Thursday, March 20, 2008


Well, it’s true – according to the calendar, spring has sprung! At least for some of us! Like those of us lucky enough to be enjoying the lovely spring in the high desert! And I am thinking of those of you not so lucky! I know that many areas of this great nation are being sorely abused by Mother Nature.

Even here, it has been a bit odd. Three days ago, we had snow and hail. Yesterday and today, it’s 80 degrees. Mama Nature is toying with us!

Spring at its finest!

The mesquite trees are breaking out with signs of life, and sweet smelling blossoms!
Even the ocotillo is leafing out already from the brief rain we received last week. (For those not familiar with this curious, and unique plant, (also called the coachwhip, Jacob's staff, and the vine cactus), for much of the year, it appears to be an arrangement of large spiny dead sticks, although closer examination reveals that the stems are partly green. With rainfall the plant quickly becomes lush with small leaves. The leaf stalks harden into blunt spines that definitely get your attention if you get too close, and new leaves sprout from the base of those spines. Its bright red flowers appear in spring and summer, at the tip of the stem. Ocotillo poles are a common fencing material in their native region, and often take root to form a living fence.) This particular plant is growing here in the RV park beside a century plant with its tall flower about to blossom.

Cactus flowers are in bloom, an absolute treat for those of us who love the desert, which are at their best after a wet winter.

Most of the pictures I’m including today were taken in my own yard in the Tubac foothills in previous springs.

Barrel cactus, hedgehogs, night blooming cereus!

Something I don't know the name for, and the prickly pear!

The songbirds are out in force, and I saw my first red red Arizona Cardinal yesterday!

Everyone who can has their convertible tops down, or at least has the sunroof open, as indicated by this car with the huge Rottie with his head out the roof barking with joy at everything in sight!!

Then there is another important sign of spring – Baseball!

I’m not a big fan of baseball, but spring training is special! Tucson is home to two teams during spring training, the Colorado Rockies and the Chicago White Sox.

And I went to see them play yesterday!!

My old pal Mark is a serious San Francisco Giants fan, and has come to the desert each spring for many years now – the Giants practice up in Scottsdale – and he drove down to visit yesterday, just for the baseball game.

It was a spectacular day, and the game was the kind I like to see – lots of hits and misses, and home runs and errors. Some folks like a no-hitter. Not me!

And of course I had the requisite hot dog at the ball game!

The day ended in the best way it could – the moon was almost full when it came up! Beautiful!

Happy Spring, y’all!
May the sun shine for everyone real soon!

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