Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sedona, Arizona

Happy Birthday Charlotte.  Happy Birthday Katie.

It all happened today and I had better slow down to tell you, otherwise I will blurt it out and not make sense, I will start at the beginning.  Our body clocks have adjusted and we woke early and started our day, how early?  More later.

Saguaro National Park
Our first stop was the Saguaro National Park so Bev could see the Saguaro cactus in its natural environment.  It is amazingly beautiful in this Sonoran Desert vegetation.  Bev was thrilled to see her first chipmunk and then driving around the Park we saw a few more.
When going to a Saguaro cactus for close-up photographs I reminded Bev about snakes as she was wearing sandals, not boots which give some protection.
Well .... coming down a hill, thankfully in the car, I saw a rattler stretched across the road and at the slow NP speed I was able to stop a safe distance from it.  A cyclist was coming down the hill and I waved frantically for him to stop as his bike would have gone over the snake if he did not stop.  He was ignoring my wave but did not ignore the word snake and he came to a stop in time.  This disturbed the rattler who turned around and headed for the scrub.  The cyclist pointed out that the rattler had both its head and tail lifted, it was ready to strike.  In the first photograph the rattler has turned to go back into the rocky area.  The second photograph shows that the snake is well hidden when in the natural environment.  The snake went back towards the rocks but kept its head turned looking at us.  I don't need to see another rattler.
When something has finished its time the Aussies say, "It's cactus" or "she's cactus", well today we may have discovered the meaning of the expression.  This photo shows a dying and as Bev said, "a dissolving cactus", it was really sad to see as cactus take 35 years to grow six feet tall. This cactus must be over 150 years old.

Casa Grande National Park
Next we visited Casa Grande Ruins National Park which was home to the Hohokam people from 300 B.C. when they started agriculture and irrigation in the Tuscon area.  Casa Grande (the big house) is about 700 years old and has been protected by this roof since the 1930's.

Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona

These beautiful native sculptures stand in the grounds of the Heard Museum (hm) in Phoenix.  We arrived here at 3:00pm and since we wanted to drive to Sedona tonight I elected to have a sleep in the car.  Bev joined the 2:00pm tour .... yes folks we did not know that Arizona is on Pacific Time but does not go on Daylight Savings Time.  So when we crossed into Arizona our clocks should have been adjusted yet again.  So we were having breakfast at 07:30am, not 08:30am this morning.  Oh well.

As I wrote earlier so much happened today.  I received an email from Benny, they were spared damage from the tornadoes but two lives and nine buildings were destroyed in their town.  The news reports here were all Tuscaloosa and Alabama.  I would only hear little snippets about Atlanta or Georgia so I emailed my friends and now know that thankfully they are safe.  THEN .... driving to Sedona this afternoon along the highway our car was hit by a small Dust Devil (Aussie: whirly whirly) that pushed me into the other lane in one quick blast of dust.  It woke both of us up, OK I was awake, I was driving, but from that point on it was two hands on the wheel.

Sedona, Arizona
So now we are in the beautiful red rock country of Sedona where tonight we ate at an Organic Vegetarian Cafe listening to teenagers reciting poetry.  I thought of Robert (Solitary Walker) and wondered if he would have enjoyed the readings.  This is Sedona .....


  1. Well, I did warn you to avoid the twisters, both animal and meteorological ..!

  2. Oh, my. That last photo is so like my first evening in America in 2008... Have a wonderful time and don't put your camera(s) down anywhere in the great outdoors! (Pleased to report that all cameras came home from Italy unscathed :))

  3. Thanks for the warnings Robert,

    Fortunately we were able to watch the snake slither away and I recovered nicely when slammed by the whirly.

    Yes, the red rocks look just the same. I have fond memories of my time here with you and Kees and I will NOT put my camera down in the GC area.