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Monday, December 31, 2018

Friday Morning, Snowy Mountains


This is the view toward the Dos Cabezas peaks from the back of our winter cabin. We usually have a view of the southern of the two peaks, but not on Friday morning, with a low-lying cloud serving as a thick veil. Heavy, wet snow covered the ground and clung to branches. It was a magical scene. Today, three days later (New Year's Eve), there is still snow on north-facing slopes and in shaded areas in our mountains.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Why I Love the WLA


-- And the parking lot at the public library, too:


Saturday, December 29, 2018

Snowy Ride Into Town

Hwy 186 from Dos Cabezas toward Willcox
The cashier at the feed store, where we went to buy dog food yesterday, learning that we are from Michigan, apologized for the snow. A neighbor assured us that this week's forecast for nighttime temperatures in the 'teens is unusual, even for winter. We're handling it fine. We don't have to shovel or plow, and the mountains are beautiful in the snow.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Winter Comes to the High Desert



The first snow arrived on December 25, a day late for Christmas but that was fine: a cheery, sunny day for our quiet Christmas at home. Then we drove out the next day to Willcox and up to Benson, exclaiming over snow on the peaks of the Dos Cabezas, the Dragoons, the PinaleƱos, and, coming home again, on the Chiricahuas. A drive down as far as the Mustang Mall and return via Chiricahua way gave us an even closer view of the snowy Chiricahua peaks. 


But it wasn’t until the Friday after Christmas, December 28, that we woke up to Dos Cabezas completely transformed by snow. The “cabezas” behind the cabin was not even visible. For the second morning running, it was enveloped by clouds.






Our forecast for the week ahead calls for nighttime temperatures in the teens and more snow possible on New Year’s Day. “Somewhere warm”? No, we are not somewhere warm, but we are cozy and snug and relaxed as we enjoy “seasonal retirement” in southeast Arizona. Anyway, we're from Michigan. We're used to dealing with snow and cold.


Monday, December 24, 2018

Rabbit Brush, December, Dos Cabezas



Rabbit Brush is a common and variable species in a genus found only in western North America. Some races are light green [the leaves], others have silvery hairs. Navajo Indians obtained a yellow dye from the flower heads.  

- The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers: Western Region, by Richard Spellenberg



Chrysothamnus nauseous is a member of the sunflower family (Asteraceeae). The wash is full of rabbit brush, mostly gone to seed but with a few yellow flowers remaining, and in this so-far warm late December there are still butterflies in the wash, also. Amazing to Michigan eyes! The species name give me pause, however. Would a cow who ate rabbit brush (if one did) become nauseated? I still have a lot to learn. 



Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Monday, December 3, 2018

Thank Heaven for Oak Trees!


Holding onto their leaves, they hold us also in their warmth on cold, otherwise colorless winter days.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Rich, Warm -- Brown!



Now that winds have stripped the poppies and birches and most of the maples of their bright-colored leaves, the more subtle tones of beech and oak foliage comes to the fore. 



Tuesday, October 30, 2018

On Monday, Sunshine


Like so many mornings these days, Monday began in darkness, literal and metaphorical. I didn't expect the clouds to part or the sun to shine, so blue sky was an unexpected blessing. An unexpected encounter with a local rabbi friend was another blessing, despite the tears in our eyes. And from then on, the day kept smiling. I kept seeing places and objects that reminded me of good people. Sun glancing off the watery surface of Lake Leelanau lit up these bright red berries onshore. I must believe there is a bright future for our children and grandchildren. We need to bring it about!

Where Have We Been, Sarah and I?


All of these trees but one are in Leelanau Township. The other is in Leland Township. How many look familiar to my friends?








Sunday, October 28, 2018

What Name To Give It?


There are times when words and even names seem pointless. Still, a tree that stands like nature's sculpture is always worth noticing.

"They battle with the tempests of a century. See what scars they bear, what limbs they lost before we were born. They die at their posts.... Their one principle is growth. They combine a true radicalism with a true conservatism. ... They do not, like men, from radicals turn conservatives. Their conservative part dies out first, their radical and growing part survives...." - Henry David Thoreau, writing of trees in the volume entitled Winter

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Good Morning For an Errand


Some mornings it's worth it to have an 8:30 a.m. appointment in another township, if only for the sunrise over Grand Traverse Bay.


Saturday, October 13, 2018

Color Tour With Dog


(Look closely: Color behind green leaves and in rearview mirror.)