Monday, August 23, 2010

How Green is My Valley

It has been an adequate monsoon season here in the desert areas surrounding Tucson Arizona. Temperatures have been running in the high 90's and low hundreds for what seems like forever. With the monsoon rains comes the humidity which most desert dwellers welcome except we humans who have gotten used to 8 or 9 percent humidity and have little tolerance for anything above 15 percent.
With the rains comes an amazing display of blossoms and greenery that is almost unbelievable considering that the transformation happens within weeks of the first rains.
This post isn't about what the plants are but instead is to show how a dry desert becomes a lush garden under the right conditions.
These photographs were taken at the Arivaca Cienega and Madera Canyon over the weekend. Where ever we went it was green and lush vegetation with lots and lots of flowers for added color.

Hardly makes one think Desert. This remarkable transformation is one of the reasons I love this place even though I'm not fond of heat and humidity!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Great Egret

This photograph of a Great Egret was taken at Silverbell Lake in Tucson Arizona. You can read more about the Great Egret at

Sunday, August 8, 2010

90 Miles for Peaches and Corn

We traveled the 90 miles to Willcox Arizona to get out of the house on Saturday with the hope that we would be able to get some good produce including peaches and corn on the cob.
We headed directly to Apple Annie's Orchard to get the peaches which can be purchased by the pound in the U-Pick orchard or from the bins under the tent. I was surprised by the number of people who had come out to pick there own peaches but it was a nice, cloudy morning in the low 70's, perfect for picking just about anything.
The kids really seem to enjoy picking their own fruit off the trees and there were lots of young ones on hand.
Willcox is known for it's agricultural base including its orchards, produce, wine, and cattle and it's also known for the annual migration of Sandhill Cranes which are a huge attraction from October until March each year. Last year we traveled to Willcox to photograph the Sandhills and saw over two thousand birds in a single day. The Sandhill photos can be found in the archives here at Sonoran Connection.

We checked out the gift shop and the bakery but avoided the Burger Barn which had a long line before heading to Apple Annie's produce and pumpkin farm a few miles away.

There was not as much activity at the produce barn but there were still quite a few people in the fields picking veggies.

The fields were lush and well groomed and seemed to go on for miles with corn of varying heights all around. We couldn't resist trying the roasted corn on the cob which was very tasty.

I never would have guessed that Okra had such a beautiful flower but as you can see it's quite amazing.

For some reason these scenes reminded me of the great depression and the hardship that so many Americans are experiencing now due to the lousy economy and the lack of jobs.

On the other side of town there are many farms including this one with freshly baled hay ready to be gathered.

There are also many nut groves like this one we spotted on the way back to the highway to head home. Not a bad way to spend a day.