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Posts Tagged ‘tucson’

 

The desert landscape from my daughter’s Marana home on the southwest outskirts of Tucson. — Photo by Pat Bean

“Just sometimes every damned thing goes right? – Yhprum’s Law

Yup! It’s Monsoon Season in the Sonoran Desert

The ocotillos are lush-leafed and the saguaros are pumped. That’s what happens when you get a week or so of heavy downpours.

An ocotillo in bloom at Catalina State Park north of Tucson. I took this photo while I was still traveling full-time in my RV, and before I ever dreamed I would end up living in Tucson. — Photo by Pat Bean

These two cacti abound in Tucson, whose human development, especially in the Catalina foothills where I live, is tucked between and above the washes and arroyos that have been allowed to remain undeveloped so as to carry the falling water away quickly. The fact that there’s a bit of wildness remaining in the city, some of which is just seconds away from my apartment complex, is one of the reasons I’ve come to love Tucson.

I also enjoy the mountain ranges that encircle the city: The Tucson Mountains to the west. the Rincon Mountains to the east, the Santa Rita Mountains to the south, and the Catalina Mountains that are my backyard to the northeast. The sides of these mountains are now tinged a verdant green because of all the rain. It’s a cool view, especially after the 115 plus temperatures that plagued Southeastern Arizona for weeks.

I’ll enjoy it while I can, as soon the ocotillos will lose their green leaves to conserve the little water they’ll get in the coming months. They will become simply brown, tall thorny stems sticking up from the ground. The saguaros, meanwhile, will grow skinnier again, using the rain water they inhaled to maintain themselves through the waterless desert months.

Watching the changes that take place in the landscape around me, from day-to-day and season to season, gives me great pleasure. It connects me to Mother Earth.

Bean Pat: So Much Yarn https://theeternaltraveller.wordpress.com/2017/07/19 Take an armchair tour of England’s Yorkshire Market.

Pat Bean is a Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder. Her book, Travels with Maggie, is soon to be released. You can contact her at patbean@msn.com

 

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Thorny Neighbors

I call this saguaro Old Man. I found him while walking a wash near my daughter’s home here in Tucson. He fell over and bit the dusk not too long afterward. — Photo by Pat Bean

Saguaros come in all sizes and shapes. Is it my imagination, or do you think this one is giving the finger to the low-flying balloon. — Photo by Pat Bean

“Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns. I am thankful that thorns have roses.” – Alphonse Karr

Heat’s Up in Tucson

A cholla cactus in bloom. — Photo by Pat Bean

The temperature was 115 here in Tucson yesterday. Yuck! You need to be a cactus to survive in this weather, I think.

And then I remember that in 1956, I moved to the Texas Gulf Coast and didn’t have air conditioning for the next 10 years. How I survived, while changing cloth diapers (four kids in five years) continually for seven of those years, I have no idea.

I guess deep down I’m as tough as a cactus. Or once was. My outdoor adventures currently are confined to walking Maggie in the early mornings when it’s still a bit cool. She just gets taken outside long enough to do her business after that.

And a barrel cactus. — Photo by Pat Bean

Anyway, it seemed an appropriate day to post some of my cactus photos. I hope it’s cooler where you live.

Bean Pat: One of my favorite blogs is Brain Pickings. And I especially like these words of Albert Einstein, which seem especially appropriate these days. http://tinyurl.com/ydhxg629

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Soul Searching

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world.” – Neil Gaiman

A scene from my past: This pier is located on Chincoteague Island in Virginia, and I sat on it in 2006 and watched birds.  --  Photo by Pat Bean

A scene from my past: This pier is located on Chincoteague Island in Virginia, and I sat on it in 2006 and watched birds. — Photo by Pat Bean

I’ve Become a Non-Wandering Wanderer

I started this blog when I was traveling full-time with my canine companion, Maggie, in a small RV I called Gypsy Lee. I blogged mostly about the places I visited.

Today I live in a small, third-floor walk-up apartment in Tucson that sits in the shadow of the Catalina Mountains. I have a new canine companion, Pepper, a joyful Scottie mix who helped ease my grief when Maggie went to doggie heaven.

The Present: The view looking out over Tucson from my third-floor apartment. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The Present: The view looking out over Tucson from my third-floor apartment. — Photo by Pat Bean

My feet are still itchy for the road, but I’m finding new ways to scratch them by sight-seeing closer to home, traveling via books and photographs, and reflecting more deeply about the places I’ve been and the people I’ve met. The latter is a luxury of time gifted to me for having survived in this world for three-quarters of a century. I love being an old broad.

