions in New York recently. Attributed to watchmakers Piguet & Capt, the rectangular box measures just over 3 inches by about 1.4 inches. Despite the mini-size, the enameled box features movement. When the lid is lifted, multicolor gold figures in the left compartment move and a windmill rotates. At the right, there is a timepiece that flips forward.

MORE: Hand-painted enamels in vibrant colors show floral vases at the tops of the side panels, a central scene with a boy fishing accompanied by several young women, baskets with flowers and leaves on the corners, and decorative paneling plus borders.

SMART COLLECTORS KNOW: Snuff boxes are popular with collectors because they can be found in wide variety and are easy to display. Those made of precious metals, of unusual materials, or with gems are small works of art. And they are priced accordingly.

HOT TIP: The box was included in a $1.3 million sale of watches and fine timepieces. Though its primary function is not for marking time, it is an automaton with a timepiece. Watch fanciers do love gears, cogs, widgets and things with moving parts.

BOTTOM LINE: In every way \u2014 prestige maker, age, aesthetics, workmanship, complexity of features, rarity and desirability \u2014 this snuff box is a 10.

"}, {"id":"687718ad-8178-53e8-a311-b65027379926","type":"article","starttime":"1480194000","starttime_iso8601":"2016-11-26T14:00:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1480244575","priority":35,"sections":[{"lifestyles":"lifestyles"},{"askrosie":"lifestyles/askrosie"},{"home-and-garden":"lifestyles/home-and-garden"}],"flags":{"web_only":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Rosie in the House: Blowing insulation in will work better than rolling","url":"http://tucson.com/lifestyles/article_687718ad-8178-53e8-a311-b65027379926.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/lifestyles/rosie-in-the-house-blowing-insulation-in-will-work-better/article_687718ad-8178-53e8-a311-b65027379926.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/lifestyles/rosie-in-the-house-blowing-insulation-in-will-work-better/article_687718ad-8178-53e8-a311-b65027379926.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Rosie Romero\nSpecial to the Arizona Daily Star","prologue":"Blown-in insulation instead is a lot easier to do and easier to get it right.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#weekend"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"9ae451a3-e711-55b7-ad4d-64d49bb672bf","description":"Blowing insulation into an attic will give better protection, with fewer missed areas.","byline":"Certainteed","hireswidth":1145,"hiresheight":1809,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/ae/9ae451a3-e711-55b7-ad4d-64d49bb672bf/5834c6ec88406.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"392","height":"620","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/ae/9ae451a3-e711-55b7-ad4d-64d49bb672bf/5834c6ec86517.image.jpg?resize=392%2C620"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/ae/9ae451a3-e711-55b7-ad4d-64d49bb672bf/5834c6ec86517.image.jpg?crop=1145%2C644%2C0%2C395&resize=100%2C56&order=crop%2Cresize"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/ae/9ae451a3-e711-55b7-ad4d-64d49bb672bf/5834c6ec86517.image.jpg?crop=1145%2C644%2C0%2C395&resize=300%2C169&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"576","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/ae/9ae451a3-e711-55b7-ad4d-64d49bb672bf/5834c6ec86517.image.jpg?crop=1145%2C644%2C0%2C395&resize=1024%2C576&order=crop%2Cresize"}}}],"revision":10,"commentID":"687718ad-8178-53e8-a311-b65027379926","body":"

Each year, thousands of Arizona residents email or call Rosie Romero\u2019s radio show with questions about everything from preventing fires in their chimneys to getting rid of tree roots invading their sewer system. His goal is to provide answers that suit the specific lifestyle wherever someone lives in Arizona.

QUESTION: I have a 40-year-old house which has insulation that now needs replacing. I would like to do it myself, and I\u2019m thinking about buying batts of insulation that you can roll out. I want to know more about how to put it into my attic.

ANSWER: I\u2019d like to encourage you to go with blown-in insulation instead. It\u2019s a lot easier to do and it\u2019s also easier to get it right. With blown-in insulation, you simply rent a blowing machine and spray it in. Just be sure not to block any of the vents. If you make a mistake with rolled out insulation, it can greatly reduce the efficiency of the product. With blown-in insulation you will achieve a much better blanket of protection, eliminating voids and missed areas.

Q: I have a mesquite tree that I planted as a sapling about a year ago. It has grown well, but the trunk is covered with too many branches so it doesn\u2019t look like a real trunk. As the tree grows, the bottom branches are still there. Can I prune off some of them?

A: Yes, you can prune them, but only take off a few of the lower limbs. You don\u2019t want to take off too many or you might expose the trunk to too much sun, and that wouldn\u2019t be good for the tree.

Q: What does it mean when a house is built with rammed earth walls?

A: Typically, when using rammed-earth construction, forms are built that are one-foot thick and then filled with a mixture of gravel, sand, silt and clay. You will end up with finished walls that resemble those built by Native Americans in the Southwest. One advantage of this building style is that the temperature inside the walls is naturally considerably cooler than the air outside the house.

Q: Our laundry room, which is about 5 feet by 6 feet, is always the coolest room in the whole house during the summer. I was wondering if I can solve this problem and get more air conditioning into the rest of the house by closing off the vent in that room?

