Oct 18, 2010

Arizona Musings

Shaun and I spent Labor Day weekend this year in Phoenix with his family. I was thrilled to finally be that far west! It was great to get to know his family better, on their home turf. And I was nerding out at the possibility of seeing a live coyote or gila monster! Alas, I saw neither. But...

I saw the first live scorpions I'd ever seen. Diane (my future mother-in-law) saw this tiny scorp from the side of the pool. Good eyes, Diane! Just look how tiny it is compared to my thumb! But totally capable of stinging the hell out of you.

Tom (my future father-in-law) found this one out on the patio under a mat, while he was cleaning. There wasn't time to think about picture quality when I took this shot, I pressed the trigger and got the heck away from this little alien. I think at this point it had two back legs that weren't actually working, but it was still proud and determined to let me know it wasn't going to take any crap from me. Boy, were these creatures built to look intimidating, or what?!

The dyed flowers I held for our engagement photos turned the vase water indigo. That color makes me think of my grandmother, Essie. She loved that color. I do, too.

The family's elderly dog, Buddy couldn't resist a midday dip. Especially when Tom egged him on and threw his tennis ball in the pool.

The first thing I did when I came down each morning was to look out the back window for signs of wildlife, on the South Mountain reserve behind the house. Wrong time to be coyote watching, but I thought I might get lucky. You have to admit there's a stark beauty to the desert. I loved the colors. And I couldn't get enough of just looking at the way the sky looked especially bowl shaped.

But the only other wildlife that I saw or had a chance to photograph was a chubby pigeon drinking pool water for breakfast Saturday morning.

Renee and I went for a hike about halfway up South Mountain on Saturday morning of that weekend. We only made it halfway because I was nervous about overheating. My midwestern raised, woods loving self started getting the shakes after 25 minutes and I decided not to push it. It was my first hands-on (feet-on?) experience with the desert.

It was 96 degrees at 7:30 in the morning! I noticed after a while that I was hot but wasn't sweating, and then I realized it was because my sweat was evaporating that fast. The heat made the air so heavy and dry, it was like walking while wrapped up in a thick blanket I couldn't unwrap myself from. But worth a chance to see a view of town from a cactus forest.

Heh heh, this shot would have been nice without the reflection. Oh well.

Met a fellah named Nathan and his cat, Marty McFly.

And since I was excited to be staying in the house and town my man Shaun grew up in, I just couldn't resist taking a pic of a pic in the guest room we stayed in. Aww, high school band Shaun!

I have a bunch of photos of desert plants and trees too, but I'll have to share those another time when I can give you their names.

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