Tuesday, November 29, 2022

The Week After...

Corona de Tucson

November 30, 2022 

The week after Thanksgiving is one of my favorite weeks of the year.  There are lots of leftovers so meals are easy, fall is definitely in the air, but the best part about that week is that December is just around the corner. Last year we started a new tradition and put up our tree on Thanksgiving day.  It is the same tree,  the same lights, the same decorations (plus a new one) and the same (if not more) excitement felt again this year.  

As much as I loved the traveling years, it sure is nice to be in a sticks and stucco home at Christmas!  Just like last year, we added a new "westerny" ornament for the tree.  At the TMA Fall Artisan Market, we found this hand-made pottery ornament that reminded us of the cliff dwellings we visited earlier in the fall.  The potter who made these very unique ornaments is Susan Sarracino...Pueblo of Acoma Pottery...from New Mexico.  There is a hole in the bottom of the ornament for a light to be placed inside giving the dwellings a fire like glow. 

Acoma Pueblo is built on top of a near 400 ft mesa about 70 miles west of Albuquerque.  The Pueblo has been continually inhabited since sometime between 1150 and 1250 AD making it the oldest inhabited "city" in the United States.  Acoma is translated "people of the white rock".  The Pueblo covers some 70 acres and today the people of the Pueblo carry on the traditions of pottery making created by their ancestors.   


The week-end was spent adding Christmas here and there and everywhere... changing this and rearranging that...all the while enjoying the sounds of Christmas we only enjoy one month out of the year.  

This morning, we had to go to Home Depot on the south side of Tucson.  It is always a treat to hit the trails in the Tucson Mountains when we are on that side of town.  Our choice for the day was a combo of Cascabel and Bittersweet Trails for an enjoyable hike before shopping.  The weather was perfect !  

Cascabel has a nice stand of saguaros.  Some are pretty old and are looking rather tired.

But what is really great about this area are all the young saguaros.  They are everywhere.   

Cascabel has decent views...

as the trail twists and curves...

and makes its way up to Bittersweet Trail.

No editing on these photos...the sky really was that blue!

The section of Bittersweet Trail we hiked is more level, lined with Palo Verde trees, prickly pear cacti, spiky staghorn cacti, and beautiful rocks.

Such tiny leaves...

Back at the oasis, sunrise and coffee start the day.



And some evenings, vivid sunsets end the day.

Somehow, Jack manages to drag my sweater (one of those heavy sweaters that is knee length) from the foot of the bed to the head of the bed and wad it up for a nap.  He has always loved to lay on my clothes.  

Sally and Dover are forever hopeful (and patient) keeping me company in the kitchen.

Refrigerator art you get in the mail from your 2 year old granddaughter is the best.

And the snowman is still smiling (and puts a smile on my face too) !

Until next time, have a great week and...


Monday, November 21, 2022

Sabino Canyon and Historic Presidio Neighborhood

Corona de Tucson

November 21, 2022 

Hiking in Sabino Canyon Recreation Area has long been a favorite for Joe and me.  Wednesday morning, we combined Sabino Lake, Creek Trail, Bluff Trail and Esperero Trail for a decent hike and some beautiful vistas at just under 4 miles.  

Sabino Canyon is located in the Catalina Mountains and the Coronado National Forest on the north side of Tucson. There is always a view of the mountains!


These combined trails provide a small sampling of everything Sabino Canyon has to offer.  Desert vegetation, 

steep rock cliffs, 

This is my favorite part of the trail.  The prickly pear cactus has been growing there for as long as we have been hiking at Sabino (2014).

and a riparian corridor. 

Sabino Creek flows almost year round.

We were happy to see a little water at Sabino Lake.  The "lake" is really just a flat section of Sabino Creek backed up behind a small dam which was built in the 1930s to "make" a lake for the locals to swim in. 

We passed a few birds along the way...




a crested saguaro I must check on...

a few Saguaro blooms...

a small hedgehog cactus with red fruit...

and golden grasses.  It was a perfect morning !

Saturday morning we were off to Tucson for the Tucson Museum of Art (TMA) Fall Artisan Market.  There are more than 100 unique and local artists and artisans with crafts, original artwork, pottery, glass, textiles, and jewelry.  The market is located in the historic Presidio neighborhood in an outside area behind the museum.  

Also behind and in the same block as TMA is Old Town Artisans.  These colorful adobe buildings were built in the 1850s in the block that was once the stables area for the Presidio.      

Today, these buildings are used as galleries for local artists and shops with unique gifts.   

On the other side of the window in the above photo is a lively courtyard tucked inside the walls of Old Town Artisans.

It is better known as La Cocina Restaurant and Cantina featuring Arizona craft beers and an outdoor stage.  We enjoyed the guitarist as well as a yummy lunch...a smothered burrito with fresh roasted veggies and street tacos with slaw. Another perfect morning !

Back at the oasis,  I have new glasses on the way (YIPPEE!) and had my teeth cleaned.  Jack and Dover went to the vets.  

Jack sat with Dover in the backseat...but really watched to make sure we were headed in the right direction.  He needed his Bordetella Vaccine.

Dover had all her stitches taken out.

I discovered battery powered lights...now I want them everywhere !  

The White-crowned sparrow is my only bird photo from the yard this week.  

The nights have been chilly and the past two days have been windy at our house.  Not complaining...just saying !   

And that's a wrap for the week.  Happy Thanksgiving to all...we sure have lots to be thankful for.  

Until next time,