Friday, January 22, 2016


We've been busy the last few days.   Wednesday Dave did a little preventative maintenance under Beluga.

He used one of John's cast off slide toppers as a ground cloth and it worked perfectly to keep him off the stones under Beluga!

We washed and conditioned Lewis in preparation for his first mow job of the year.  

Thursday morning we set up the grooming table behind Beluga and spent a few hours clipping and scissoring sweet Lewis.   We always like how he looks just before its time to clip, but clip we must to keep him neat.   Those curls collect all manner of leaves and prickers from the desert and its nice to get them taken care of.      We won't have to do it again for at least 6 or 7 weeks.

Later in the day Cindy P, Walter and Geneva came over for happy hour.   It was a lovely warm day so we were able to sit outside and visit.   Pam and John stopped by to say hello and we sat out until it got too cold.  As soon as the sun goes down the temperatures drop quickly.

Today John and Pam, Steve and Mona Liza went on a beautiful hike, they invited Dave to join them but his back was feeling a little "ouchy" so he opted to stay back and not push.

We packed a lunch and drove the 15 or so miles to the Saguaro National Park.

We ate lunch at Gates Pass and enjoyed the views in front of and behind the jeep.

We continued on into the National Park, walking when we felt like it and auto touring on the Bajada Loop Trail through a veritable forest of Saguaro.

I've always been fascinated by Saguaro.   They grow exclusively in the Sonoran desert.      I love them when they're small and young, when they're tall and old.    Even Saguaro that have died are fascinating to me.

still standing skeleton

dead, downed and deflated

Some of them are  perfect,  just what you've seen on post cards of the west.

But there is much two are the same.

These tree-like cacti provide homes for Gila Woodpeckers, Gilded Flickers, various flycatchers and Elf Owls.

blue grey gnatcatcher

They have a very long lifespan and don't even start to grow "arms" until they are 75-100 years old.   A ten year old Saguaro may only be one and a half inches tall!.      They can reach heights of 70 feet in good growing conditions.

They are covered with rows of spines, white waxy flowers in the late spring and red "fruit" in the summer.   They are at once magnificent and ridiculous.   I can't get enough of them!

After our lovely afternoon communing with the Saguaro, we met up with John and Pam, Steve and Mona Liza at El Charro in downtown Tucson for a yummy Mexican dinner.  

Tomorrow we head over to the Pima County Fairgrounds to attend the winter Tucson Dressage horse show with the Ponds.


  1. It was a beautiful day to head into the desert. Glad you and Dave made the trip:)

    1. Brilliant use of the discarded topper! My thoughts exactly on the saquaro, I never tire of their beauty and variety. Love that alligator-looking carcass. I really need to give Tessa a bath :-( Is Cindy P still going to be there when we are????

  2. I am so missing the saguaro. They remind me of cartoon characters. Have you ever seen a saguaro in bloom Sue? Absolutely beautiful!

  3. What a lovely tribute to the magnificent saguaro. One of these days I intend to see them blooming! Have you hiked the Valley View Overlook and Signal Hill trails in Saguaro NP? Both are short and spectacular (Signal Hill has cool petroglyphs.)

  4. That skeletal saguaro looked like an alligator.
    How about that, you were just on the other side of the mountain! Maybe you were the ones that wave at us but ignored :)