Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Lovely day!

Absolutely gorgeous spring day yesterday, so I took a drive to look for wild flowers. After the heavy winter rains, this year the flowers are popping up everywhere, and they are one of the many reasons for the annual influx of winter visitors! And besides, I love them too!

I was actually a little disappointed. I went to areas where I've see
n masses of flowers in the past, but I guess this year's rains fells somewhere else! Gonna have to pay more attention to the great website that shows locations of profusions of posies for the next drive!

I headed south to Green Valley and then east thru Box Canyon, one of my favorite drives anyway!! It's a dirt road, usually fairly well maintained, that meanders thru the Santa Rita Mountains, going from the valley into serious desert to wide open ranch land and then rolling hills. It's peaceful and lovely.
Not as many flowers as I expected, but there was one hillside that was solid gold.

To be this golden means that there are thousands and thousands and thousands of these delightful little poppies.

It's open r
ange out there, and I passed by a couple of the local residents out enjoying the day too!

I was quite surprised to see how very dry it was about half way thru the Canyon. It obviously hasn't seen any rain for a LONG time. There were so many dead cactus, prickly pear and agave and century plants and more. Very sad to see when so many areas are vibrant and green and lush.

And then, on the east side of the Santa Ritas, I didn't see a single flower. Not one! I guess we received all the rains on the west side of the mountains this year!

Headed south to Sonoita, serious cowboy country, then back southwest thru Patagonia, one of the neatest little towns in Arizona, and a really fun place to visit! Spotted a few wildflowers near there, but I would have been really surprised not to, because it's always lovely and green, sitting on Sonoita Creek at the Nature Conservancy's wonderful Preserve and Patagonia Lake State Park. This locale is famous for the hundreds of species of birds that migrate thru the area every year. Plus an incredible population of hummingbirds!!

Turned back north at Nogales, bypassing the terrific margaritas just across
the border, past the dozens of produce packing plants, continued by Rio Rico and started seeing flowers lining the highway - lots of different colors!! That's what I was looking for! And then seeing how lush and green the Tumacacori ranch land is looking just made my heart sing, and I'm sure the cattle and horses are equally happy. Tubac continues to expand - more shops, more restaurants, more homes and more people. When I arrived in Arizona, it was just a little artist community with an incredible history.

I found 'they' are building a permanent check-point just north of Tubac so the Border Patrol can apprehend all the foolish illegals who try to just drive happily north into America with their drugs and lack of ID. I've never understood why a permanent check-point works, since those folks should know it's there, but the BP does claim to make thousands of apprehensions at that spot. I-19 is the main road north from Nogales. Seems to me it just ties up traffic, but I guess if they can get at least a little bit of the illegal drugs off the market, it's worth it.

The powers that be have also FINALLY chosen to do something about the Continental 'interchange' at Green Valley. I lived in Green Valley in the 90's when I moved here to take care of my mum - a lovely little retirement community, perfect for the golfers and bird watchers. I couldn't wait to get out of town. But that particular 'interchange' has been one of the deadliest poorly designed highway exits in all of Southern Arizona, particularly when the town population doubles in the winter. It's a real mess right now, but is showing signs of vast improvement!

As I headed back into Tucson, I decided to check out the Tucson Mountain Park, off Kinney Rd on the way to the Old Tucson Studios (where t
he many of the old Westerns were filmed!) and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, which is the finest zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden anywhere, IMHO!

Back to flowers - the drive up to the Museum and thru Tucson Mountain Park was heavenly. One of the prettiest drives in the desert that we have in this area, and it's free!

The cactus are all plumped up from the winter rains, and putting out lots of new growth.

And the variety of flowers - this part of the drive finished my day perfectly!

The Animal Rescue Site
LogoThere is
person with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?