A: If you completely close the laundry room vent, you will restrict air flow into the duct system and the air conditioner will ramp up to try to send more air than ever into the laundry room. You probably need to have an AC technician look at your system and install a balancing damper in your ductwork at the spot where a duct splits off to go into the laundry room. That way you can divert the air flow to the rest of the house.

Q: My husband and I have been debating whether we need to clean our air ducts? You see a lot of offers in the mail for discounts on this service. Can it reduce the amount of dust inside your house?

A: There are a lot of cleaning companies of various kinds that will do your ducts for under $100. All they do is open up your registers and vacuum out some dust. But for an effective duct cleaning, you need to hire a qualified air conditioning installer. AC companies will remove the registers and air intakes and clean the ducts, but will also get into the air-handling cabinet where the coil is located as well. They clean the coil and treat it for bacteria and dry it out. Then you need to start using the right kind of air filter in your air intakes. A one-inch paper filter is best. Of course, the price can be considerably higher to do all this.

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WHAT: An album of presidential autographs, plus signatures from Civil War and military figures, brought $60,000 in an autographs sale at Swann Galleries. Rarity lay in the sheer number of signatures, provenance and condition of the aggregate, which consisted of Abraham Lincoln and almost all his Cabinet, and included Ulysses S. Grant and David Farragut and many other high-ranking officers of the Army and Navy.

MORE: The small album with (usually) two to three signatures per page was originally bought in 1954 from Goodspeed\u2019s Book Shop in Boston. The buyer was president of the Manuscript Society, an organization of antiquarian book sellers and collectors. Selling selected books, prints, maps and autographs, Goodspeed opened in Boston in 1898. The buyer then began collecting presidential signatures beginning with Herbert Hoover.

The album stayed in the family, with descendants following through to Barack Obama.

SMART COLLECTORS KNOW: From the original buyer to where it was bought, to one-family ownership, everything is on point and germane to the genre of merchandise. Perfect provenance.

HOT TIP: As smart collectors, family custodians of the album were careful to keep letters and documentation from presidential secretaries acknowledging receipt of the album, plus a photo of Obama adding his John Hancock. More provenance.

BOTTOM LINE: Know that autographs and signed manuscripts are different collecting areas. Personal anecdotes and new revelations from a seminal figure tied to history are dynamic and sell high. As an example, a signed letter by Woodrow Wilson to a known colleague where he opens up with (possible) doubts over the League of Nations and personal frustration with individuals in the Senate would have impact. Signatures alone are static.

"}, {"id":"bac1c2e6-4fcc-5e7d-90c9-8e4dabdd2a58","type":"article","starttime":"1479590280","starttime_iso8601":"2016-11-19T14:18:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1479909183","priority":35,"sections":[{"lifestyles":"lifestyles"},{"travel":"travel"}],"flags":{"web_only":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Charged extra for a GPS, after Payless said it wouldn't!","url":"http://tucson.com/lifestyles/article_bac1c2e6-4fcc-5e7d-90c9-8e4dabdd2a58.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/lifestyles/charged-extra-for-a-gps-after-payless-said-it-wouldn/article_bac1c2e6-4fcc-5e7d-90c9-8e4dabdd2a58.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/lifestyles/charged-extra-for-a-gps-after-payless-said-it-wouldn/article_bac1c2e6-4fcc-5e7d-90c9-8e4dabdd2a58.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Christopher Elliott \nThe Travel Troubleshooter","prologue":"This case has an unusual resolution.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["payless rental","travel","gps"],"internalKeywords":["#weekend","#latest"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"4f1ee5cd-e392-50f8-831d-f75127edfb32","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"516","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/f1/4f1ee5cd-e392-50f8-831d-f75127edfb32/57ffaa99bdbd1.image.jpg?resize=620%2C516"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"83","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/f1/4f1ee5cd-e392-50f8-831d-f75127edfb32/540f464cdf717.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"250","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/f1/4f1ee5cd-e392-50f8-831d-f75127edfb32/540f464ce08df.preview-300.jpg"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"852","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/f1/4f1ee5cd-e392-50f8-831d-f75127edfb32/53ce9f1cd13a2.preview-1024.jpg"}}}],"revision":8,"commentID":"bac1c2e6-4fcc-5e7d-90c9-8e4dabdd2a58","body":"

Q: I recently rented a car through Payless Car Rental. When I arrived, there was a long line. I noticed that people were leaving unhappy, but I decided to stay positive.

I needed a navigation system for my trip, but the price to rent one, $11 a day, was almost the same amount as what I paid for the car rental. I told the employee at the desk that I couldn\u2019t afford a GPS, but needed one.

A manager was called, and I explained my concern \u2014 that I needed a GPS. He agreed to give it to me at no additional charge. I did not agree to pay extra for it in the contract that I signed. Payless gave me a receipt, too.

Before I left, I asked again, \u201cAm I going to be charged for this?\u201d I was told \u201cno.\u201d Then, I asked a third time. A manager said: \u201cDon\u2019t worry, everything is taken care of. You are not going to be charged.\u201d

My credit card has been charged.

