Phoenix in August!?

A week ago after a night rain I awoke to my Texas Rangers in full bloom.  Even the neighbors’ over-trimmed balls of rangers were coated in blooms.

After last night’s drenching downpour, nothing but a trail of water in the small streambed in my backyard.

My neighbor had asked me to clean out his pool filter while they’re out of town and I found two Couch’s Spadefoot toads on their honeymoon.  Hated to put them out into the desert; they were so happy in the water.

Spent a few days in Scottsdale with my daughter’s family, using a friend’s timeshare for a free vacation.  Phoenix in August!?  But a quarter of the huge pool was in the shade, behind a waterfall.

One day we took the kids to the Children’s Museum of Phoenix.  What fun!  Too bad it took so long to get to downtown Phoenix;  I’d take the kids once a week!  A two-story play apparatus with a winged bathtub and lots of other creative sections.  (I didn’t have my camera with me.  See photos here: http://www.childrensmuseumofphoenix.org/the-climber/climber-photos.aspx )

An entire room of small children coloring and cutting and gluing and painting.  (My daughter wants me to make one of these full size paper ostriches.  She took the photos with her cell phone.)

A forest of hanging styrofoam  noodles.  A “grocery store” and “ice cream stand” (with cones of felt and styrofoam ice cream) and a “pizza parlor” with quilted pizza crusts and cloth toppings to choose from.  Even a fake fire under the pizza oven.  Tucson’s Children’s Museum pales by comparison.

The next day took just my granddaughter to the Heard Museum (also a long drive) which has tons of creative learning for kids.  http://www.heard.org/education/familyexhibitions.html

She even liked the enormous room full of kachinas as I explained each of them.  (This photo of Heard kachina dolls from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kachina )

Came home tired again (the drive was almost 3 hours back to Tucson), but my cat was so happy to see me that she chose sleeping cuddled up to me instead of hunting mice for three nights.

Today a sparrow bonked into a window and the cat caught it.  I yelled at her to Drop it! and she did.  I put the cat inside until the bird recovered and flew away.

My dear feline also caught a small lizard.  When I went out to take it from her it ran inside!  Who’s dumber, the lizard for running into a house, or me, knowing that it had happened before, leaving the door open.  The cat caught it again under the bed and I put it outside, with a little nick in its neck.  Hope it makes it.

No howling coyotes, no odiferous javelinas, no skulking bobcats, no bunnies cavorting, just a deer startled when I went to my garden.  But a large yellow butterfly darted quickly across the yard, as did a pyrrhuloxia in a burst of red, too quick for my camera.

When I sit outside in the evenings, my book lies open in my lap as I enjoy the outdoors, rather like someone on a beach, book unread, enjoying the ocean waves.

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2 Responses to “Phoenix in August!?”

  1. Jim Says:

    In the time of the heaviest of the Sonora Desert summer storms, in the mud puddles around Tucson desert, I discovered an abundance of prehistoric fairy shrimp laying their eggs.

  2. LYN KAGEY Says:

    Summer here in San Diego hasn’t happened yet. We are still in June gloom. High of 63/low of 61 at the beaches. I feel sorry for the tourists who come here expecting to spend the day at the beach. Fortunately we are a few miles inland and we are getting sunshine most of the day.

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