Friday, September 24, 2021

Madera Canyon

Corona de Tucson

September 24, 2021

When we spent winters in Tucson, we always made it a point to go to Madera Canyon.  Now that it is practically in our back yard, we can enjoy different seasons there.  So with cool temps, clear skies and nothing on the agenda for the day,  we decided that's where we would do our morning walk.   

Today, we parked at the Proctor Parking lot and started our walk at the paved nature trail.  We connected to the Madera Creek Trail (which is part tarmac and part dirt) and turned around at Madera Picnic Area.  

Water :

One thing we always enjoy on hikes is running water.  Madera Creek is a beautiful creek with boulders, grasses and trees.  


Wildlife :

We heard and saw lots of birds, but I was only able to get pictures of two.  Mexican Jays were busy and hungry.

A yummy caterpillar for breakfast.

And a single Acorn Woodpecker was making his way up the utility pole.

I think he has been there many times !

The birds weren't the only hungry critters.  The White Tail Deer were foraging for breakfast...

 well as the butterflies.

Forest :

Many trees make up the Coronado National Forest.  My favorites today were the Alligator Spruce,

Arizona Sycamores,


and Cottonwoods.

Flora : 

At this elevation, Madera Canyon is a nice blend of desert and forest with a variety of flowers from both.  

Water, trees, birds and animals, flowers, gorgeous weather, blue skies and time with Joe...whats not to love?  I really had a great time this morning with camera in hand enjoying this beautiful area and I see many more visits in our future.  My bucket list includes a picture of the Elegant Trogon.  I have never seen one and I am hopeful that 2022 might just be my year !  

That about wraps up the week here although we did get flu shots, Joe went to the eye doctor, we ran errands, and stopped at Quality Pottery just to look around.  Way to many beautiful choices !  

Until next time...


Tuesday, September 21, 2021

We Have Legs!

Corona de Tucson

September 21, 2021

Our good friend Randy gifted us with a piece of mesquite wood. Randy bought a home in Green Valley a few weeks after we bought our home.  This gorgeous piece of wood was used as a shelf in Randy's new home.  He had other plans for that space.

When he brought it over for us to see, Joe and I immediately said at the same time, "a bench" as it was the perfect length for the wall in the foyer.  After some google time, Joe found, metal legs that satisfied my requirements and sturdy legs that met his requirements .   

Not only is this piece of nature's art a special gift from Randy it is also a gift from the desert as Mesquite Trees are native to the area.  

Mesquite Trees have been around since the Ice Age when they provided a necessary food for ground sloths.  Since that time, they have adapted to the arid desert environment.  For instance their leaves are small and wax coated to minimize evaporation of the plant's water and their seeds have a protective coating and can last for decades.  I find it fascinating that the "wide-spreading and deep-reaching"  root system is host to colonies of bacteria that can replace nitrogen in the of the minerals most important to plant germination and growth. 

Mesquite Trees have long been a source of food for both people and animals, a source of many medical remedies, and filled the need for wood used in building missions, ranches, and fences.  

Although often crooked in shape, the branches have served artisans in the crafting of furniture, flooring and sculptures. 

Thank you Randy !  We love our new bench...its perfect for the foyer !  

We have enjoyed several sunrises since I wrote last.  Except for Sunday when it was hazy, the skies have been clear and blue.  Morning walks are much more pleasurable as the air feels cools...I like to say crisp...and fresh.  Sure adds an extra little bounce in my step !  And the skies are so blue !


Somewhere along the trail we walk.

The afternoons haven't been too shabby either.  We delighted in a double rainbow one day and pink clouds another.

The visitors still entertain during coffee time.


Life is good, make that great, at the little oasis we call home.  

Until next time, enjoy the day and...

The butterfly invasion has been replaced with a Sonoran Beetle invasion.  These funny little black creatures are everywhere outside.  

Shine on, shine on Harvest Moon up in the sky...for me and my guy !


Friday, September 17, 2021

Date Night

Corona de Tucson

September 17, 2021

Last Saturday was date night.  

The Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance sponsored a Rock N' Roll event in Sahaurita.  The outdoor event featured classic cars, food trucks, and a live band playing old rock and roll classics.  It was a "bring your own chairs" in a huge grassy park with plenty of social distancing kind of  affair.  We meandered the rows of cars admiring the shiny paint, custom interiors, and spotless chromed out engines.  We had planned on Mexican at Manuels (since we were close by) so we didn't eat, but the "dogs looked yummy.  The biggest surprise was the local Tucson band, ONESALL.  I love classic rock n roll and they were really, really awesome !  It felt good to be out and about...I love date night!


Joe and I have spent most of the week in our closet.  It needed  help and some organizing.  Joe doesn't like to keep his clothes in drawers.  

So first on the list was for him to build shelves which I primed and painted.  

We painted the closet...Joe rolled and I cut in the trim around the ceiling and the floor moulding.  I also painted the floor moulding. 

Now, Joe can see his clothes and I can put them away on laundry day.  I totally get why Joe doesn't like drawers as I find myself rummaging thru the drawers I use in the dresser always looking for something that is on the bottom of the stack.  

We also added a wire shoe rack and voila...   

My next project should be to toss out some very worn-out tennis shoes that I have kept for you know...that time I might just need a pair of old worn out tennis shoes...duh?

I can hear the saw in the garage this morning.  Joe is making a small bench we can put in the closet to use for putting on or taking off socks and shoes.  Thumbs up !

If you have puppies, you have probably trained them to do or not to do certain things.  Our pups will sit for treats, come when they are called (well, Dover is having some trouble hearing us) and Jack will stay when playing ball.  But one thing we have had no success with is keeping them off the beds.  They don't just get on the bed, they paw at the bed to get all the covers just they way they think the covers should be.  

So, at my request (so I don't have to shut bedroom doors) Joe made short puppy gates that we can easily step over to keep the pups out.  They are not so happy, but I am.  

Imagine our surprise to see babies.  We were working in the garage when Joe spotted them.  It seems a little late in the year for babies, but there they were!

They are so tiny and well camouflaged...there were five.

Amazing you see all five?

Whenever I see them in the front yard, I run out to watch for cars to help them cross the street. I didn't get a focus as they are really fast !  

Headed down the driveway towards the street...

Sunrise today was about 6:10.  I snapped this photo at 5:52 when we let the pups out.  

Its overcast today with a good chance of thunderstorms this afternoon.  Monsoon season ends on September 30 in Tucson.  Here is some trivia for our family back east who have not been to the Sonoran Desert...with all the rain this season, the prickly pear have exploded with ruby red fruit.  The fruit is called "tuna".  It grows from the pad creating an "amazing edible crown" that is ready to harvest in September.  

(Photo from Google)

Tunas are used in a variety of foods like syrup, jelly and jam, gum drops, and lemonade.  Joe and I have not eaten prickly pear.        

Yesterday, we had errands which took us to Tucson.  We happened to pass a favorite fast food establishment at just the right time.  It wasn't really a planned lunch, but who knows, maybe it was ! I will always be indebted to my sister-in-law Jo who visited us many times to take care of Joe's (her) mom for us to take a needed "get away".  On one of those trips she asked, "Do you have a Five Guys in LaGrange?"  The answer was no.  It wasn't long after that we discovered one in Destin, Fl.  

The burgers are yummy, but it is the fries and malt vinegar that keep me returning !  Thank you JoEllen !


It's been a fun and productive week.  I have no idea what is on the agenda for next week, but I am really looking forward to it.  It's just so great to be alive !  I'll sign off for this week with a few pictures...

A '67 Camaro favorite car in high school and my favorite car today !

Our first encounter with a tarantula on one of our morning walks this week.

Yes, the pups have their own beds...sweet dreams!

Ahhh...sweet tea !  

Sleepy and thirsty...taken at 6:00 am today !

Until next time, enjoy the day and...

Such a big step for such a little bird !


P.S. Joe works fast.  My stool for the closet.  Just needs a little sanding, stain and varnish. Thumbs up !