Morning Vigil

There is nothing like morning in the desert.  The air is fresh and cool with a hint of a breeze caressing… I went out this morning early to capture this last morning in the desert before we leave Catalina (a bedroom community of Tucson).
These new  housing developments have an enormous amount of rockwork defining the hillsides and preventing erosion.   I sat just above a wash area to listen and watch the morning…
To be still and remember…
the cooing of doves, quail partners calling to each other, the flutter of little wings,  songbirds rejoicing in the morning…
A wee yellow tit came to investigate this dark spectacled trespasser (me).  He flitted from branch to branch coming ever closer and then on around behind my back twittering to himself all the while.  Who is this? What is she doing here? 
Then along came Mr.  Roadrunner on his morning circuit.  He kept a watchful eye on me as he did his rounds in search of breakfast.  What a treat to have him pass so near!
After he had passed I quietly tucked my camera in its spot at my side without looking… and next thing I knew it was tumbling down the rock wall, bounce, bounce, bounce till it came to rest in the roadrunner’s trail. Ouch!
And that’s when I took my descent to amble about in the wash (and try out my camera to see if it would still function!).  Here’s what I saw…
yellow tiny flower 
before turning my steps back to our host’s house…

The desert wilds have been invaded by people since we moved away.  This entire community is new. (You can just see our car and Boler parked at our host’s house).
But the wildflowers have found their nooks despite it all.
Don’t fence me in!

A Desert Hike–the Canyon Loop Trail

The Catalina State Park is one of our favorite local parks.  First thing this morning before the day heated up we girls went with a few friends for a hike…
We had a funny experience as we set out… We came upon a man with a double set of hiking sticks coming toward us with a warning that just around the corner was a bear, or a bull… a big black thing right there around the bend.  And he wasn’t sure which but he was turning back and  going to find another trail…
Now, this happens to be my favorite trail in the park and I didn’t fancy turning back just as we were getting going.  Besides, I was curious–what was around the corner?  I’ve never seen a bear in this area, never heard of such a thing even.  I had to see.  Wishing Louie were here just in case… I took my friend’s walking stick in hand and took a few steps, and then suggested we all go see.  We did.  And just around the bend here’s what we found– our Arizona ‘bear’ ( :
This land doubles as grazing ground for cattle.  Here was in fact a bull, but one not much interested in our passing by.
We continued on and had a leisurely stroll along this creek bed.  The water here will dry up in another month and be a dry bed till the monsoons come at summer’s end.  So finding water here is always a treat.

Along the trail we nearly trampled on this little guy.  He’s a ‘horny toad’ that keeps the ant population under control–quite harmless despite his fierce appearance.   You can pick them up if you can catch them.  This one skittered off in the midst of our photo shoot.

And so went our lovely hike…very different than the ones I’ve posted thus far, but oh so bright and sunny and full of memories of times past.  Thanks for  coming along!
“…He opened the rock and water gushed out;  it flowed through the desert like a river.”  Ps.105:41
“I will make with them a covenant of peace and banish wild beasts from the land so that they may dwell securely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods.” Ez.34:25


The last leg of our journey began Saturday a.m. early.  We’re up before dawn to capture the cool hours…

Had to do some picture taking at a roadside rest stop while watching for rattlesnakes underfoot as per the big yellow warning sign picturing a venomous snake! 
Mid-afternoon we stopped in Lake Havasu City to see the London Bridge.  Quite a hot spot for tourists on Spring Break!
Bouganvilla is a brilliant desert bloomer!
We arrived in our old hometown late Saturday evening… I had to get up early to see the morning.  There is nothing like morning in the desert–birdsong, warm sun, cool air– so peaceful!  By mid-morning it is getting quite warm ( +/- 25 degrees).IMG_0734
This is the land of the cactus.  It is time for the ‘hedgehogs’ to bloom:
This larger more fierce variety has the cuddly name of  “Teddy Bear Cholla”…
A bird has found it a safe haven for her young…
Prickly Pear is a common cactus; this is a thornless variety in bud:
Sajuaros are the giants of the desert—
The most common tree of the Arizona desert is Mesquite.  The ‘leaves’ are just coming out…
The bees are busy about the job of finding nectar…
Here pictured is the ‘zucchini of the American Southwest’–grapefruit–in a friend’s backyard.  Everyone with a tree is eager to pass on bags of their fruit overload:
We are enjoying fresh oranges, lemons and grapefruit in profusion these days as we trot about visiting old friends,  special stores and favorite restaurants.  One evening we found ourselves in Tucson enjoying this gorgeous sunset!

“The Heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows his handiwork…”