Saturday, December 11, 2021

Guess what we watched Friday?

It always makes me laugh and it wouldn't seem like Christmas without watching it!

I am not computer savvy, nor minded, so I often get frustrated.  I like symmetry and I am currently going nuts because blogger shows all pictures as being centered but randomly, it seems, some are moved just a fraction to the right!  Aaaarg!!

Monday was a great day, but Pat reminded me it was actually Friday!🙃  We were heading to a bookstore in downtown Tucson. What a mess!  It was the weekend of the 4th Avenue Street Fair.  Roads were blocked and no parking, so we changed plans and headed to Park Place Mall.  Enjoyed the mall and bought nothing. Pat picked lunch, Raising Cane, and since we were near the east side of Saguaro N.P.,  headed there after lunch.   The 8 mile Cactus Forest Scenic Drive was paved and accessed past the East Rinicon Visitor's Center.  I lost one park map and left the second one in the RV, so we stopped for a third one.

2" of snow fell on Mt. Lemmon Thursday night.

Saguaros (suh•wah•roh) are the largest cacti and live up to 200 years.  They can weight up to 3 tons.

The pleats allow for expansion to hold water and protect it from wind.  They are slow growing.  Not all grow arms, but if they do, it's not until they are nearly 12 1/2 feet tall and around 40 years old.  It's possible, if they live long enough, to reach 45' in height.

We saw a variety of plants as well as cacti.  I was surprised to see some flowering and some bearing fruit.

We followed the short, paved, Desert Ecology Trail and walked a short ways on the Cactus Forest North Trailhead.

On the Ecology Trail we learned how all of the plants contribute to the ecosystem of the desert.

Had not seen many yuccas.

This was once a forest of old saguaros.  In 1937 they had unusually cold temperatures and several years later lost a lot of saguaros.  Another extreme cold spell in 1962.  They discovered that freezing temperatures for more than 20 hours could kill the saguaros.

We stopped at Javelina (have•a•leen•a) Rock, named after the javelinas (and other critters) that seek refuge in it's shade. Javelinas look like a pig but are not. I was happy that we didn't see any.  We had one run past us at another park and they don't look very friendly!

We saw some of the largest teddy-bear chollas here.

Barrel cactus on the left and a saguara on the right.

When we left the park we saw an area with LOTS planes with a berm surrounding them. We have seen an airplane "boneyard" before, but nothing like this. Then we saw the Davis-Monthan Tucson Air Force Base. I checked on Google and, indeed, it is the largest military airplane boneyard and storage area.  The planes go through quite a process before they are parked.  The categories range from gutted, to one's with parts available for use, to those being stored until they are recalled to service.   How many planes?  More than 4400!
Where are the Piepers now?  Tucson, AZ

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