I\u2019ve called multiple times to ask why I\u2019ve been charged. The company opened a case, and the final answer is: no refund. I would like my $187 back, please. \u2014 Mihaela Sturm, Grand Marais, Minnesota

A: If Payless told you that you didn\u2019t have to pay for your GPS, then you shouldn\u2019t have paid for your GPS.

But before we get to your navigation system, let\u2019s talk about pricing. Your rental car was a bargain, at less than $10 a day. The GPS, at $11 a day, was not a deal. Payless has embraced an airline pricing model, where it offers an attractive \u201cbase\u201d price and then adds on fees that can make your rental more expensive than a full-service car-rental agency\u2019s vehicle.

I\u2019m not a fan of that kind of pricing because it gives you the impression that the car is cheap, when often it is not. If you want to do something like fill the tank with gas or add a car seat, you\u2019re suddenly paying twice as much for your wheels. Tricky, isn\u2019t it?

Now, some people claim that this is the free market at its finest \u2014 that you have a choice when it comes to bringing your own GPS or renting a toll transponder. If you bring your own, you can save money, and the car-rental company gets to advertise a really low, and bookable, rate. But look at your situation: You needed a navigation system, and Payless made you pay more for it \u2014 a lot more.

Making matters even worse: A representative told you that you wouldn\u2019t get charged for the GPS. Then Payless charged you. Come on!

To avoid something like this, you should always get the offer in writing. I asked for your paper trail, and you showed me a receipt that said you wouldn\u2019t be charged for a GPS. That\u2019s a slam-dunk case if I\u2019ve ever seen one. A brief, polite appeal to one of the executives at Payless would have done the trick if the company didn\u2019t agree to what it had already agreed to both in writing and verbally. I list their names, numbers and email addresses on my advocacy site: elliott.org/company-contacts/payless-car-rental

This case has an unusual resolution. I asked you if I could review the correspondence between you and Payless. You said you hadn\u2019t yet emailed the company, so then you did. Payless agreed to refund the $187 minus a hefty $50 cancellation fee. Although I felt that the fee was high and was willing to ask Payless to waive the charge, you indicated that you were happy to get some of the money back and decided to let it go.

I\u2019m happy that Payless finally kept its word \u2014 more or less.

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Question: Grasses? They are awful. What\u2019s wrong with these landscape architects and their lack of concern for the desert and their poor plant material choices and layouts?

Answer: There are some native grasses that are fine for the desert and our landscapes. Extensive research has been and continues to be done to determine the best plants for our region. We even have a research operation in Tucson. It is called the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service Tucson Plant Materials Center.

You can schedule a tour if you are interested to learn more about grasses that are appropriate for our region. Google AZPMC if you want to learn more .

There are, however, other species that are invasive and should not be planted here. In some cases, these problems are self-inflicted because humans failed to see the downside to species that were once thought to be a great solution to erosion or nutrition for livestock . I like to think that nowadays we are much more careful about planting grasses that can reseed and become invasive.

Unfortunately, this only works if we are aware of the potential problems. Some grass species that are marketed as sterile are not 100 percent so and unfortunately they are popular landscape plants. I wouldn\u2019t blame the landscape architects for all these troubles. Many of them are schooled in proper plant selection through their degrees and their experience. Part of the blame can be spread to consumers who buy the plants and nurseries that sell them.

In the end, it is something we all need to educate ourselves about when considering which plants to use no matter where we live.

Question: I just moved to Arizona from Wisconsin. Is there any indication when the drought might end or is this long-term condition due to climate change? And if it doesn\u2019t improve, what will be the impact for places like Tucson?

Answer: The drought we are experiencing has reportedly been going on for more than 20 years with no end in sight. Climate scientists predict it will likely get worse. The big challenge in the Southwest has always been a shortage of water. Even the earliest explorers thought the region was not a great place to build towns and cities, but we humans are sometimes determined to find a way. There are many articles and books on this subject, so there is no shortage of information if you\u2019re interested in learning more.

\u201cCadillac Desert\u201d by Marc Reisner is one of the classic books on this topic. Something more current would be the CLIMAS website at the University of Arizona, climas.arizona.edu, that assesses climate in the Southwest and includes research findings, blogs, and podcasts on many aspects of climate.

Question: Please tell me when I can transplant two small agaves that I raised from the little ones off a large plant. I was thinking of doing it now that it has cooled off, but I thought it would be better to get your advice.

Answer: Agaves are easily propagated from the offsets, aka pups, or little ones as you called them. Now is a fine time to plant them. If you removed them from the parent plant by cutting the stolons (the underground branches by which they are attached), it\u2019s a good idea to let them dry for a few days to form a callus on the cut end. Agaves do best in well-drained soil such as a mix sold for cacti and succulents. You can simply push them into the soil, although they might get a better start if you put them in a container in a shady area until they establish roots.

