Amphibians and Reptiles
A Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles in Arizona (Arizona Game & Fish, 2006; $12) contains excellent color photos of 141 species of salamanders, frogs, toads, turtles, lizards, and snakes. Authors Thomas C. Brennan and Andrew T. Holycross include detailed descriptions, as well as an Arizona range map. Residents of other states would find descriptions of 14 biotic communities (e.g., Sonoran Desertscrub, Interior Chaparral, Alpine Tundra) where creatures live to be an aid to identification.
Clever Gardening Technique
Take the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle credo to heart and construct an inexpensive raised bed by stacking chunks of concrete from demolished patios, sidewalks, and driveways. The relatively flat chunks can be stacked without grout. They also work as path pavers. Check with landscape installation companies for upcoming projects. They have to pay to dispose of this material at the landfill so they may be glad to have you take it off their hands!