Tag: square dancing (page 2 of 2)

Weekend in Yuma, Part II

Warning, this is long, with a lot of pictures!

Saturday morning Ed & Helen picked us up and we had breakfast at Cracker Barrel. Everyone had eggs and bacon and biscuits and grits and hearty southern breakfast food, except for me. I had a fruit and yogurt and granola parfait and a blueberry muffin! There has to be one in every crowd, right?

Our tour guides offered to take us wherever we might want to go and I wanted to go to California! I’ve never been to California! And we wanted to see green growing things. So, first stop was the Imperial Date Gardens in Bard, California, where they grow Medjool dates, which is the only variety of date that can be picked fresh and eaten fresh. We had a date shake, which are very popular in the area. It was very tasty, but I’m not sure if it was due to the dates or just due to the fact that I have avoided milkshakes entirely since discovering that I was lactose intolerant. Thanks to lactase enzyme supplements, I am now enjoying more dairy treats.

Imperial Date Gardens

Dates are grown on palm trees, did you know that? The palm groves were beautiful.

date grove in California

Here’s a date palm that appeared to be growing wild along the roadside, although as valuable as the date palms are, perhaps it wasn’t a date palm but some other variety.

date palm

An historical marker along the way:

historical marker

Yuma is home to the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation. This sign was right below a small dam, which you can see in the following picture.

Fort Yuma Indian Reservation posted sign

dam

After leaving the dam area, we entered back into Dome Valley, Arizona. The Yuma area is where the Colorado River meets the Gila River. Before the building of dams on the Colorado River in the early 1900s, the river often overflowed and flooded the river bottom area, which left nutrient rich soil behind. That is the reason that Yuma County Arizona is the third largest producer of winter crops in the nation, with 100% of those crops grown on irrigated land. While traveling through Dome Valley, we saw head lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, leaf lettuce, cabbage, olive trees and many other crops growing.

olive trees

Olive trees

olive trees

The same olive trees with mountains in the background.

irrigation canal

An irrigation canal across the road from the olive trees.

lettuce field in Dome Valley Arizona

A field of green lettuce with the mountains as a backdrop. Somehow the green makes the brown mountains seem quite lovely!

antique tractor

Bill trying to decide what make of tractor was on display. I think he decided it was a Fordson.

antique tractor

Up close and in black and white in an effort to dispel the shadows and get a better view of the tractor itself.

Irrigated field

Irrigated field next to the tractor in the previous pictures.

a field of head lettuce

A field of head lettuce. I love the contrast of the green and the mountains in the background.

head lettuce

Head lettuce close up. The heads are just beginning to form.

rows of head lettuce

The same field of head lettuce. You can see where the water flows when they irrigate it by the cracks in the dirt where the mud dried.

Helen and Bill

Helen and Bill resting at Ed & Helen’s RV while we waited for Ed to walk their dog.

Helen and Ed Raynor

Helen & Ed in front of their RV.

After spending several hours touring around, Ed & Helen dropped us off at our motel and we rested up to get ready for an evening of dancing. Three couples from our Sierra Vista Thunder Mountain Twirlers club showed up for Saturday night dancing, so we tried to dance with them as much as possible along with Ed & Helen. Of course, with a huge floor of dancers, it isn’t always possible to get into the square you want before it is filled up by other dancers, but that’s the fun of a big dance. You get to meet new people and sometimes you are pleasantly surprised to meet up with old friends!

Grapes but not grapes – 365-025

fruit hanging from a tree

Anyone know what tree this is? It was in the courtyard at the hotel we stayed at in Tucson over the weekend.

Bill and I spent Saturday night in Tucson, dancing our silly feet sore. It was great dancing and great callers at the Tucson Area Square Dance Festival, but the dance floor left a lot to be desired (too tacky) and they had a much larger than anticipated turnout, so the dance floor was very crowded. That always makes for hard dancing. But we had a great time dancing with members of our local club and we also recognized several people from when we traveled to Show Low last July.

square dance badges & ribbons

The event was held at the Radisson Hotel, which was beautiful and very comfortable. I took pictures of the fountain, the pool and the lemon trees growing in the courtyard area.

fountain

swimming pool

lemon trees

We took a long scenic drive home from Tucson on Sunday afternoon, but I’ll save those pictures for tomorrow!

Fireflies?

I am back home again and getting caught up on everything, I think. All but my website updates, but then there never really is a “caught up” on those. It was a productive trip to Alabama, cleaning and packing and preparing our old place for sale. I was able to spend some time visiting with Dad and Mary and even got to see Charles and Rebecca’s apartment in Hartselle. Plus, as an added bonus, I was able to go dancing at the Brindlee Mountain Promenaders on Friday night. I didn’t realize how much I missed dancing in general and dancing there specifically. Maybe we will have to try dancing again here in Tallahassee sometime soon, if work and class schedules this fall permit.

One thing I noticed when I was back in Alabama was the fireflies. As soon as it began to get dark at the trailer in the woods, the fireflies were out. And then I realized that I have not seen any fireflies here in Tallahassee this year. I am sure we had some last year, but none this year. Is it because it is a wetter year? Or is it because the city sprays more for mosquitoes in a wetter year and thus wipes out the fireflies? I really do not know anything about fireflies; maybe my good friend over at the Growing With Science blog can explain why I am not seeing fireflies this year!

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