This week we experienced our own personal Climate Change. In fact, a couple of weeks ago we were in freezing blizzard-like conditions. Now we were back in Tucson, where it was quite temperate. In fact, time for our roughly annual defrosting of the basement deepfreeze.
Later in the week we attended our Ham Radio Club’s first POTA of the year… that’s Parks On The Air. A way for Hams to play with radios and antennas in a remote location and see how many fellow Hams they can talk to and how far away they can reach. This was kind of an informal test for our club, but Hams always have fun when they’re messing with radios.
Midweek we made it to Saguaro National Park – West Side. This is the only National Park I know of that has two campuses; East and West. They are on each side of Tucson, and I bet you can guess which sides!
Nothing feels more welcoming than a sign warning about proximity of Rattlesnakes.
We saw very few birds on this trip. Maybe if we’d get out earlier in the morning… or maybe the birds don’t really like sitting on cactus.
They say the Saguaro don’t grow arms until they are 75 years old! Then they start growing plenty. Some are downright silly!
The wooden skeleton of the Saguaro is amazingly strong. I tried to bend one of the stalks pictured below, and might as well have tried bending rebar.
Indian Petroglyphs cover the rocks in a small section of the park. It is apparent that these early occupants of the area were familiar with the bicycle. Most likely a mountain bike.
Just in case Tucson wasn’t enough climate change from Lincoln, we decided we needed an airplane ride…
To Hawaii. We’d actually planned this last summer, when Karen and Loren invited us to join them when he had meetings on the Big Island. So we gleefully agreed.
We were scheduled to arrive the day before they did, allowing us to stock up on food for the week. It turns out their airline couldn’t find a pilot for their flight, so it was postponed for a day. So we had this beautiful place all by our lonesomes for two days.
Everything is so green, and the flowers so colorful…
Until you look at the billions of acres of Lava! This side of the island seems to be all very severe Lava, with beautiful resorts planted in pockets here and there.
Not far from our place is the site of King Kamehameha’s Heiau, or temple. Kamehameha is credited with unifying Hawaii, and was in power from the late 1700’s to early 1800’s. Only the highest chiefs were allowed in this, his personal temple. Commoners intruding in this space were given a death sentence. Being commoners, we weren’t invited in.
The bay below the Heiau is known for its Black Tipped Reef Sharks. It is said that King Kamehameha fed them in this bay. They must still remember, because you could sometimes see multiple shark fins just patrolling around the bay. Out further, we were treated to the sight of whales breaching.
Oh, and yes, we’ve seen a lot of birds! I think we added eight new species the first day!
A favorite new bird on our list is this little Warbling White-Eye. He likes to eat something off the back of the Hibiscus flowers.