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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. 

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Outside and Inside


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.