from Deanna Travis
Publisher & Owner
SURVIVAL IN THE SONORAN DESERT
Actually I thought that was the title of a book on the stack here and I could steal it for a nice tie-in to our day-to-day life here. Well I was wrong, the title is "A Natural History of the Sonoran Desert" and the reason I mention it is the wonderful color photo on the cover. One of the most beautiful scenes in nature (so I am told not having yet seen it) is the desert in bloom. That is what the cover photo shows, and since it is fairly rare I thought it funny to use it to spark interest in the book. And probably not too honest either.
None of that makes a lot of sense, probably because I am so deprived from not fishing that my whole outlook is screwed up. And on top of that my email didn't work and it nearly took an act of congress to get it fixed. At any rate it is working now and I must ask for your help please. I don't have any of my email history, so no address book! If you have been one of my correspondents please, PLEASE, drop me just a note with your email and something like "my address" on the 'subject line' on it so I can rebuild that. Send to: email@example.com If I have not responded in the past three weeks to a month to something you sent please resend it since it probably was lost in the shuffle between Montana and Arizona. Sorry about that.
We had the first local snow on the mountain tops here when we woke this morning. We expected it since we had a very unusual heavy rain overnight. At one point it rained hard enough to wake me, I listened a bit, got up and partially closed a window. The carpet wasn't wet there this morning so it worked out alright. A rain of that intensity and duration is pretty rare at this time of year. They do have a monsoon season from late June through early September and the majority of annual rainfall comes during that time. The rest of the year rain is pretty rare and therefore very welcome. The weather folks on TV were nearly celebrating the thought. It really doesn't take much for everything to green up very nicely. And it is appreciated by the folks who live here.
I'm gathering all sorts of useless trivia which might only be of value if I should compete on Jeopardy, but as long as we are on the subject I had not heard of a winter lawn before I came here. Seems lawns pretty much bite the dust (sorry about that pun not intended) in the summer, it's just too hot and nearly impossible to keep lawns watered. But during the winter lawns are over seeded with rye grass seed, watered and behold in a couple of weeks, literally the lawn man is cutting the beautiful green grass.
On our way down here a couple of weeks ago there was snow on the top of Humphrey's Peak which is the tallest mountain in Arizona at 12,633, as well as the surrounding mountains in the San Francisco mountain range just outside Flagstaff.
We haven't had much for migrating birds here yet, but with the big storm front which blew through here overnight we probably will see more. My husband Trav gets a couple of bird listing via email and those sometimes will list unusual birds for a particular region. Of course we still get the Montana lists so we know what is happening at home as well.
Trav worked a night hike in Saguaro National Park this past Friday night, and he will be leading a hike on Friday afternoons on the life history of the Saguaro cacti. I walked the trail with him a couple of days ago on the Freeman Homestead Trail, if you've ever been in the park it is one of the better known trails and has a little bit of everything.
Some friends were commenting on how depressing it is living in a 55 and over community like ours, and I can see how that could happen if one was not involved in community events or didn't have any interests outside the community. There are all sorts of activities here, from exercises to classes, various card games, luncheons and dinners outside the community and even a good local playhouse with a schedule of both Broadway plays and melodramas with special rates for 'seniors.' For us, we have our association with the Northwest Bible Church – which also has more programs and events for seniors, as well as Trav's park involvement so we aren't limited.
I don't remember if I mentioned we also belong to a choral group here, called the Meadowlarks. The most we had last year was probably 35 or so, with a good number of men. You really need the male voices to make it work, and we are really blessed with a good number and good voices as well. We had the first rehearsal last Monday with about half of the group showing up. Some of folks forgot, and a good number of the folks aren't back here yet. We have the first performance set for I think the 11th of December, so we are working on Christmas music.
But I can see how if you just lived in a retirement community and were aware of how many times the ambulance and fire truck (medics) are in and out and did not have any other interests it might become depressing. I'm grateful that isn't the case here.
The local folks were dressed in warm coats with hoodies today, the temp was 60 degrees. We thought it was nearly summer-like and took a little walk around one of the local ponds. Lots of folks spin fishing – these urban ponds are stocked – and one gentleman told me the catching was slow but the fishing was terrific.
It's all about surviving in the Sonoran Desert. Until next time enjoy life wherever you find it.