Snow at Sabino Canyon (Photo Friday)

I promised pictures of desert snow and I have some. Because it was snowing so much I took my little point and shoot camera. Sadly I had battery issues so the video I took didn’t save. But I did get some pictures. (And yes, I ordered a new battery this week.)

Is it just me or do these cacti seem to be trying to huddle together?
The mountains were hidden all day.
Poor shivery cactus!

Sabino Canyon looked so wonderfully different in the snow.
It was like walking in a snowglobe when we headed out.  Big, wet flakes.

I have to confess I was really surprised at how much snow we got and how long it lasted. And it was wonderful. (Of course it is easy for me to say that since it is now in the 70’s!)

Keep your focus!

Preparing for the Storm (Photo Friday)

I am a weather geek so living in southern Arizona is rather boring. Ninety percent of the weather is hot and sunny. We do have winter and summer monsoon seasons but they have been pretty tame most years since I have lived here. This winter we have actually been having winter. Well, as wintry as it can get here. But still, it is exciting to have a reason to watch the weather channel. And be able to wear my sweaters.

My son was off from school Wed thru Friday this week. We had planned on going camping at Madera Canyon but changed our minds when we saw cold and rain and snow in the forecast. Tuesday night we had a hard freeze, temps down in the twenties. So Tuesday is when the ‘inclement weather’ work began.

I picked all the lemons and a few oranges on Tuesday.

We left the lemon tree all covered up as it is supposed to be below freezing again Friday night.

On Wednesday my son and I took advantage of the sunny day and went to the library. Books and UNO are hunkering down requirements.

Thursday morning I got up in great anticipation of a foul weather day. An 80% chance of rain, wind gusts up to 40mph. I continued to work preparing to hunker down.

First order of business was to make cookies. In case the power goes out. (The power has never gone out here, but still, one wants to be prepared.) Oatmeal cookies so they are suitable for breakfast if required.

Oatmeal Gorp cookies. These have dark chocolate chips, dried cherries, toasted pecans and toffee bits.
I dug out my flannel granny nightgown.  I haven’t worn this in years!

Now it is 4:00p on Thursday. It is finally beginning to rain! And there is wind spattering the rain against the window. (See picture at the top.) I just want to sit here and stare out the window! (And that is exactly what I am going to do after I set this post up for publishing in the morning.)

Raindrops are falling on my patio!

The plan is to post photos next Friday of whatever weather we get tomorrow (today for you).

Keep your focus!

Photo Friday (Sabino Canyon)

One of my new things is to ask myself in the morning, “what would make me happy today?” and then try and do it. One overcast day last week I really wanted to go take some photos at Sabino Canyon. So after dropping small child off at school I ate my low carb breakfast and went for a walk. I cannot tell you how good it felt to do something simply because it made me happy.

You can just see the snow on the Rincon Mountains.
I walked up to that small building first.

Water in the river!  How odd it is that I get so excited about the river having water in it?
Another river shot.
My artsy atmospheric shot.  You can see snow all the way down South to the Santa Rita Mountains.  On a clear day you can see Mexico (the Sierra Madras I believe).

Keep your focus!

Photo Friday: More Snow

We got more than a foot of snow in the nearby mountains the first week of January and as luck would have it our 11th day of Christmas tag read: “go find some snow.” So on January 4th I took my son and his friend up the mountain. I knew it would be crazy crowded and told them the first parking spot we saw above the snow line we were taking. We ended up at around 6000′ with a good 8″ of snow on the ground.

My son and his friend went sledding, made a snowman and had a snowball fight. We took a break for hot chocolate and cookies and once I heard complaints of cold feet we headed home. We got really lucky going when we did as at the bottom of the mountain the Sheriff’s Dept was stopping cars from going up until more cars came down as they had run out of parking! I read the wait was up to 25 minutes.

While the kids played in the snow I walked around taking random photos.

No re-touching, that is how blue the sky was.

We only had one saucer but another family loaned one of their’s and pointed out the sled run they had packed down.  So nice of them!

Such a fun day!

Keep your focus!


Photo Friday: Snow!

In a highly unusual turn of weather we have been getting snow here in Tucson. And not just in the mountains but here “in the valley” as they say. And not just once but twice already! And yet the pollen count is still high. This place really is crazy. These photos are from New Year’s Day.

My lemon tree is covered with a blanket for the next few nights. Hope my lemons make it, they look so good this year!
The orange tree has been left to fend for itself.  The oranges are quite thick skinned so I think they will be okay.

This is what we woke up to New Year’s Day!

I loved the gray and white day, it made the Christmas lights so sparkly!

And then on Wed (the 2nd) it started snowing around 9:30 a.m. Little teeny tiny flakes. It was too warm and wet for them to stick but they came down for more than 2 hours! My son and I went for a long walk and it was wonderful!

