Monday, March 31, 2008

Just deserts

Not much happening today, other than rain, and a day at work. Nothing overly strenuous, but it just bites to go back after a nice weekend! It was nice to have a surprisingly warm day today--I didn't even wear my parka today! It's supposed to get cold again, though, so I'll probably be wearing it tomorrow. <sigh> A very nice surprise when I stepped outside this morning, though...I could hear the peeper frogs out in the ponds! That always makes me feel that warm weather is right around the corner, and I love the sound of them. I find them very soothing. The next sign of spring should be the arrival of our hummingbirds. I should probably get the feeder up this week, because they should be here soon. I just love those little guys, although the females are much braver and more curious--it's always the females who hover in front of me when I'm sitting outside. They're so close, I can feel the breeze from their wings, and it makes me laugh how they just look at me. Like, "Hi. Are you the lady who feeds us nectar? Thanks!" [she buzzes off] I'm getting excited to see our little friends again! Oh, and I got some great turkey pictures yesterday--I'll get those up soon. Three toms were displaying!


Since I don't have those ready to go yet, I'll put up a couple of Cousin Shane's pictures from his Tucson trip, along with a few of his comments. He just loves it out there, and I can totally see him moving there one day. Hmm, perhaps there's a little motel on Route 66 that could use some TLC...? Actually, Shane and I have talked about how neat it would be to do that, and Ken and I have also discussed it. I don't see us doing it, because I don't really want to run a motel, but it would sure be interesting, wouldn't it?



the yellow flowers in bloom were just everywhere.  i love to show people that the desert is not a dead place.  there is so much life in it.  it's a fascinating environment, and when i am in it, i feel such a spiritual connection.  it's weird.  was i a desert dweller in a previous life?

i took a couple pics of signs because i like what they said.  "deserts are charming to those who know how to see them."  of course i have a couple pics of the mighty saguaro in there as well, along with the yellow plants (i can't remember their name -- something like boxweed) and the famed ocotillo, the plant with the many long thin stalks that come out of a single plant at ground level.  i saw some of those this year that made me think of don king's hair!  ha!


myra is right, the clear blue sky, the beautiful warm weather, the starlit nights, it's just incredible.  even in the city of tucson, you can see the stars -- there is a telescope observatory about 50 miles west of the city (as opposed to 53 miles west of venus) so the lighting in tucson is mandated by law to be diminished so as not to create too much light pollution.

the name tucson comes from the O'odham indians -- their word Cuk Son (loosely pronounced as chuk shon) literally means "at the base of the black hill" and refers to an adjacent volcanic mountain.   i love the sound of it.

there was a man at the nature center at the park who was talking to one of the park rangers.  he was from baltimore, and had never been to the sonoran desert before.  he was just astonished at how beautiful it was, how much plantlife was there, and how thriving it appeared.  he said he took over 300 pictures and couldn't wait to show friends and family back home how alive the landscape was.  i understand his fascination.

i learned on this trip that the sonoran desert, which covers the lower southwestern and south-central parts of arizona., southeastern california, and northwestern mexico, is the wettest desert in the world, receiving about 8-13 inches of rain per year!  for comparison, we get about 38-40 inches per year, and new orleans gets around 60 inches!  i was surprised to learn that the sonoran desert is so wet!

Shane and I are so much alike, it's scary sometimes! Wherever we go (in all honesty, wherever we live, too), we love to find out more about it and learn a few things. Turns out that Ken is that way, too, so we're perfect vacation companions. (I was excited when I was checking out the New Smyrna Beach web site and found out that there are Indian mounds not too far away! There are also a couple of historical homes that might warrant a visit, too. Cool!) I told Shane that I just don't get how anyone can NOT be curious about things, and want to, you know...learn. Learning is fun! This has been a public service announcement.

One more thing! Speaking of learning, I learned something new today! Jillian and I were talking about "Earth Hour" on Saturday, when people were supposed to turn off their lights for an hour. (This concept originated in Sydney, Australia, so it didn't take into account the NCAA regional finals. Sacrebleu!) I said that when I Googled something, the screen was black for the day. She said, "Oh yeah, that's Blackle. I use that instead of the regular Google." I said, "They have it all the time?!" She said, "Yeah, it's run by Google, but instead of a white background, it's black. It saves energy." Well, dog my cat! I've been exploring Google a bit (I'm considering using Picasa), but I haven't seen anything about Blackle. How cool is that?

I spoke too soon. One more thing! Remember I was getting excited about seeing political ads on our local station! Obama has started airing his ads first, and since I've been watching the local news, in the space of an hour, I've seen his ad FOUR TIMES. Holy moley! They must be spending a mint.


cayasm said...

I hadn't heard of google blacka either, thanks for the info and I just love google docs so easy a friend of mine uses Picassa and thinks they're great I couldn't get along with it so I use photobucket or slide. Great pictures by the way we have no Desert here in the UK so these are good to see.

Take care


buckoclown said...

On the news tonight, they mentioned that Obama is airing 5-6 ads for every one of the Woman Who's Name Must Not Be Mentioned (I know, a lame take on Harry Potter, but I could not resist) :o)

mpnaz58 said...

Beautiful pics...of course, I'm just a little biased!  I was born and raised here, and this will be my final resting place.  I LOVE the desert, but I love my desert.  Phoenix, nah, too congested, and as you make your way up north to Flagstaff, well, its just not desert anymore.  If you make it down, I would suggest Sedona...there is a supposed energy vortex in the area, and just the beauty of the red rocks is magnificent!  I don't think Rt 66 runs through there :)
xoxo ~Myra

jimsulliv3 said...

I saw a lot of desert on my way from Vegas to Phoenix in '94. We went to watch the Nascar race there and the desert scenery was dazzling. There's a lot of people who don't see the forest for the trees. It's the same as the Florida Everglades, you have to look closely to see what's going on.

As to the motel, we should call it the Bates Motel........nah, it would never sell.