Saturday, December 27, 2008

Boxing day, Nature and cold weather

Vegetarians! Avert your eyes.
Christmas Dinner, little lamb chops from Costco. They were really, really good. We were not able to eat them all. Costco also had fingerling potatoes that we like, so we made some of them as well. We opened our last bottle of Biltmore Hotel Syrah and enjoyed it a bunch.

Boxing Day dawned rainy and cold. The string of fabulous weather was at an end. So, we ran errands and returned over due library books.

One of the stops was at the library, where we could see the aftermath of an accident. This is a major intersection in South Tucson, we have to go through here to get anywhere. We think people don't drive with enough care anymore. No one was seriously injured, but the cars are toast.

We drove up to the top of A mountain, also known as Sentinel Peak, to observe the weather. Grisly, everywhere.

Then it was off to the Tucson Mall, north of town to observe the after Christmas sales. The discounts being offered were substantial. Alas, we lack for nothing, and the non-acquisition fatwa is still in place, so very little money was spent. We came back through town, and I finally got a picture of this motel. It has been here forever, and it is exactly what you think it is. You just have to love the name. Click on the photo if you can't read the yellow sign.

Today was much better, although still fairly chilly. This morning we were treated to the unexpected sight of a hummingbird sitting on the tripod stand that hold the lantern. It's not a great picture but he wouldn't hold still, and I took it through the blinds. He's an Anna's hummingbird.

This is a better picture of the species off the web.

As we went outside to leave he had moved, and was sitting on top of the ladder. We wondered why we'd never seen them before.

Then we noticed a new feeder on the neighbor's RV window. We realized that he was sitting on our RV defending his feeder turf against all other hummers. At this point I was still entranced and saying things like "awwwwwww, isn't he cuuuuuuuuuuuuute."

Then we looked under his cute little hummingbird butt and noticed the cute little hummingbird poop that was piling up on the RV. When the neighbors got home tonight we asked them if they would pretty please move the feeder. There is one on the other side of the slide he can use, and he can sit in a palm tree to defend that territory.

Since it was so cold today, we did not ride. Too much wind chill. We hiked for a couple of hours. It's a difficult climate to dress for. If the sun is covered by clouds, it's really cold. If the sun comes out, the thermal gain is immediate and significant. I think we could have dressed a little warmer than we did. We were on a forced march pace trying to stay warm.

Tonight it's supposed to go into the 20's. That's seriously cold. But tomorrow should be sunny again, so it's all good. It snowed on Mt. Lemmon yesterday, they closed the road at the base, they're taking no chances. See the side bar article title, "La Paloma woes signal trouble in hotel sector?" Occupancy rates here are just tanking and this is high season. If one were to desire a break from winter, I'll bet one could negotiate a better rate than normal. Come see us!

So, that's it from here. It was cold, it's warming up. Tomorrow we're bundling up and riding, it's time.

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