The root establishment can take up to four weeks. Once rooted, they will start growing and then you can apply a soluble fertilizer, but only once or twice per year. Watering should be done as often as the container dries out. It\u2019s not great for them to stay wet all the time, so allow the soil to dry between watering. If you eventually transplant them into the ground, watering should be done less frequently. In the summer, water every 10 to 14 days unless there was rain. In the spring and fall, every three to four weeks and none in the winter.

Question: We have several acacia trees that are about 12 years old. Our landscaper had described them as sweetgum acacia, but I am not sure if that is really what we have. They have grown up from an initial height of 5 feet to 15, but they are not looking healthy. Especially over the last five years, the leaves have gotten very sparse and they are often covered with small, white insects. Some of the branches have died and have no leaves at all. Our landscaper has repeatedly sprayed them with pesticide, but the white insects always return. These trees are irrigated with a drip system. Other neighbors all across Oro Valley seem to have the same problem . Also on our property we have other native acacias, which we did not plant and they are doing fine. They have the small orange-yellow colored balls and they have never been sprayed and they are not even irrigated. Should I just give up on these trees and replace them with mesquites, which seem to do fine here, or do you have other solutions for us?

Answer: It would be helpful to see the insects up close to be sure of the problem. Please let me know if you can bring a sample of infested leaves to my office or if I may stop by your trees and see them in person.

One likely possibility is that sweet acacias (Vachellia farnesiana) are occasionally infested with insects called whiteflies. They are very small white insects in their adult form. As immature insects they are wingless, darker in color and suck sap from the leaves, sometimes causing the tree to drop leaves prematurely. Repeated infestations can be hard on the tree, but in many cases the infestation is not severe and natural enemies reduce the population to tolerable levels. In recent years these whiteflies seem to be more common in the Tucson area, probably due to warmer weather.

Whiteflies in general have been a sporadic problem at our elevation, whereas in lower and warmer areas such as Pinal and Maricopa counties, they are a regular occurrence. I would be interested to know which insecticide your landscaper is using. There might be other options for pest management. I wouldn\u2019t recommend giving up on your trees yet.

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Thursday is Thanksgiving, a day we set aside to be thankful for family, friends, and the countless benefits of living in our great nation. Every year at this time, I give thanks for Tucson being the astronomy capital of the world and for our relatively dark city skies compared to most urban centers.

The moon is absent in the evening sky Thursday. The sun sets at 5:19 p.m., and astronomical twilight ends at 6:45 p.m. Do your best not to overeat at your Thanksgiving dinner so you have the energy to enjoy the early evening sky.

In the bright evening twilight around 5:30 p.m., try to find Mercury and Saturn very low on the southwest horizon. They will be difficult to see, and you may need binoculars to find them. However, brilliant Venus should be easy to spot in the darkening twilight about 20 degrees above the southwestern horizon. Higher up from the horizon and little beyond being directly south is red Mars.

By 8 p.m. it will be completely dark, and Cassiopeia the Queen will be nearly as high above the northern horizon as she gets. Cassiopeia looks like a chair or stretched W or M depending on its orientation in the sky. Looking directly east at this time, you will also be rewarded with bright, beautiful Orion the Hunter rising along the horizon.

The night sky is always free and something for which we should be thankful.

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Deb Montoya has been spending the last few weeks getting her spare room ready for winter guests: her nearly one dozen potted adeniums.

She\u2019s not alone. For some gardeners, one of their autumn tasks is to move their cold-sensitive plants from outdoor spaces to the warmer climate in their homes.

Jorga Riggenbach does it with her kumquat trees, among other plants. Janice Marie Ward protects her prized plumeria this way.

WINTER RETREAT

Montoya, a Marana artist, brings her adeniums, also called desert roses, into the house to protect her collection.

\u201cI keep an eye on the weather,\u201d Montoya says. \u201cIf it\u2019s consistently 50 at night and we get a threat of rain, I\u2019ll bring them in. The greatest danger (to the plant) is that it\u2019s too wet and too cold because the root will rot.\u201d

Before the move, Montoya prepares her south-facing spare room that is used as a library and display space for collectibles.

Montoya puts plastic on the floor to catch the leaves that will fall as the plants go dormant.

She moves in stands for the smaller pots and a trunk, which is reserved for the 4-foot-tall specimen. She uses a wheelbarrow to haul that one into the house.

The others are in small pots and shallow soil to keep them light enough to carry into the house.

The plants need only minimal water in their dormant stage. There\u2019s little fuss. \u201cI just close the door and that\u2019s their room,\u201d Montoya says.

In spring, the plants go back out when the nighttime temperature is consistently 45 degrees. Montoya keeps them in the shade for a few days as they get used to their summer digs.

SHELTERED INVESTMENT

Ward has grown plumerias in Tucson for 15 years, bringing a bit of her former home of Hawaii to the desert.

But winters are not kind to the tropical plant and they need protection, she\u2019s discovered.

\u201cMy last one was gorgeous and huge. I lost it in the freeze of 2011,\u201d she says. \u201cI\u2019m not taking any more chances.\u201d

When the night temperatures fall below 50 degrees, she wheels the 4-foot plant, which sits on a three-wheeled platform, into the house. It stays next to the sunny sliding-glass door in the couple\u2019s bedroom until the weather warms in the spring.

