Sunday, February 27, 2011

Snow Day

The rare beauty of a cloaking of snow on the Tucson Mountains
With predictions of wind and rain and snow (really?) last night, we went to bed wondering what the morning would bring.  The howling wind and lashing precipitation in the middle of the night coupled with the pacing of our nervous dog made for less than sound sleep until the wind abated before dawn.  Finally things quieted down and I awoke well after dawn to find our nearby Tucson Mountains heavily powdered with snow, a serious rarity around here.

Before noon most of the snow was gone, but the frenzied activity of the birds gave credence to the freeze predicted for tonight.
A male Gila woodpecker topping off at the suet block
A male Costa's hummingbird busy defending this feeder
After the catastrophic freeze a few weeks ago, three nights with temps in the high teens and low 20's, we figure what was going to suffer from serious cold will have already done it and will likely not bother to cover much tonight.  What doesn't survive we'll do without (simplify, simplify, simplify), or replace with plants that can survive temperatures in the mid-teens.

At least we had good weather for a wonderful and long-overdue visit with my daughter and son-in-law recently.  Tucson is like a third home to them, the San Francisco area being their first, so they were not interested in playing tourist every day, though we still got some of that in.  The Desert Museum is always a must, especially when your hosts volunteer there -- one as a docent and the other volunteer with the botany department.  Then we also managed The Cup Cafe at Hotel Congress for breakfast, Tohono Chul Botanic Gardens and lunch at the Tea Room there, and lot and lots of walking the hills of the Tucson Mountains, be they snow covered or not.

Trailside in Sweetwater Preserve, Tucson Mountain foothills
Mother and child reunion hike
In the shade of a saguaro older that
his great-great-grandparents
The early afternoon sleeting has just stopped and once we get past tonight it looks to be highs in the 70s and 80s.  Bring it!