Sunday, November 28, 2021

A Little History, Deer Valley Loop, and Some Merry and Bright

November 28, 2021

Corona de Tucson 

It has been a fun week.  It all started with a walk in downtown Tucson.  Main Street and the side streets that criss-cross are full of history.  The city of Tucson was founded as a military fort by the Spanish with the construction of Presidio San Agustin del Tucson in 1775. 

The adobe walls for the Presidio were completed in 1783.

At that time it was included in the state of Sonora, Mexico.  It wasn't until 1853 that the United States acquired the region that is present day Southern Arizona from Mexico.  The Spanish name of the city, Tucson [tuk'son] , is derived from the O'odham meaning "at the base of the black hill" (a reference to a basalt covered hill know today as Sentinel Peak or "A" Mountain). Anyway, when I read the phonetic pronunciation of Tucson, I laughed out loud as Joe and I have forever (just to be funny) called Tucson...Tukson.  

I love meandering through these side streets.  

The Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block serve as the "steward" of five properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Included in the list is the Corbett House built in 1907 home.

The neighborhood referred to as "Snob Hollow" was home to many wealthy residents.  The Corbett's home served as a center of social activities and "opulent" parties.

Every fall and spring, the Tucson Museum of Art hosts an Artisans Market.  Over 100 artisans are featured in the outdoor street market in the beautiful, historic Presidio Neighborhood.  We spent so much time perusing the streets that I still
 didn't get to go in the museum.   We saw unique and beautiful pieces of art and a wide variety of mediums including textiles, pottery, paintings, glass, wood, copper and metal. 


Deer Valley Loop is in Saguaro National Park East.  The trail begins at the WildHorse Trailhead.  

This trail is located off Speedway Boulevard as is the Douglas Spring Trail/Garwood Trail I posted back at the end of October.  Deer Valley Loop is a combination of multiple trails that are all interconnected in this area of the park.  

The park instructions and map along with a few other sites I googled made it easy to navigate ourselves on the hike without getting lost.  

We traversed several washes.  That meant lots of this...

Going down!


...and lots of this.

Going up!  It was a great workout!

A saguaro family...

Christmas Cactus some places it lined the trail. It was quite showy and just in time! 

It was a quiet Thanksgiving at our home.  The hike and picnic we had planned was a no go as the winds were gusting at 25+ mph.  So that brings us to merry and bright.  

We have never put up a Christmas tree in November so let 2021 go down in the books as the year one of us couldn't wait a minute longer !  Thanksgiving Day was spent decorating the tree, watching the National Dog Show, napping and eating turkey sandwiches.

I couldn't wait any longer for party mix either.  Just look at the mound of yummy goodness.  I haven't made party mix in years...the whole time we lived in the MH we were without ! I have yet to figure out why, as much as Joe and I love this concoction of cereal, pecans and pretzels, we don't have it more.  I guess it wouldn't be a special Christmas treat !     

That about wraps up another week at the oasis.  Sally continues her watch dog responsibilities.  She takes her job very seriously. 

One morning when I opened the door for the pups to go out, I was greeted with the sweet smell of rain from the night before.

Jack continues to demonstrate that if we play hard we can take a nap.

Joe cut mattes.  It's not as easy as it looks !

Dover still follows me everywhere and waits patiently.  

And the wind continues to spread seeds.

So until next time, 


Sunday, November 21, 2021

Butterflies !

Corona de Tucson

November 21, 2021

The biggest news of the past few weeks has been the weather.   Wonderful, awesome and fantastic are descriptors that pop to the top of the list at the moment.   And to say, "I can't remember the last time the AC ran." is music to my ears !

Early morning, 

The sky in Arizona is definitely a thing of beauty.  Just about any time of the day if you look up, you best have your phone in hand.


or dusk...

