Wild Flowers and Amazing Trains

We took a hike though Picacho Peak State Park, because we’d heard that the desert poppies were blooming magnificently there. When we arrived, the ranger at the gate told us we wouldn’t see them that day – too windy and overcast. Sigh. Well, we might not have seen them all, but we did see plenty of gorgeous wildflowers! So I am just throwing up lots of pictures from that hike…

Lots of flowers were just a few millimeters across!

We saw a few photogenic Cactus Wrens:

This Wren was ruffling feathers in what looked like a courtship maneuver, and sure enough, here came a mate!

More tiny flowers:

Tucson Garden Railroad Society

This is an organization of model railroad enthusiasts, and they host an annual tour of some of their sites. I made it to five of the 9 sites, one of which is in our park. One is at the Railway museum downtown, where a little model train circles this real locomotive. The full sized engine overshadows the little guy pretty dramatically.

Two of the others prompted me to try and document them. The first is the Turtle River Railroad. The train runs along the back fence of a nice yard with a great view. Look for a vulture watching the town below, and a small boy walking across a bridge girder.

The most fantastic was the Cholla Patch Railroad. It had multiple trains running, but the scenery was the most impressive. You will see a wedding party in a very elaborate tree house, complete with cooks finishing a wedding cake. There is a couple reading before the fire in a fully furnished upstairs room, which includes a real parquet floor. [There is also a real live grasshopper looking in!] Elsewhere you may notice a boy on a swing, people on suspension bridges, a hot air balloon, and who knows what else!

Probably the second best of all the exhibits is right here in our park… but I’ve put up many pictures of it before. We did see this special locomotive parked near our layout. This little golf cart type car lives in the park, but the train accessories were added just for this show!

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