November Fun in Arizona

November Fun in Arizona

We brought our mountain bikes down with us, but so far we’ve mostly ridden on pavement. There is a great multi-use paved trail system in Tucson called “The Loop,” because is loops around the whole city and into the surrounding towns. We’ve ridden at least six days on the trail system. Here’s a few photos to let you get the idea.

This is Wendy on the Canada del Oro River Park route, with views of some luxury homes behind her.


The same trail continues towards Catalina State Park, through a mesquite desert.


There are many beautiful bridges along the trails. Our place is just on the other side of the mountains in the background.


We did some hiking in the area close to where we live. This is a portion of the Ironwood Forest trail. It’s definitely not the typical forest that we usually hike in.


Another cooler day, we did a longer loop and retraced some of our previous hike. The Brittlebush trail starts up a wash.


Here’s a view along the trail. Prickly pear and saguaro cactuses dominate.


This bright green plant is known as “resurrection plant” and is a species of desert plant in the spikemoss family. During dry weather, it’s stems curl into a tight ball, and uncurl when exposed to moisture. The plant is hardly noticeable when it’s all dried up and it’s quite a surprise to see the green slopes after a rainfall.


We also drove across town to the Santa Catalina Mountains. One day, we joined an Audubon field trip at Sabino Canyon. We saw plenty of birds, but it was a rainy day, so no good photos.

A little farther north is Catalina State Park. We did a short birding hike among the granitic outcrops.


We experienced some interesting weather. These clouds preceded a cold front that brought lots of rain and some cooler temperatures.


That meant that we could enjoy some “comfort” food. Doug made his speciality, Chicken Parmesan for the first time in the Redwood.


Throughout our whole trip here this fall, Wendy has found time to sew. Usually she manages with a small table for her sewing machine. The “living room” was transformed into a “quilt palace” for the last few long seams in her throw size quilt top.


Here is Wendy’s “Arizona” quilt top.


We visited Tohono Chul gardens for the last four Sundays in November to attend concerts. Most times it was quite hot. This photo of Doug from November 24 is noteworthy because the cooler temperatures encouraged a new wardrobe: jacket, pants and shoes!


Jonathan W. Martinez played that day. We throughly enjoyed his original pieces and his use of unconventional techniques. (Guitar as percussion, multiple capos and use of looping.)


We’ve also seen a lot of different wildlife this fall. Here’s a Collared lizard that we saw sunning himself at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.


This coyote was also at the Desert Museum.


One day we went birding at the Sweetwater Wetlands and saw four bobcats. Three of them were a long way off, but this fellow was just down the path from us. He didn’t stick around long.


We were lucky enough to see three javelinas the same day. They trotted out from the bushes and gave us a good view. Javelinas are peccaries; a medium-sized pig-like hoofed mammal. They have a strong odour and we could smell them before we saw them.


And because we promised some birds…

Here are a couple of Northern shovelers, in breeding plumage.


And a male American kestrel.


We’ll be taking a break from the blog until the new year. Have a great Christmas!