Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Zoo with Andrea

It was a particularly nice day when friend, Andrea, joined me on a trip to the Zoo.   

 Ordinarily, I am not a 'Zoo Aficionado'.

The idea of housing wild animals in small fenced enclosures bothers me a lot.

However, as humans continue to encroach on the animal's environment....

kill them for sport or for some imagined magic part of their anatomy....

skin them.... 

pluck them....

work them.....

...poison them with insecticides...

...capture them for pets....

...or kill them out of fear...

...then a zoo will become the only place where we can see these amazing creations of nature. 

The Tucson Zoo is better than most, although I probably would not enjoy it at all in the summer heat.

I doubt that these guys enjoy it much in the summer either.

He looked well fed.

So did she.

Some Goddess in charge of fashioning Odd Creatures of Nature worked over-time to create this one.....

Nowhere are there this many miss-matched parts and pieces on one animal.

I think he's in love with the camel across the way.

I loved the Merry-go-Round

This week Andrea is joining me on a trip to the Loft Theatre to watch the Academy Award nominated shorts (live action and animated).  If you are lucky enough to have an art theatre nearby that is showing these short films then I highly recommend them.  It is my fourth or fifth year and I think is it well-worth the effort.  

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Blue Grass Festival

The weather in Tucson has been exceptional this winter--breaking all heat records for January and February.  It makes me even more concerned about being here in the summertime but it is perfect right now.  Here is one of the weekend side trips that makes this place so fun in the winter.

(Phyllis and Myrna)

A three-day excursion to Eloy with a couple of the SCAMP ladies sounded like a fun time.   The Blue Grass Festival was being held midway between Phoenix and Tucson--I couldn't miss that.

It felt like a county fair with cotton candy, kettle corn, a tractor pull...

...and animals...

This lady seems to think snakes and spiders are the perfect house pets.  

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, native to Arizona.

She had a veritable menagerie of these creepy-crawlies...

Patagonian Mara (Cavy or hare)
A large rodent native to South America, related to the guinea pig.

 There are some of these here in the Sonoran Desert.  Rather large for a rodent but he has rat-like teeth.  UGH!

This one was kinda cuddly.

Sonoran Desert Tortoise is native to Arizona.  He lives 70 to 80 years.  
(Early Winnebago)

Arizonans are especially proud of their fauna. 
According to the 'Snake Lady' rattlesnakes are terrified of the king snakes like the one draped around her neck.  "Rattlers will slither away immediately at the sight of those stripes."
Here is my latest idea on how to make a bunch of money:  Create a lot of socks with that same black and white pattern and sell them to hikers.

The first of the entertainers began at 10 AM...all children (except the grey-haired leader) called the Jam Pac.

Next we had the Quilt display...

What a cool idea--a quilt made of recycled T-shirts.

This was my favorite (sorry it is such a bad picture).

Detail in the above quilt.

Next came the model train exhibit, a more 'man-favored' exhibit. 

If you look across the room here you will see the men that built the display and some of the male fans across the room.  Nary a woman in sight.

This display was enormous.....

with miles and miles.....

...of tracks.

Time for a lunch break. 


  Yum, curly fries and corn dogs.  I went back to the RV and had a bowl of soup.

After lunch it was time to sit a while and listen to some great strumming.  I love to see the girls in these groups.  They sure can 'fiddle'.

Next came the antique cars--another favorite for the men.

There were dozens and dozens of these beauties....

...and it made me think of my friend Gary Walden.  

The crowds were building and the music was definitely worth the attention it was getting.

 The Emcee....

and an 'all-day' music fan--or two.  He (in the red jacket) slept through most of it and she (with her feet propped on the chair) crocheted several hundred baby sweaters to the rhythm of the music.

 This young man is known as 'Colorado' of the Jeff Scroggins and Colorado Band.  He was just great.

That night we had a bonfire, thanks to Myrna for prviding that superfine  fire pit and wood.

Phyllis enjoyed the fire...

and I welcomed Phyllis's mascot to my lap.  He kept me warm.

The next day was the 'Tractor-Pull'.  

I had never seen one before--now I know why.

Once again, it is one of those 'guy things.'

More music....

...and lots of western characters.


Tomorrow I have cataract surgery on my right eye.  In two weeks I will have the left eye done.  Ahh the pleasures of getting old.  But I truly look forward to being able to see better.