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,



  1. More than once I have been caught without my camera when something spectacular happens. Sometimes the phone cameras just don't cut it. We have never seen a sapsucker either.
    Sally looks great after her spa day! You also got some great pictures on your hike. I love the ones with the large rocks.

    1. Hi Jim…it was pretty cool to walk down the creek bed…up and over all those beautiful boulders. That was a first time to do that. I know you are having a wonderful Christmas with family!

  2. The boulders look warn by days when the Madera Creek had a more consistent flow of water. Again a great hike through the canyon.
    I too like tamales and they are a local Christmas tradition, but alas we seldom order them.
    Sally looks lovely after her spa day.
    Merry Christmas to you and Joe, and yours.

    1. Hi Jeff, I have always thought those boulders were so pretty and it was fun to walk amongst/on them for a change. It’s a good 45 minutes to drive for a hair cut so I always plan lunch at places we don’t get too often…I love the tamales, but don’t get them often. Merry Christmas to you and Fran!

  3. Lovely blog Gay! And yes, Sally does look mighty spiffy! Love your walk and bird photos--so cool to see the sapsucker and the owl. I unfortunately seldom carry a camera--never thought I would become one of those people! :) Enjoy your long weekend with Jamie and Andra. We are at North Ranch in Congress with long time friends--it rained lots here too!

    1. Thank you Janna. Sally does not like going for a spa day, but knows she looks spiffy when she gets home…she prances all around the house. I started taking photos when our first grandchild was born and the hobby just sort of grew as we traveled in the MH. The walk at Madera was a spur of the moment thing to do and I felt lost without my camera. I don’t take it when Joe and I walk in the neighborhood though. I can’t believe it is already Christmas…this year flew by! I’m thinking you have maybe done some off-roading with your friends at North Ranch…hope there are pictures to follow!

  4. What a pretty hike! Love the deer and your new sapsucker find. I too love those golden grasses and the winter changes to the views. Great shot looking up the gnarly tree :-) Hope your Christmas with family was wonderful. Best wishes for a bright and happy new year!

    1. Thank you Jodee, it was a nice Christmas. It will take a day or so to get used to the quiet since Jamie, Andra and Ozzie have gone home. I know you know that feeling after your family heads home as well. Best wishes for a happy and healthy new year for you, Bill and Tessa.