Ward waits as long as possible for the move so that as many leaves as possible fall off outside as the plumeria goes dormant.

She also lets the soil dry out to make the pot lighter and easier to wheel around. Once inside, she lightly waters it through the winter.

\u201cI don\u2019t have to pamper it once it gets inside in the winter,\u201d she says.

In spring, the plant gets deeply watered once it\u2019s back outside to its shaded patio spot.

Ward says makes this seasonal effort \u201cbecause it\u2019s an expensive plant to lose and then have to buy again.\u201d

INDOOR GARDEN

Riggenbach lives in the Tanque Verde area, where temperatures can get 10 degrees colder than in midtown.

She opts to wheel her two 7-foot-tall nagami kumquat trees into her breakfast nook because it\u2019s easier than trying to cover them every time a freeze warning is issued.

She goes into action \u201cusually when the weatherman says, \u2018Cover your plants, we\u2019re going to have a freeze,\u2019\u201d she says.

The plastic-potted plants already are on wheeled platforms and spend most of the year in full sun against one side of the house.

\u201cI take them out in the open and wash them out,\u201d she says, in order to knock off bugs and dust.

She puts a ramp to the patio door and pushes the plants into the breakfast nook. She covers the top of the pot with hardware cloth to keep the cats out of the soil. She waters as usual, using pie plates to capture water under the pots.

When the mesquite trees start leafing out in the spring, a traditional sign the frost and freeze threats are over, the plants go back out.

While indoors, the kumquat fruit that were green outside ripen to their bright orange. \u201cI eat them directly off the tree,\u201d she says.

\u201cThey are small and fabulous and so good, so it\u2019s worth the effort.\u201d

"}, {"id":"f01dec39-26e0-56c8-a707-453283950759","type":"article","starttime":"1479157200","starttime_iso8601":"2016-11-14T14:00:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1481240225","priority":35,"sections":[{"entertainment":"entertainment"},{"arts-and-theatre":"entertainment/arts-and-theatre"},{"collectibles":"lifestyles/collectibles"},{"travel":"travel"}],"flags":{"web_only":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Howard Chandler Christy original artwork exceeds presale auction estimate","url":"http://tucson.com/entertainment/article_f01dec39-26e0-56c8-a707-453283950759.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/entertainment/howard-chandler-christy-original-artwork-exceeds-presale-auction-estimate/article_f01dec39-26e0-56c8-a707-453283950759.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/entertainment/howard-chandler-christy-original-artwork-exceeds-presale-auction-estimate/article_f01dec39-26e0-56c8-a707-453283950759.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Danielle Arnet \nThe Smart Collector","prologue":"In 1941, Ohio-born artist Howard Chandler Christy created an image for a billboard poster titled, \"I Am an American!\" It fetched a record price.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["howard chandler christy","auction","fiorello la guardia","art","presale","estimate","poster"],"internalKeywords":["#weekend","#latest"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"c09f9440-b4c0-5bf1-87eb-ec10916c1467","description":"Created in 1941, for a billboard poster, this original artwork by Howard Chandler Christy sold for $40,000 earlier this year at Swann Galleries in New York City.","byline":"Swann Galleries","hireswidth":1261,"hiresheight":1642,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/09/c09f9440-b4c0-5bf1-87eb-ec10916c1467/58239a0e04e0f.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"476","height":"620","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/09/c09f9440-b4c0-5bf1-87eb-ec10916c1467/58239a0e030cb.image.jpg?resize=476%2C620"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"130","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/09/c09f9440-b4c0-5bf1-87eb-ec10916c1467/58239a0e030cb.image.jpg?resize=100%2C130"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"391","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/09/c09f9440-b4c0-5bf1-87eb-ec10916c1467/58239a0e030cb.image.jpg?resize=300%2C391"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1333","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/09/c09f9440-b4c0-5bf1-87eb-ec10916c1467/58239a0e030cb.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1333"}}}],"revision":8,"commentID":"f01dec39-26e0-56c8-a707-453283950759","body":"

WHAT: In 1941, using charcoal and pastel on art board, Ohio-born artist Howard Chandler Christy created an image for a billboard poster titled, \u201cI Am an American!\u201d The original sold for $40,000 early this year at Swann Galleries in New York. The result was an auction record for a drawing by Christy.

Known as creator of the \u201cChristy Girl,\u201d the artist followed the Gibson Girl era in idealizing young American women. Unlike Charles Dana Gibson, Christy often put his women to work, especially in promoting World War II efforts.

MORE: The art was presented to a New York junior high school during a ceremony in Central Park, and Billboard-size posters of the image were unveiled by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia in Times Square in 1942 to publicize the Central Park celebrations. Both the artist and his model were present for the Times Square event.

The female figure is \u201cColumbia,\u201d based on a frequent model for Christy, Elise Ford. She wears a laurel wreath and holds a volume of Constitutional law.

