S. left this morning for Seattle; she'll be spending a week up there, visiting friends and family.
September up there can be so seductively lovely--
Puget Sound sparkles, Mt. Rainier's glaciers glint under the late summer sun--
you can almost forget that months of endlessly grey spitting-rain skies are about to descend upon the evergreen landscape...But ahh, September in Seattle...I wish I could've gone as well, but this early in the school-year, I just couldn't take a whole week and leave...
So I'm home alone. Blogging. I don't mean to sound mopey. Because I'm not. And Paquito's here to keep me company.
This year's monsoon in Tucson is officially over: little likelihood of rain during the next several months. We only got about half of the usual summer rain this year. So, the Tucson newspaper, this past Sunday, did a photo-spread featuring desert rain...and yeah! I was surprised again--for the third time (!) in the past few weeks, a photo of mine was published in the Vamos! section of the paper:
I didn't care too much for the editorial caption that accompanied it: 'dripping with color.' (Although, I guess it is...) S. and I just happened to be at the right place at the right time for this photo--about a month after we moved here a couple of years ago, we'd taken a Sunday drive up to the top of Mt. Lemmon; on the way down the Catalina highway, we stopped to stretch our legs at a scenic pull-off just as the sun was setting, and this isolated rainstorm just happened.
This past weekend, we went for another drive--a 3hr45min drive up to northern Arizona, to the old mountainside mining town of Jerome. From there, you can look north across the Verde River valley to the red rock country around Sedona, and beyond, the high plateau that leads to the Grand Canyon. It was raining up there:
The permanent population of the town is only four-hundred-something, but its proximity to Phoenix makes it a major weekend hang-out destination, very picturesque--ruins of 19th-century buildings...endless views of open sky and mountains...and a singular combination of stringy-haired Harley-riders, aura-seeking urbanites, jewelry-makers, a handful of b-&-b owners, blown-glass demonstrations, stray cats, the occasional carload of Japanese tourists, a rainbow-stickered-restaurant with crabcakes as their special du jour, and across the street a rough (and decidedly rainbow-free) tavern where no one would be caught dead uttering 'du jour'...À chacun son goût, non?
(The mountains in the background are the volcanic 12,000-ft San Francisco peaks--the highest point in Arizona.)
Last week, S. and I both had Monday off--a rarity...so we went of town that day as well. S. hadn't yet been down to Madera Canyon, in the Santa Rita mountains, so there we went:
The canyon is an internationally-known birding destination...one of the little lodges has a big feeding area, to 'encourage' the less exotic species to entertain the non-hiking visitors, I guess:
Turkeys--never pretty, like, say, elegant trogons, but still...a fun sight...
By mid-day, the peanut-butter sandwiches I'd packed just weren't exciting any more, so we decided to splurge on a restaurant-lunch; about a half-hour away is the little artsy town of Tubac, and from there the view
back to the Santa Rita mountains is this:
Closer to home, now:Sunday evening, before dinner, S. and I went for a walk in Sabino Canyon, and saw this young buck snacking off a mesquite tree...
Even after living in our new place for a few months now,
we still are thrilled by the fact that we can walk out our front door, and in a few minutes, see stuff like this...