Thursday, April 28, 2022

Slow, But Steady

Corona de Tucson

April 28, 2022 

I took this photo on April 19 at 5:40 am, but didn't include it in the blog as I had too many pictures already.  

I took this photo on Saturday, four days later at 5:41am after several very windy days.  It's a great example of how the wind and dust particles affect the colors we see in the sky.   

You might recall that last week (4-20-22) I tripped over Sally and sprained my big toe.  It is better as the swelling is gone from the bottom of my foot, but the top is still quite swollen at the joint.  We read on google that a bad sprain can take 4 to 6 weeks to heal...YIKES!  I'll be as big as a blimp by then !  Walking is something we really enjoy...not just for the physical benefits, but for the mental benefits as well.  The best comfort comes when I tape the big toe to the little toe next to it and wear snug fitting socks and shoes with good support.  I really, REALLY hope that by next week I can put my full weight on that foot and hit the trail !

The week seems to have flown by.  We have been to the dentist twice...once for  doctor exams and back again for cleanings.  We have been to the oncologist twice...once for blood work and then to see the doctor.  All is good and Joe is 8 years cancer free.  Always a relief to hear those words !  

Sunday, we headed south to explore and ended up at Kartchner Caverns State Park...a new to us gem that is nearly in our backyard.


We learned a lot at the Discovery Center.  It is very well laid out with tons of information about the history, the caves, and the bats that hibernate there.  The caves were discovered in 1974, but did not become public knowledge until its purchase in 1988 when the property was approved for purchase as an Arizona State Park.  Bones and fossils were discovered in the cave that proved to be 86,000 years old.  The biggest cave visitor to date is a ground sloth that roamed the area all those thousands of years ago. 

The Kartchner Cave 
is composed of mostly limestone which is a sedimentary rock.  That in itself is amazing considering that the limestone developed a few million years ago when the land was still under a shallow sea.  

Dripping water has played a huge part inside the caves.  

To say I am chomping at the bits (as my grandma would say) to go down under is putting it mildly.  Heal, big toe, heal !

My favorite part of the Discovery Center was all about the bats.  I always included a unit about bats when I was teaching mammals in Kindergarten.  

Listen like a Bat is a child friendly display that explains how bats have enhanced hearing.  I was curious...

Bats are such horribly, cute little creatures that care for their young, can find their food in total darkness and consume half their body weight in insects everyday...that is up to 1,200 mosquitoes an hour!  Their life span is 30 years + and they fly at speeds of 60 miles an hour.  Hold your heads high little bats and thank you !

Back at the oasis, it has been one of those piddling weeks with lots of patio time.  I was excited when Randy offered terra-cotta pots he didn't need any more.  

The front of the house faces west...not so good for plants in the hot afternoon sun.  We chose blue agave for their tolerance to heat.  We bought smaller plants to give them room to grow.  

We had a new visitor in the backyard this week.  A female Gilded Flicker perched on the concrete post.  She didn't stay long, but has returned several times for some orange.  I hope she convinces her handsome beau the oranges are really tasty at the Taylor's. 

For some reason, the male and female cardinals rarely visit the feeder at the same time.

The Lesser Goldfinch always visit and and eat together.

And the Curved-bill Thrasher never looks happy even with lots of choices.

Maybe this visit he was just bothered by the wind.


Joe and I spent a few hours putting a puzzle together.

Job well done...a futon for the extra bedroom.

Sally loves the patio as much I do.

Jack still loves to play ball and I still love my rocker.

And all three really love morning naps !

Well, that's a wrap for the week and for April.  The prickly pear are beginning to bloom and yesterday on the way home I spotted a saguaro with lots of buds and a single bloom.  Bring on May !

Until then, 

The palo verde trees have been so pretty !

The road home...



  1. Sprains are the pits! Hope yours heals quickly. We really enjoyed the VC for the caverns but have going inside still on our list. Love, love your pots and your green door! Happy and cozy fur babies are the best :-)))

    1. Thank you Jodee...I like the front door too. I went way out of my comfort zone to paint it green. I will take all the well wishes I can get that my toe gets way better soon...thanks ! Totally agree with you about the fur babies...

  2. I kicked the fireplace hearth one time (not on purpose!) and geez do sprained or broken toes hurt! Wishing you fast healing. Love your entry way and those pots are beautiful!! You have the nicest backyard!

    1. Thank you Janna! I like the pots too…color, shape, and size. It’s always nice when a plan comes together. So how long were you hobbling with your toe? I didn’t have X-rays and just assumed my toe was sprained. I know patience is key…I’m not being very patient though. A view, even a small one like we have, was at the top of my list for a home.

  3. The futon looks great! and better organized nuts'n'bolts than any Ikea project.
    Do you always have your fire pit running? Can't imagine starting it up at 5am for a sunrise photo!
    I too like the green door with the potted agave.
    Hope that toe lets you get back on thee trail soon!

    1. Thank you Jeff. I like it when things come organized and labeled with color dots. Sure makes it much easier to assemble! We usually have coffee on the patio and don’t even light the fire pit. If we do use the fire pit, we light it up about 5:30 or so. The pups have us up at first light…😬! We never use the fire pit at night…we (I) prefer dark to enjoy the sky and my blanket is always nearby…👍.

  4. So sorry your toe is taking its time healing. Not being able to walk or hike when one is use to be being activity is difficult. Hope your next post has you back out there. Great VC at the cave. I use to do a bat unit around Halloween with my third graders. Always fun. Love your new pots. What is the name of you paint on the front door? I love it! Thanks for so many Tan Clan photos! What sweethearts, especially little Jack and his orange ball.

    1. Thank you for the well wishes and the compliments Pam. I am not one to sit around all day and it is driving my bananas! The paint color is Herb Cornucopia…a Behr paint from Home Depot. I was a bit nervous as our front door was always black in Georgia. A splash of color just seemed like the right thing to do here.

    2. Please extend my congratulations to Joe on another year of awesome news! I'm sorry I neglected to add this earlier. Our front door is colonial blue which I like, but I am thinking of a sea green shutter in our front window and your door color would match perfectly. It seems like so many homes around us have these green Plantation shutters and I really like the look and color. Thanks for sharing your paint and color!

    3. Message delivered Pam and Joe said, “ Thank you.” Oh, I love plantation shutters and would love to replace the blinds we have. But there are a few other things we have to do first…🤪.

  5. Sorry your stupid toe is still bothering you! Can't be much longer now, can it? Sending positive thoughts your way. I'm not really a "too high above or too far below ground" kind of person but I did enjoy Karchner Caverns. Our house faces west too and I bought a large agave to put there in one of my old crocks but.....mine is metal! No heat or watering problems! I love the tan clan photos....happy dogs are a joy.

    1. Thanks Sue! With all the well wishes, that dang toe has to get better! Kartchner Caverns was a nice surprise and I am really looking forward to the cave tour one day. I like the idea of a metal agave…that will be my go to plan if these don’t make it! I just had to try. The pups are content and happy and that does bring us so much joy!

  6. We love Kartchner Caverns! Isn't it cool that that is a relatively new discovery? Makes you wonder what is out there that is yet undiscovered. Love all the different varieties of birds in your area, they would be fun to watch. Hope you foot heals soon!

    1. Thank you! Watching the birds from my rocker on the patio is the best free entertainment around these days…they are noisy, acrobatic, funny, and always busy. Totally agree about the undiscovered wonders of the world.