SMART COLLECTORS KNOW: Done to honor naturalized citizens, the art was created for \u201cI Am an American\u201d day. Congress later renamed the holiday as \u201cConstitution and Citizenship Day.\u201d

HOT TIP: Measuring 54 inches by 42 inches, the work was signed by Christy and inscribed \u201cTo the SPIRIT OF AMERICA.\u201d

BOTTOM LINE: Following the recent bruising election, we hope the art and its story will soothe ragged spirits.

"}, {"id":"a58c4e04-d1bc-57a0-a69b-cb6902a904b5","type":"article","starttime":"1478986500","starttime_iso8601":"2016-11-12T14:35:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1481155929","priority":25,"sections":[{"lifestyles":"lifestyles"},{"askrosie":"lifestyles/askrosie"},{"home-and-garden":"lifestyles/home-and-garden"}],"flags":{"web_only":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"What\u2019s Wrong With My Tankless Hot Water Heater?","url":"http://tucson.com/lifestyles/article_a58c4e04-d1bc-57a0-a69b-cb6902a904b5.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/lifestyles/what-s-wrong-with-my-tankless-hot-water-heater/article_a58c4e04-d1bc-57a0-a69b-cb6902a904b5.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/lifestyles/what-s-wrong-with-my-tankless-hot-water-heater/article_a58c4e04-d1bc-57a0-a69b-cb6902a904b5.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Rosie Romero\nSpecial to the Arizona Daily Star","prologue":"Each year, thousands of Arizona residents email or call Rosie Romero\u2019s radio show with questions about everything from preventing fires in their chimneys to getting rid of tree roots invading their sewer system. His goal is to provide answers that suit the specific lifestyle wherever someone lives in Arizona.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["lemon tree","termite","fig","equipment","tree","water softener","root"],"internalKeywords":["#weekend","#latest"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"25894ebe-9289-5e81-9712-8035d05b149f","description":"An effective tankless hot water heater requires a water softener to prevent calcium buildup.","byline":"Christian Nasca/IStock photo","hireswidth":1131,"hiresheight":1697,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/58/25894ebe-9289-5e81-9712-8035d05b149f/582391601362d.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"413","height":"620","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/58/25894ebe-9289-5e81-9712-8035d05b149f/582391600aa8a.image.jpg?resize=413%2C620"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"150","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/58/25894ebe-9289-5e81-9712-8035d05b149f/582391600aa8a.image.jpg?resize=100%2C150"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"450","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/58/25894ebe-9289-5e81-9712-8035d05b149f/582391600aa8a.image.jpg?resize=300%2C450"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1536","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/58/25894ebe-9289-5e81-9712-8035d05b149f/582391600aa8a.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1536"}}}],"revision":9,"commentID":"a58c4e04-d1bc-57a0-a69b-cb6902a904b5","body":"

Each year, thousands of Arizona residents email or call Rosie Romero\u2019s radio show with questions about everything from preventing fires in their chimneys to getting rid of tree roots invading their sewer system. His goal is to provide answers that suit the specific lifestyle wherever someone lives in Arizona.

QUESTION: I bought a home built in 2007 that already had a tankless water heater \u2013 the kind that is supposed to produce hot water instantly. But when you turn on the faucet, the hot water runs for five to 10 seconds, then the water gets cold, and then switches back. What\u2019s wrong? Does my system need servicing of some kind? I do not have a water softener system, by the way.

ANSWER: Tankless systems can produce heated water quickly on demand. But this flash heating process has a tendency to produce mineral deposits that clog the internal equipment in the tankless system. This kind of damage can be particularly bad in Arizona where we have very hard water with lots of minerals in it. To prevent calcium buildup in your system, you must have a water softener. You will probably need to install one if you continue using a tankless system. You probably should call a plumber to look at your device to see if it\u2019s operating properly.

Q: I have worked hard to get rid of standing water and eliminate mosquitoes in my yard, but I have a neighbor who overwaters and as a result there are still mosquitoes living in the foliage of my plants. What can I do about that?

A: You\u2019re going to have to treat the foliage of the plants in your yard with chemicals to kill the mosquitoes. There are products you can use to do the job without damaging your plants.

Q: I have some oil or grease stains on a few of the pavers on my patio. Do you have any suggestions for how I can clean them?

A: I\u2019ve found that Prosoco Consolideck Oil and Grease Stain Remover can be effective in removing most stains from concrete and pavers. It\u2019s a poultice based product that you pour out onto the stain and let it sit there. When it dries and turns to power, it can be brushed off or sprayed with a pressure washer. If you\u2019re not satisfied with initial results, you can apply it again to a dry surface.

Q: I have a three-year-old fig in my yard that is growing well, but the figs only get to about the size of a quarter and then they dry up and fall off. What should I do?

A. Watering is the first thing to improve on. Make sure your tree is getting enough deep watering. A lot of people do it daily, particularly when it\u2019s hot in summer, but watering for 10 minutes a day on a drip system is not enough. Figs need heavy, deep watering. During the summer, soak the tree well twice a week in the summer and then let it dry; water it deeply once a week right now. Figs can do very well in the desert, however.

Q: I had a large lemon tree in my yard that produced hundreds of lemons over the years, but it slowly died. When I took it out, I found I had termites in the trunk of the tree, but there were none in the roots. Can I replant a new lemon tree in that same area?

