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working writer wending her way through the labyrinth that is self-publishing

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Life in Tucson...

On my morning walk today I saw a roadrunner sitting in a mesquite bush. How I knew him was his low scraping call and his long tail and topknot--no other bird looks like that! But as soon as I got my handy phone/camera ready he was off. It seems to be like this often. Hard to get those pesky flyers to hold still!

I thought the white-winged doves had moved on but unfortunately as soon as I refilled the feeders here they came again--I liked them at first  and hate to malign one of the Goddess's creatures but they chase away the smaller birds, empty the feeders within minutes and generally cause an uproar! I've missed the hummingbirds, finches and cactus wrens.

According to local lore they come when the saguaros bloom which is happening right now...creamy white blooms like a crown on top of their spiny heads. I love the saguaros' with their arms in supplication or lifted to the sky. I'm sure they dance on the night of the full moon. In Catalina State Park a couple of miles from us, there are hundreds of them covering the hills along the trails. We have none on our property but have discussed buying one for the front garden. They're expensive and rightly so considering their age. I find a certain reluctance to purchasing a plant that old for fear I would kill it from overwatering or underwatering or...whatever...they seem like sentient beings to me, as do all living things, but with their ancient wisdom they demand respect.

A cactus wren was perched on top of the bicycle leaning against the house this a.m.--not one bit afraid. They seem to be almost tame, and very curious. It was fussing so I thought perhaps it had a young one somewhere around but if it did, I didn't see it...I'm sure if our dog and cat weren't around we could hand feed them! They are noisy and busy birds, running along the wall behind the house and jumping around in the Palo Verde...

As I write this I see that the sun has disappeared behind clouds. A howling wind came up earlier, blowing the clouds in--20* chance of rain we heard. I wouldn't mind. Our one inch in April has continued to green things up. It doesn't take much here. But with the respite from the hot sun I can get outside to plant our purple prickly pear paddles and do some digging to prepare for our tiny cactus garden we have planned. I bought a pincushion cactus covered in orange blooms at the farmer's market on sunday and another small upright cactus (don't know the name) with magenta blooms. We have a lot to do since the former owner wanted nothing to do with the local flora, instead putting in flowering plums and boxwoods. Roses, dried out and ragged, are also on our removal list.

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