Tag: Arizona Landscape (Page 1 of 3)

Weekend in Yuma, Part I

Last weekend we traveled to Yuma Arizona for the Traveling Dancers Festival sponsored by the Yuma Square and Round Dance Association. Since we don’t know how long we will be living in Arizona, we are taking advantage of square dance weekends to visit areas of the region that we’ve not been to yet, and Yuma was one of those areas.

We took I-10 north of Tucson to the I-8 junction and then I-8 west to Yuma. Along the way we stopped at a rest stop where there were thousands of volcanic rocks scattered everywhere.

volcanic rock field along I-8

volcanic rocks along I-8

I’m always amazed at how quickly the landscape in Arizona changes from desert to alpine to grasslands to irrigated productive land. The drive on I-8 illustrated this perfectly. We went from saguaro to scrub to these rocks and back to scrub and then, voila! An irrigated valley full of alfalfa and thousands of dairy cows.

desert at Gila Bend

The above picture illustrates it beautifully. You can see the desert scrub and barrenness and in the distance, dairy barns. By the time you get to the barns, there’s acre after acre of irrigated alfalfa.

alfalfa fields and dairy at Gila Bend

There were several dairies in this valley around Gila Bend. And then mile after mile of desert again until we were much closer to Yuma. Then we could see green off to the right in the distance where the Gila River flowed. Little did we know that Saturday we would spend much of the morning driving around that green area, which we learned was called Dome Valley.

But first, we arrived in Yuma late afternoon, checked in at the motel, found some supper and then got ready to go dancing! The dance was held at the Yuma Civic Center. The callers were great, the dancing floor even better, and we settled in to enjoy a night of plus level dancing. After the second tip, while we were working our way off the floor, I see someone waving and pointing. That’s nothing strange, but they are not usually waving and pointing at us, as we don’t know many Arizona area dancers yet. But they were waving and pointing at us! It was Ed & Helen Raynor, friends from our club back in Alabama, Brindlee Mountain Promenaders. They are now RVing full time and they didn’t know we were in Arizona. It was great reconnected with them and also great to be able to dance with them the rest of the evening, since they are great dancers.

Before the night was done, we had made arrangements to meet for breakfast the next day. And since Ed & Helen had been in Yuma for about a month, they volunteered to show us the local sights. So, watch for tomorrow’s post to hear more about all the fun things we did on Saturday!

Sky Watching

We have been living here in Sierra Vista for almost a year now (October 3rd will be one year) and one of the things that I like most about living here is the sky. I’ve always been a sky watcher and the wide open spaces here really make sky watching so much easier. Last week I posted a picture of the clouds obscuring the mountain behind our house. The very next day I took this picture:

Huachuca Mountains

It is almost as if you could just reach up and grab one of those clouds! I never get tired of watching the interplay of the clouds with the distant mountains, either obscuring them or casting interesting shadows. And when there are no clouds, the sky is a beautiful blue. Arizonians like to claim the blue sky for their own, but I’ve noticed the same pride in their blue skies by North Carolinians, Alabamians and Floridians.

Here are some more “sky” pictures that I’ve taken in the year we’ve been here:

The Mustangs

The Mustangs, from the Sonoita side (west side), November 2009

Box Canyon

Box Canyon, between Sonoita and Green Valley, November 2009

Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area

Watching the Sandhill Cranes at Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area, near Elfrida, January 2010

Huachuca Mountains

West side of the Huachuca Mountains, May 2010

A Wet Wednesday

After three weeks of lovely sunshine and clear skies, we are back to overcast skies and the occasional rain shower/downpour.

Huachuca Mountains

There's a mountain back there behind all those clouds!

I was really enjoying the sunshine, especially since we saw so little of it in July and August. Friends back east were asking me all summer how I was handling the Arizona summer heat, when actually they were having a much hotter summer than we were here in Sierra Vista. We rarely saw a day into the 90s for the whole two months of July and August. Mostly it was overcast skies, 80s, sprinkles, rains, rainbows and just a whole lot of wet!

Double rainbow over Sierra Vista, Arizona

Outside our front door in July; we could see both ends of this double rainbow.

According to Paul Herman’s weather page (located here in Sierra Vista), we have experienced 11.17 inches of rain this Monsoon season (which we are still in), with over 10 inches of that precipitation occurring in the July and August months. We had so much rain that in early September I had snails marching out of my flower beds and climbing on to my patio screen door. Remember, this is high desert country; the last thing I expected was a summer of cool temperatures (relatively speaking) and rain, let alone snails!



Mr. Snail heading for my patio screen door.

San Pedro River in August

There was so much rain that the San Pedro River actually had water in it!

Hopefully we’ll be back to sunshine, lower humidity and lovely fall temperatures by the weekend.

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