A: The termites were probably feeding on the dead wood in the tree; they don\u2019t feed on live tissue. So replanting in the same spot should not be a problem. Remember, of course, that even if you buy a very large replacement tree, it will still take time for the lemon to get acclimated to your yard and begin producing lots of lemons again.

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Q: I recently was scheduled to fly from Washington to Chicago on American Airlines. The night before my Friday flight, I went online to check in and noticed that my flight had been canceled. During the next five hours, I tried repeatedly to get hold of customer service, and finally was told that the flight had been canceled because of bad weather, and so I would need to pay for the extra night\u2019s stay at a hotel and any other expenses.

American rebooked me one day later on a Saturday flight. Imagine my surprise Friday afternoon when I started receiving notices from Google calendar that the original flight was delayed (since it was still on my calendar). I called American and was told that the flight had been reinstated.

At this point, it was too late for me to make it to the airport to try to make that flight. I wrote to customer service and requested that American give me a $500 travel voucher to cover my time and additional expenses, including my $193 hotel bill for the extra night. American said it would provide no compensation. Can you help? \u2014 Dale Reed, Chicago

A: This is a curious case. If American Airlines canceled your flight because of the weather, then it owes you nothing. It is, in legal-speak, an \u201cact of God\u201d outside the company\u2019s control. If, however, the flight was canceled for operational reasons \u2014 what\u2019s referred to as a \u201cmechanical\u201d delay\u2014 then it does indeed have to provide for an overnight hotel stay and meal vouchers.

Details can be found at American\u2019s contract of carriage: www.aa.com/i18n/customer-service/support/conditions-of-carriage.jsp .

Technically, American is both right and wrong at the same time. Right, in the sense that it owes you nothing for a weather-related cancellation. But wrong, in the sense that it has completely let itself off the hook.

I wouldn\u2019t necessarily blame American for failing to rebook you. Airline reservation systems can automatically rebook you on a reinstated flight, but you\u2019d already made plans to fly the next day, so it wouldn\u2019t have recognized your reservation as one that needed to be rebooked.

\u201cIn the unlikely chance we do reinstate a flight, we do try to contact the traveler to let [him or her] know about the change,\u201d an airline spokesman told me. \u201cMost times, travelers are already booked on other flights with different connections, if they are connecting.\u201d

Question is, should this extra overnight stay be treated like a weather delay or a mechanical delay? American wants to treat it like a weather delay. My inner consumer-advocate says: mechanical delay.

This is definitely the kind of question you should bring up with American in writing, and if it can\u2019t help, appeal to a customer-service executive. I list the names, numbers and email addresses of American\u2019s executives on my advocacy site: elliott.org/company-contacts/american-airlines/.

I contacted American on your behalf. The airline agreed to reimburse you for your hotel and offered a $200 voucher \u201cdue to the circumstances.\u201d

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Warren\nSpecial to the Arizona Daily Star","prologue":"Many interesting cultivars seen in landscapes originate from some mutation with desirable characteristics from the original parent plant.\u00a0","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["tree","mandarin orange","dead end","irrigation system","cactus","branch","citrus tree","sage","trees"],"internalKeywords":["#weekend","#latest"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"c89c53f8-9885-58b4-8121-79c76b35ddd5","description":"The Texas ranger appears to have has reverted to its original form, which can happen with cultivars.","byline":"Evelyn Bond","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"463","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/89/c89c53f8-9885-58b4-8121-79c76b35ddd5/58239653e7561.image.jpg?resize=620%2C463"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/89/c89c53f8-9885-58b4-8121-79c76b35ddd5/58239653e7561.image.jpg?resize=100%2C75"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"224","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/89/c89c53f8-9885-58b4-8121-79c76b35ddd5/58239653e7561.image.jpg?resize=300%2C224"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"765","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/89/c89c53f8-9885-58b4-8121-79c76b35ddd5/58239653e7561.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C765"}}},{"id":"50887d9f-950f-54a5-aa64-07a3979bf864","description":"The brown and black areas of this saguaro cactus show signs of bacterial necrosis, a common affliction.","byline":"Lorna Boon","hireswidth":1244,"hiresheight":1665,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/08/50887d9f-950f-54a5-aa64-07a3979bf864/582a41f913e8e.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"463","height":"620","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/08/50887d9f-950f-54a5-aa64-07a3979bf864/5823965106ada.image.jpg?resize=463%2C620"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/08/50887d9f-950f-54a5-aa64-07a3979bf864/5823965106ada.image.jpg?crop=1244%2C699%2C0%2C482&resize=100%2C56&order=crop%2Cresize"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/08/50887d9f-950f-54a5-aa64-07a3979bf864/5823965106ada.image.jpg?crop=1244%2C699%2C0%2C482&resize=300%2C169&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"575","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/08/50887d9f-950f-54a5-aa64-07a3979bf864/5823965106ada.image.jpg?crop=1244%2C699%2C0%2C482&resize=1024%2C575&order=crop%2Cresize"}}},{"id":"83996c4e-0503-577d-8aa4-1c1056373b9b","description":"The dead end branches indicates the tree needs more water. Citrus trees do best with deeper watering.","byline":"Mike Reynolds","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"465","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/39/83996c4e-0503-577d-8aa4-1c1056373b9b/582396529d6d1.image.jpg?resize=620%2C465"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/39/83996c4e-0503-577d-8aa4-1c1056373b9b/582396529d6d1.image.jpg?resize=100%2C75"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"225","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/39/83996c4e-0503-577d-8aa4-1c1056373b9b/582396529d6d1.image.jpg?resize=300%2C225"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"768","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/39/83996c4e-0503-577d-8aa4-1c1056373b9b/582396529d6d1.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C768"}}}],"revision":10,"commentID":"21a692ff-0f84-51f6-ab74-73e80cbee40b","body":"