I realized this morning it has been two weeks since the last post.  All Joe's stitches came out on the 15th, but there was a slight issue with the leg.  It seems there was a reaction to the stitches and the incision didn't heal in the center.  The stitches were replaced with skin closure strips and we had orders to take it easy for another week.  So, we did !  I am happy to report his leg is still somewhat red, but healed.  

During all the "taking it easy time", Joe finished two frames and mattes for prints we bought.

First is a print we purchased when we were in Moab last June. I love kokopelli art (especially the flautist) and couldn't resist this watercolor by a local Moab artist. 

We hung this print in the MH. 

The second print was purchased at the Gallery in the Sun.  It's a copy of DeGrazia's watercolor titled "With Love and Thorns".

Just a little piece of Tucson to enjoy in our home.  

 The glare sure makes it hard to take photos of art pieces.

Joe and I have meandered through Tucson Botanical Gardens several times. The last time we were there was in February 2019 with Sue and Dave.  It's the featured post (top right side bar) if you want to check it out.  We sure had a great time !  Or if you want more history about the Gardens, type Tucson Botanical Gardens in the search bar and a post with the same name from March 2016 shares how this beautiful property became a Tucson landmark.   TBG is on the same street as the dermatologist.  After Joe had stitches removed, we enjoyed a leisurely stroll thru this urban oasis.  The  "Butterfly Magic" exhibit, which features butterflies from around the world, returned after a year and a half break due to Covid.  This will be the exhibits 18th season as "Tucson's one and only indoor rainforest oasis".  

In mid-September, a shipment of 250 butterfly pupae arrived at TBG. The Chrysalis Exhibit, where you can watch the butterflies emerging, is the first stop.  

Our timing was perfect...we watched in awe as this butterfly emerged.  The butterflies are carefully placed in a plexiglass box with lid and carried to the "rainforest oasis".  The box is opened, the wings dry and the butterflies fly.

The rules to enter the Cox Butterfly and Orchid Pavilion must be open pockets (even the zipper on my handbag had to be checked), watch where you step, and wait to be checked before you exit so no butterflies exit with you.  Also, the monitor regulates the number of people in the pavilion...even when it's not Covid.

This butterfly is sitting on the box that brought it to the pavilion.  

Operating hours for the butterfly exhibit are 9:30 to 3:00 daily until the end of May 2022.  It really is beautiful !

Even after all the visits we have made...this just never disappoints !

"Seeing the Invisible" is another exhibit featured at TBG until the end of August.  This is one of only 12 participating gardens on the planet participating in the exhibit which features 13 artists from all over the world.   "The most ambitious and expansive exhibition to date of contemporary artworks created with augmented reality (AR) technology" allows visitors to download an app on their smartphone or tablet to link between botanical gardens located in "diverse biomes" around the world.   AR is a real-time interactive experience of a real-world environment that involves overlaying a combination of visual, auditory and/or other sensory information onto the physical world around you.  Impressive ! 


Direct your device to the area and GPS picks up a signal.  Press on the dot on the device screen and an amazing piece of art is viewed right where you see the art in your surroundings.

Our time ran short so we barely scratched the surface of this amazing and virtual exhibit.  There is a way to photograph the art as you see it, but I didn't exactly master that...yet !  The app also shares information about the artist and the piece of art.  It's kinda like being in your very own futuristic movie ! 

Taking it easy time always involves the patio, backyard and beyond. We do this on a regular daily basis even when it is not doctors orders ! Our yard is really very small !  And the beyond is really nice !   

We always hear the Gila before we see them...such noisy, but handsome birds !

The bush on the other side of our fence provides a safe spot.

I love the eyebrows too Sue !


I almost forgot...Jack got a haircut !  He sure grabs my heart strings and he's just so dang cute.  It's hard to believe he is somewhere between 13 and 14 years old.

That wraps up the best of the past couple of weeks.  I REALLY hope the next post has some desert time photos...that means we had an adventure to share.

Until next time...


Happy Thanksgiving