The things that I still have great passion for include writing, Mother Nature, birds, family, learning new things daily, books, art, travel and helping make this planet a more loving and peaceful world.  And these are the things I will be writing about in my blog in 2015.

I’m looking forward to the journey, and am thankful for readers who will be traveling with me. Life is good.

Bean Pat: Soul Writings http://tinyurl.com/q88ltoz The world would be a better place if everyone lived by these 10 rules.

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The view of the Catalina Mountains from my bedroom balcony. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The view of the Catalina Mountains from my bedroom balcony. — Photo by Pat Bean

   “Those fields of daisies we landed on, and dusty fields and desert stretches. Memories of many skies and earths beneath us – many days, many nights of stars.” – Anne Morrow Lindberg

How Amazing

            If you think of the desert as a dry, sterile patch of inhospitable landscape, think again. In the 16 months I’ve lived in it, I’ve found more beauty than I thought possible in a desert.

Admittedly, it’s the Sonoran Desert, which has also been called the lush desert because it has a monsoon season. But still I didn’t expect to come to love it as much as I have.

Patches of yellow on the landscape. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Patches of yellow on the landscape. — Photo by Pat Bean

I came to Tucson to spend Christmas 2012 with my daughter, and stayed, mainly because I found a dog-friendly apartment in the shadow of the Catalina Mountains that was exactly what I had been looking for when I ended my full-time living and traveling in  small RV.  Its location sang to me, and just as important it was a nice apartment I could afford.

My canine companion Pepper and I left it recently for almost three weeks – at heart I still love being on the road. And when I returned, as if by magic, summer had sneaked, or is that snuck, in. Tucson’s desert landscape does that while more northern states are just beginning to enjoy spring, or if truly northern still struggling with the remains of winter.

What I noticed first, when Pepper and I drove west on Highway 10 and turned north on Alvernon Road was that the landscape, patches of which still remain in the city, was decked out with yellow trimmings. I found it both beautiful and enchanting.

What a fantastic homecoming. Don’t you agree?

The Wondering-Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering-Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Live to Write – Write to Live http://tinyurl.com/ny8487f  The Hero’s Journey: This blog taught me something about writing, and made me laugh, too. But don’t read it if you don’t want the plot and ending of the movie “Gravity” spoiled for you

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“Yes sir, I am a tortured man for all seasons, as they say, and I have powerful friends in high places. Birds sing where I walk, and children smile when they see me coming.” – Hunter S. Thompson

Metal bird sculpture at Tohono Chul Park in Tucson. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Metal bird sculpture at Tohono Chul Park in Tucson. — Photo by Pat Bean

Fooled by the Eyes

            Searching for birds has its surprises. Sometimes what you think is a yellow-rumped warbler turns out just to be the profile of a

I like it that this bird was created from junked metal parts. -- Photo by Pat Bean

I like it that this bird was created from junked metal parts. — Photo by Pat Bean

quirky tree twig lit by a spit of sunlight, or a snowy egret turns out to be a white trash bag that someone carelessly tossed away, and which was blown up against some weeds by the wind.

I’ve seen leaf birds, shadow birds, bottle birds (a blue one floating on the water that from a far distance looked like a blue heron), stump birds and thousands of litter birds of flotsam,  jetsam and abandoned debris.

I thought about these non-birds during a recent stroll in Tucson’s Tohono Chul Park. Unlike all the litter birds I’ve seen, the park]s birds made me smile.

Are you smiling, too.

The Wondering-Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering-Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: The Currents of Life http://tinyurl.com/kenqp2u Just some things to ponder.

 

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Resolutions are popular because everyone feels they could use a little improvement.” Marilu Henner

This glorious desert sunset welcomed me home to Tucson

This glorious desert sunset welcomed me home to Tucson. — Photo by Pat Bean

New Year’s Resolutions

It’s 5:15 a.m., and the morning after I arrived back home to Tucson from attending my granddaughter’s  Texas A&M graduation — and the first time since I left on the spur-of-the-minute trip that I feel I have a few minutes of time completely to myself.

Me and my granddaughter, Pacee.

Me and my granddaughter, Pacee.

It was as perfect a trip as a trip with my strong personalities-family could be. By that I mean that I had a fantastic time, the hiccups were few, and my granddaughter’s surprised and pleased face when she saw me made all the hassles to get there worthwhile.

I even enjoyed the two-day long drive coming and going, even though on this trip the destination was more important than the journey. I still, as always, love sitting behind the steering wheel of a vehicle and watching the landscape flow by. The road has always felt like home to me.

