Saturday, December 23, 2023

Merry Christmas Everyone !

Corona de Tucson

December 23, 2023 

Madera Canyon Road

Tuesday Joe and I were off to Green Valley to pick up meds and food for Sally, but not before walking at Madera Canyon.  We chose the Creek Trail and started at the Proctor parking lot and walked to Madera Picnic area where we turned around.  It makes for a 2.5 - 3 mile round trip walk/hike.  We have enjoyed really nice temps and clouds this week.    

It was no surprise the creek bed was dry.  It was actually fun walking in the creek bed and not getting wet...the huge granite boulders caught my eye. 


As always, the deer were busy.

And Joe and I were thrilled to see a new to us bird...a Red-naped Sapsucker.  I didn't have the big camera and zoom lens so there are no good up close photos of the deer or the Sapsucker.  Shame on me and I won't do that again. Red-naped Sapsuckers are industrious woodpeckers with a taste for sugar.  Their name implies that they suck the sap, but they don't.  They drill neat rows of holes to lap up the sugary sap that flows out.  I read that the tip of their short tongues have small hairlike projections that help hold the sap they lap up much like a paintbrush holds paint.   

A male Red-naped Sapsucker and his very neat rows of holes...

When I looked back thru the blog, I found we have never been to Madera Canyon in December.  It is quite pretty this time of year.  I love the golden grasses...

 the carpet of brown leaves...

the old trees...

and the rock gardens.  

I captured one last photo on Madera Canyon Road when we left.

The rest of the week was busy...Sally had a spa day on Wednesday.

And I got a hair cut on Thursday. I plan hair cuts late morning so we can have lunch out.  Thursday, we had tamales...not just any tamales, but Tucson Tamales.  In the southwest, Christmas and tamales are a time-honored tradition.  The word tamale comes from Mexican-Spanish tamalli  meaning wrapped...a yummy corn and cornmeal dough stuffed with meat or beans and cheese mixture then wrapped in a corn husk (hoja) and steamed.  I can eat tamales anytime of the year !

My green chili chicken, one beans and cheese, and a salad

Back at the oasis, we had a rainy day.  It was raining when we woke up Friday morning. It rained all day and was still raining when we went to bed.  We even heard some thunder.  I was so happy...I love rainy days in the desert and the desert sure needed the water.  Sally and I had a walk around the backyard. I love trying to photograph water droplets. 

The other days Joe and I walked around the neighborhood. 

Saturday...late afternoon  

Sunday...early afternoon

Monday...mid morning

Wednesday...mid morning

And Thursday, we got "the look" from the neighborhood Great Horned Owl. 

That about wraps up our week.  

Sally and the sunrise...

We are excited...Jamie and Andra are coming for a long weekend.  It's Christmas time already !  Merry Christmas everyone !

Until next time,


Saturday, December 16, 2023

Winter Street Fair and Lights Up!

Corona de Tucson

December 16, 2023 

What a wonderful way to start the week!

This past weekend was the annual Fourth Avenue Winter Street Fair.  It was our third winter street fair and the biggest one yet...we walked 2 miles.  The fair offers a little something for entertainment, food venders (40 +), original hand-made art (350+ artists from around the world), and 4th street shopping and dining.  We met Jamie and Andra on Saturday for a delightful time meandering what is affectionately known to locals as "Fourth".   

The soul of the street fair is definitely a sensory experience...

the smells...


the sounds...

Matthew Machu Didgeridoos...beautiful sounds from these wind instruments.

the colors...

Framed arrangements made form dried flowers...very pretty and very tempting.

the textures...

Wheat weaving by artist Rocky Rothschiller form Pearce, AZ.  

and the yummy...

BOCA was our lunch choice...started with a salsa (made in house) flight with fried to order chips. 

I ordered a Mole De Pollo taco and my favorite...Elote (corn)...traditional grilled Mexican elote with cream, cotija cheese, and powered chipotle.  

We met wonderful people from far away and close by like Inka Gold...two brothers from Ecuador.  One is a guitarist and the other a flutist.  We bought a couple of their with beautiful Christmas music.  We also met Rocky Rothschiller, whose art is wheat weaving,  from Pearce, AZ.  He knows Janna and Michael.  I first learned about wheat weaving from a blog Janna did a while back when she shared a piece of his art that she has.  

Wheat is a symbol of goodness and wheat weaving has been practiced for centuries.  This artist uses the finest variety of black bearded wheat grown for ornamental use in Arizona. 

Late Thursday afternoon Joe and I headed to the city.  It was date night!   

Pearl's shadow... 

November 24th - January 7th

Tucson Botanical Gardens has a "New (to them) Holiday Tradition"...Lights Up! A Festival of Illumination.  It is no secret that the gardens is a favorite place and what a magical night we had perusing the walkways, enjoying the music, and sipping hot chocolate.  


We arrived just after 5:30 pm (to make sure we had a parking spot). The event opens at 6:00.   

It was difficult to capture photos of the beauty, peacefulness, and the "Wow" moments.  In some sections of the walk, the lights matched the mood and rhythm of the Christmas music by changing color and pulsating to the beat.

 This tree had eight different colors of was hard to pick a favorite.

Imagine white, yellow, green, blue, red, turquoise, multi and purple.

The stars...all shapes and sizes were everywhere... 

the arbors...

the luminaries...

the garden gates...

the trees...

Our favorite tree was decorated with bird houses.

the colors...

and so many lights made for a most enchanting walk. 

It was mesmerizing...

so beautiful...

so peaceful...

and so festive.  It was a perfect evening.  The weather was just cool enough to enjoy hot chocolate topped with thick cream and cinnamon and going on a week night meant it was not very crowded.  

Back at the oasis, nothing has changed.  We walked. 

Sally walked.

She has discovered a new obstacle course and insists on waking thru the mailbox posts.

Two different mornings this week Sally and I have heard and seen a pair of owls at the top of the pine tree.  That's exciting !

I also spotted a Kestrel in the pine tree. The American Kestrel is the smallest falcon and lives in most areas of the United States, but the great majority spend the winter in the southern U.S.   

The Gambles Quail usually feed on the ground, but lately we have been noticing lots more of them on the feeder.  

And this sweet little Misses still visits...and still no Mister.  

It's been a nice week...

Until next time, Merry Christmas and