Travels with Jonathan
I'm feeling so well after my surgery, that Jonathan and I decided to head south towards Tucson for three days before he left. He likes to take photographs as much as I do, so we travel together very well! Our first stop was Montezuma Well National Monument.
Spring was well underway here and near the water the trees were lush and green while the top was still very much desert. I love the path through the trees and all the blooming wildflowers!
We walked down to the outlet to view the 1,000 year old irrigation ditch, which to me is one of the prettiest spots in Arizona.
The yellow columbines were blooming!
The Arizona Sycamores with their white and shades of grey puzzle bark were reaching for the sky over the rim of the well.
A few miles down the road, we stopped to see Montezuma Castle National Monument and it's spectacular cliff dwelling.
After getting our hotel room in Tucson, we went out to Saguaro National Park East for a preview. The Engelmann Prickly Pear were all budded and blooming! Such lush blossom buds!
The saguaro were just starting to bloom as well!
Saguaro cactus make for some wonderful sunset photographs! How lovely to be outside without needing a sweater, even at dusk! (It's still quite chilly in Flagstaff!)
The next day we took a more leisurely look at Saguaro East. A walk along one of the washes revealed all sorts of interesting trees in bloom, like this Cat Claw Acacia.
Lots of yellow blooms in the desert, such as these long blooms on the Velvet Mesquite.
And of course, there were more blooming saguaro to see! It's almost like all the branches are holding wedding bouquets!
The Cholla were blooming with wine red flowers and the brightest yellow stamens and pollen!
The prickly pear blossoms start off bright yellow...
And as they age, turn a lovely peach color! They are just loaded with pollen and lots of insect and bird activity!
Even the old skeletons of the cholla cactus is interesting. Love the patterns and color. Jonathan called it Tarantula wood and I must admit that I'm quite glad I didn't find any lurking!
On our third day, we visited the San Xavier del Bac Cathedral. The stunning white tower against the deep blue sky is stunning!
The morning sun was creeping over the wall. I loved the effect of light and shadow.
Inside the Cathedral, the gilded altar immediately captures attention. They still had lilies decorating the front from Easter.
I love the painted domed ceilings and effect of folds of fabric.
This motif runs all around the church. The rope is the "Tie that Binds" all believers together in the church. The two "fabric" layers below that are the hem of Aaron's robe, decorated with pomegranate and tassels.
In the associated museum, they detail the history of the San Xavier Mission going back to the late 1700's. One of the displays includes this magnificent hand embroidered vestment that I love. Amazing embroidery!
Before heading back to Flagstaff, we made a stop at Saguaro National Park West. We found a saguaro with blooms and buds at eye level! Usually they are way over ones head! I love the texture of the buds.
Our last stop before returning home, was to see the pictographs at the Signal Hill picnic area in Saguaro. In all the times I've been to Saguaro, I'd never stopped to see them. It never fails to amaze me how things such as this were created with the most rudimentary tools!
Here is Conrad, Jonathan's beautiful Australian Shepherd, who traveled with us. He loves to sit in chairs! I think he was feeling a little left out while Jonathan and I were working on a project! Now they have headed back to Colorado. The apartment is very quiet, but I'm using the time to finish a couple of projects and I'm enjoying a little more time off before I have to be back at work!