Q: Can you tell me what is going on with this sage bush? I took a sample to the nursery and was told it is new growth. The bush has been this way for a couple of years and stays on the same side of the bush. Is this a problem or just new growth?

A: New growth is correct in so far as it\u2019s newer than the shrub you planted. Unlike normal new growth, it won\u2019t take on the appearance of old growth after a period of time. It appears that your Texas ranger has reverted back to it\u2019s original form, at least in part.

Many of the interesting cultivars we see in landscapes originate from some mutation with desirable characteristics from the original parent plant. These interesting mutations can be propagated into new cultivars and then introduced into the horticulture trade. Unfortunately, not all of these cultivars are stable and they sometimes revert back to the original plant. The original is likely more vigorous than the designer cultivar and could take over the space by outgrowing the shrub you planted. So if you like the one you planted more than the new original version, you can prune out the offending parts. As long as we\u2019re discussing them, these plants are commonly called sages but are actually not related to the true sages in the Salvia genus. Rather they are in the figwort family, Scrophulariaceae.

Q: What is wrong with this saguaro cactus?

A: The brown and black areas show signs of bacterial necrosis. This is a common affliction of cacti in the desert and unfortunately once it gets into the main stem and spreads that wide there is nothing you can do to fix the problem. Eventually the cactus will succumb and fall over. It would be wise to plan for that eventuality and make sure there aren\u2019t any potential hazards such as the chance people or property could be damaged if it fell unannounced. Contracting with an experienced landscaper or certified tree professional to take it down would be appropriate if any hazards are present.

Q: We planted this Satsuma Mandarin Orange two years ago, and last spring it had good foliage and produced two or three small fruit. But now, it appears to lose leaves on lower branches, put out new leaves on upper branches, but has not gained any new branches or height. It is on a drip system. I don\u2019t see evidence of anything chewing on it. Any suggestions on how to help out thrive?

A: This is typical for newly planted trees. The stress of transplanting sometimes causes some leaf drop and/or fruit and flower drop. Assuming you are watering and fertilizing properly, I expect you will see new growth in the coming year. Trees typically take between two and three years to get established in their new surroundings before they show a lot of growth. This is mainly due to the large amount of root damage they incur during transplanting.

Q: I have a mature Valencia orange tree that has yellowing leaves and dead end tip branches. It also has some dried yellow fruit. The tree is watered three times a week for 45 minutes each time with three bubbler type irrigation system heads at the tree drip line. Any thoughts on what may be the problem?

A: Although yellowing leaves can also indicate a lack of nitrogen, the dead end branches and your current irrigation schedule tells me the tree needs more water. If you are fertilizing three times per year as recommended in late winter, spring, and fall, the other important input is water. While your placement of bubblers is appropriate, the scheduled watering is not ideal. Citrus trees do best with deeper watering on a less frequent basis. During the summer, every 7 to 10 days to a depth of 36 inches is recommended. In the spring and fall you can back that off to every 10 to 14 days and in the winter to every 14 to 21 days.

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WHAT: When a firearms auction grosses more than $18 million, that\u2019s big. When one of the guns, linked to a celebrated sharpshooter, sells for $207,000, that\u2019s newsworthy too.

Recently, in a sale so packed it took four sessions, James D. Julia sold Annie Oakley\u2019s circa 1893 12-gauge William Cashmore boxlock shotgun for six figures. During her career Oakley, dubbed \u201cLittle Sure Shot,\u201d used a number of different guns. Some she ordered; others were gifts from gun makers. This one was made after she completed a three-year European tour.

MORE: Oakley first gained fame at age 15 when she won a shooting match against her (later) husband, marksman Frank Butler. The couple joined Buffalo Bill\u2019s Wild West Show a few years later.

SMART COLLECTORS KNOW: A direct line of provenance to fame, celebrity and, sometimes, notoriety is always a plus. This firearm is directly linked to Oakley by a silver shield engraved \u201cAO\u201d at the rear of combs. An \u201cOakley\u201d stamp on one side of the trigger plate copies the die that she used to mark coins in trick shooting.

HOT TIP: Oakley\u2019s gun has all the desirable marks of use, including old repair.

BOTTOM LINE: Watch for the gun to appreciate in value. Oakley\u2019s popularity and populist appeal, plus good provenance, will carry the day

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