Showing posts from June, 2008

Morning at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Phoenix

On a bright March 15 morning, we traveled east from Phoenix on Highway 60 to visit the Boyce Thompson Arboretum where desert plants from around the world are featured in landscapes reflecting other desert environments –

Africa, Australia, South America, the Canary Islands, and the Chihuahuan desert of Mexico, west Texas, and southern New Mexico. My husband Bill and I got so carried away that we took well over 100 photos. Don't run, I'm only posting a couple here!

My favorite landscape and hike was the High Trail through the Upper Sonoran Natural Area.

The rocks looked like they’d been poured in blobs from some heavenly sand bucket.

We saw no rattlesnakes but we didn’t go looking for them. Besides, from what I understand rattlesnakes don’t show themselves until it gets a bit warmer.

The photo to the left is of a Blue Elf Aloe (pretty big for an elf wouldn't you say?)

And, check out the bark on the Mount Atlas Mastic Tree to the right. Beautiful even if it resembles a…

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument

As soon as I arrived in Phoenix, having escaped yet another Minnesota blizzard in mid March, my husband Bill and I set out for Tucson to see the Pima Air and Space Museum, a trip which excited him more than it excited me. However, while on the way, a sign announcing the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument -- an amazing Native American Structure built around the year 1,000 A.D. when Leiv Erickson was landing somewhere along the coast of Newfoundland sent us on a several hour detour (how could I let a national monument pass without stopping?). The interpretive visitor center at the monument is impressive with its large selection of beautifully presented exhibits on the life of the ancient Hohokam farming community that built the mysterious Casa Grande -- yet another example of the wonderful museums andinterpretive centers found in our national and state parks for which I felt a great deal of gratitude.
Built without metal tools, the Casa Grande -- with four feet thick walls to supp…

Visiting the Cloisters in New York

When the weather was fine, I loved walking New York’s cross-town, uptown, and downtown
streets getting from one Pen Festival event to another. But when the weather was lousy, I learned to ride the subway: to read a subway map, to decipher what routes to take, to buy a pass, find the right platforms and transfer to another train.

I also learned that subway riders still yield their seats to the aged and infirm because they always stood so I could sit (not that I consider myself either aged or infirm). Sitting on a wildly swaying subway car that jars to stops and lurches to starts has a distinct advantage to standing, even when supported by a wall of standing riders like oneself.

On Sunday, May 4, the day I was to fly home, I decided to ride the subway uptown to 190th Street to visit The Cloisters in Fort Tyron Park.

To get to the Cloisters, I needed to take the E train to Grand Central Station, then transfer to the A train to 190th Street. I didn’t know that on weekends the A train doesn’t…