Wednesday, January 2nd.

Keep Your Focus!

Photo Friday

Not Christmas exactly but the days leading up to which are really the most exciting!

Apparently Santa was staying at the historic Riordan Mansion in Flagstaff.

No snow while we were in Flagstaff but we found some leftovers in the shady areas.

The North Pole, really!  We went through the magic tunnel to get there!

Not our actual train.  This one is retired and just does photo shoots for the Grand Canyon Railway.  🙂


Cookies for Santa.  I love the single eye on the tree.

The Elf’s last hangout spot before heading home.

Keep your focus!

Photo Friday (It Smells Like Roses)

I know I have posted photos of the rose garden at Reid Park before, but the bushes are just so beautiful I always take more photos every visit.  Thanksgiving weekend was the annual arts and crafts festival.  The festival was a bit of a disappointment as the two vendors we specifically went there for were not there this year!  But we caught the tail end of a blooming cycle in the rose garden so it was worth the trip.  Enjoy!

Keep Your Focus!

Photo Friday (Veteran’s Day)

I know when you hear “Veteran’s Day”  you expect photos of flags, parades or Veterans.  But we celebrate Veteran’s Day by going hiking at Madera Canyon.  Since my husband and I are both veterans we feel we can celebrate however we want.  And for me the freedom to go find a taste of autumn is what makes me happy.  There is not a day that goes by that I don’t remember the sacrifices so many have made for me to have the freedoms that I do.  My heart is filled with all those who served, voluntarily and involuntarily over the course of the years.  A hike may not be a traditional way to honor those who served but it is my way.

IMG_8300We hiked the Carrie Nation trail.  Only three miles but a steep, rocky climb. We got to scuff through leaves!

IMG_8293Nice and chilly and we found some beautiful color.

IMG_8316Another part of the tradition is hot cocoa and cookies at the end of our hike.  Always the same cookie, oatmeal with reese’s pieces, more fall color!

IMG_8310Okay, here is a picture of a veteran!  I am always curious as to what bloggers look like and if they have a picture how current it is…so here I am!  (Photo taken by my guy down below.)

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Photo Friday

My favorite outside Halloween decoration is to gather leaves and scatter them by the front door and along the walkway for the kids to scuff through. I always get a few comments about the leaves.  Most people are baffled about where they came from in a yard filled with nothing but cacti!

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This year I gathered them up at Mt. Lemmon the week before Halloween and was lucky enough to catch the trees in a golden glory.  No words necessary.

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And finally, floating candles that looked very cool in the dark.

 

Keep Your Focus!

Camping Autumn Joy List: Photo Friday Style

Last weekend we went camping at Chiricahua National Monument near Willcox, AZ.  Pure bliss!

On the way down we stopped at Apple Annie’s and picked pumpkins and did the corn maze.  A very muddy corn maze but we enjoyed it anyway.

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IMG_8185Pumpkin checkers!

IMG_8217We found some fall color on our hike to Far Away Ranch. The weather was perfect, not hot, not too chilly.

Far Away Ranch has a great history filled with strong women.  The fireplace was made from stones taken from a monument to President Garfield that was falling down.  The names were chiseled by Buffalo Soldiers stationed there before Far Away Ranch became Far Away Ranch.

We had a wonderful tour of the house led by Ranger Anne.

IMG_8235In the afternoon we hiked to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain.  This is an old fire lookout tower and proof that we went all the way to the top.

IMG_8248At one point we actually hiked through the mountain!

IMG_8228I would have thought it was too cold for the snakes to be out, especially in the shade, but apparently not.  This is a black tailed rattlesnake I believe, right near the beginning of the trail. Luckily other hikers gave us a heads up preventing any heart attacks.

IMG_8250Still there on the trip back, we had marked his spot with a small rock cairn so as to not get caught unawares.

IMG_8191There are no fire pits at Bonita Canyon Campground so we brought our own, perfectly legal.  The rangers will let you have a small fire in the grill (if there are no fire restrictions of course!)  This was much nicer and we cooked hot dogs and s’mores the first night. It was perfect sitting around the fire weather.

Okay, while seeing the snake on the hike and a skunk (which I did not take pictures of) one night near our campsite (when I was sitting alone by the fire!) did not exactly bring me joy it was still cool (you know, afterwards).  But this guy brought a smile to my face:

IMG_8200The mom had already crossed the road and then I came along and the fawn stopped and I stopped and I told him to go ahead.  I could see the mama deer anxiously looking back and after a moments hesitation the baby deer bounded across the road and caught up to his mama.  We saw a lot of deer, they know they are safe in the National Park area during hunting season.