The Sonoran Desert

G. K. Chesterton once said, "The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one's own country as a foreign land." After all the traveling I've done lately, I am now back in my home land, the desert of southern Arizona. And I just keep on taking pictures of things I've been looking at my whole life, like cactus. I really do seem to be seeing it with new eyes, thanks in large part to all the wonderful friends I've made in so many other places, Europe, Costa Rica, New York, Washington, and Ohio. You know who you are.

Here's a another picture of my house, between the Rincon mountains and Pantano wash, shown here flowing with water, a rare event.

It's the monsoon season, which means we get lots of dramatic storms in the afternoon and evening.

Which makes for some dramatic sunsets...

...and lots of lightning storms at night. This picture was taken from my front porch; you can see the gate that leads out onto the road.

All the rain makes the air fresh and clean in the morning. This photo and the next one were taken in Saguaro National Park, about 5 miles from my house.

Cathedral Peak rises above the city of Tucson.

We see lots of wildlife here. These are Gambel's Quail in my front yard. Some of my Ohio friends wonder how one can live without grass in the yard. Perhaps these photos explain it. Or, I could just tell you the truth. It doesn't rain enough here to support a grass lawn, and our water is too precious, IMHO, to waste it on a grass yard when there's this awesome desert right out the front door.

Our nearest neighbors are Jerry and Eva, very nice people. "That Lee's interested in everything," Jerry told Nadia wonderingly a few days ago. I'd been hiking the half-mile to our mailbox when I saw this dead horny toad in the road and thought I'd take a picture of it. Jerry had driven around the corner at just that moment. Like country people everywhere, he was too polite to ask me what I was doing out in the hot sun at midday taking a picture of a dirt road. (Mad dogs and Englishmen...) He just arrived at his own conclusion, stopped to pass the time for 5 minutes, and drove on. His wife makes an awesome squash, mushroom, tomato, and chili dish that she favors us with once in a while.

For the interested reader, I have a picture of a live horny toad on this site, too.

This Redtail Hawk sits on the pole by our house.



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