It's been a hectic last few days getting things ready, but we did manage to squeeze in a few walks and visits to a few of our favorite places: Saguaro National Park, Christopher Columbus Park, Sweetwater Wetlands, Maeveen Behan Desert Sanctuary, and DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun.
From poppies and lupine to jewelflowers and penstemon, all kinds of spring wildflowers are starting to bloom at the Maeveen Behan Desert Sanctuary and in Saguaro National Park. It's the perfect time to get out on park trails and enjoy the spring weather, all the flower power, birds and butterflies. It's a really beautiful time to experience Tucson!
Speaking of birds, we had to go say goodbye to the ducks and waterbirds at Sweetwater Wetlands and Christopher Columbus Park, and boy did they put on a show for us! We saw a roadrunner hunting in the wetlands, ducks having territorial wars, and anhingas, cormorants and herons out fishing. I love anhingas - I first saw them in the Everglades. Did you know that they are known as "snakebird" for the way they dive underwater after fish, and also as "water turkeys" for the way they fan out their tail feathers.
I was really glad we got to go visit Lance "The Tucson Dude" at DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun. We've done so many radio shows with him over the years and he always has a fascinating story to share about famous Arizona artist Ted DeGrazia. What a renaissance man he was! While we were there, we got to peak inside the Mission in the Sun, which DeGrazia built by hand many years ago. Unfortunately the Mission caught on fire a couple of years ago, but the restoration is almost done! We also met artist Ginny Moss Rothwell who was doing some painting touch-ups inside the Mission. She used to work with DeGrazia and even went on that famous trip with him into the Superstition Mountains where he burned a bunch of his paintings so his family would not have to pay the inheritance tax on them!
So adios Tucson! You've been so good to us! Now it's on to Yuma, Arizona "Gateway to the Great Southwest!" We're looking forward to seeing our friends John & Yvonne Peach at the Historic Coronado Motor Hotel which is our tour headquarters, and, going for sunrise walks along the lower Colorado River.