I got back to Tucson in time to share birthday cake with my son-in-law, Joe, and then I spent the night here at my daughter’s house, choosing to sleep in my RV, Gypsy Lee, which I left behind for the trip. This morning I will return the rental car I drove, and then Gypsy Lee, Pepper and I will drive back to our small apartment home, where I can once again watch, from my bedroom balcony, the Catalina Mountains come to life with the morning sun as I drink my cream-laced coffee

My granddaughter was one of 4,980 students who graduated from Texas A&M on December 13. She's sitting on the front row on the left, fifth from right.  -- Photo by Pat Bean

My granddaughter was one of 4,980 students who graduated from Texas A&M on December 13. She’s sitting on the front row on the left, fifth from right. — Photo by Pat Bean

Waking up while everyone else is asleep is a thing I do often. It’s almost always the best time of any day. This morning, I lay in Gypsy Lee’s bed thinking about the fast approaching New Year. It’s a time when I always make a long list of resolutions – and yes they are usually all broken before the New Year is a week old.

As I thought about the things I want to put on this year’s list, because while I break my resolutions they do stay in my head and I do keep them occasionally, I realized that last year’s resolutions were still good to go – with just a little tweaking.

And that’s the same for my life. This old broad loves her life and could only think of a few tweaks to make it better.

Does this mean I’ve achieved all my goals, or have just relaxed enough to accept myself for who I am?

Well of course I haven’t achieved all my goals, but I do give myself a pat on the back for putting a big dent in them. And yes, I no longer beat up on myself when I’m not constantly in achievement mode.  So I guess it’s a little bit of both.

But mostly I think it is simply because I have come to not just accept, but to love, all my imperfections. So now I just have to decide what tweaks will make 2014 even better.

The Wondering-Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering-Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Oh Christmas Tree http://tinyurl.com/mqujzxy I don’t have a Christmas tree this year, although I have put up a few holiday decorations around my apartment. I gave away my huge collection of ornaments when I took to the road in Gypsy Lee. They now hang on my youngest daughter’s tree, and since I’m spending Christmas with her I’ll get to enjoy the memories again this holiday. A lot of the ornaments are travel souvenirs, but my favorites are  simply a few plastic poinsettia blooms, which hung on my first Christmas tree. Money was tight back then, and so that tree was decorated with nothing more than the plastic flowers that I had  separated from a dime-store  bouquet. There have been over 50 Christmases since that day, and the red flowers have seen them all. Meanwhile, enjoy the trees on this blog. I did

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Looking down from the road at one of the water-filled pools in Sabino Canyon. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Looking down from the road at one of the water-filled pools in Sabino Canyon. — Photo by Pat Bean

            “The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – Gilbert K. Chesterton.

Six Miles from Home

Seeing this country from coast to coast and border to border has always been more important to me than stepping on foreign shores. That’s not because I don’t want to visit other countries, but because I’ve always believed America, because of being my native country, should be explored first.

The desert's many varieties of cactus and their flowers fascinate me. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The desert’s many varieties of cactus and their flowers fascinate me. — Photo by Pat Bean

Of course there is also the fact of a limited budget, and the fact I can see more of this country within its bounds then I can any other place.

With the exception of Rhode Island, I have now been in every state, including Hawaii and Alaska – and am now saving up to go to Australia. My itch to see and visit new places, meanwhile, is being satisfied right here in Tucson.

I’ve never lived in the desert before, so just observing its beautiful landscape is a pleasurable experience. I didn’t know a desert had so much color – but then the upper Sonoran Desert here in Tucson is the lush desert. It gets more rain – actually right now we’re in its monsoon season – than other deserts.

It was just after one of our recent rumbling thunderstorms, complete with a lightning show, that I visited Sabino Canyon, which is just six miles up the road from where I live. Its pools were filled with water, and delightful to the eye.

 

I think this rock spire had a name, but I can't remember it. Maybe I will learn what it's called on my next visit to the canyon. -- Photo by Pat Bean

I think this rock spire had a name, but I can’t remember it. Maybe I will learn what it’s called on my next visit to the canyon. — Photo by Pat Bean

 

I was amazed in my travels that I have met so many people who failed to visit landmarks in their own backyards, ones that people traveled thousands of miles to see. I promised myself to never be one of them.

Travel doesn’t always have to mean an overseas airplane ride. It can simply mean going down the road a bit to see a new sight, like Sabino Canyon. It was a fun outing, which included a shuttle ride, since you can’t drive your vehicle through the canyon, and a short hike.

I plan to do it again, soon.

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: North Sydney Birds http://tinyurl.com/ncdbchg If one can’t physically travel, one can still visit other places, and even bird watch, from an armchair. I do a lot of this.

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