Since Tuesday we have been parked in the Gilbert Ray Campground in the Tucson Mountain Park. We are just outside of the western section of Saguaro National Park. We are living right in the desert. Most of the cactus has not been cleared off. Everywhere we look we see saguaro, prickley pear, ocotillo, palo verde and creosote bush. And we see and hear birds from morning to night--black chinned hummingbirds, road runners, gila woodpeckers, curved billed thrashers. For the first time a saw a verdin--a very small bird with a yellow head. It is about the size of a hummingbird. Today we saw a coyote crossing the road as we drove through the campground.
This is the kind of campground we most enjoy, so I don't know why it took us three weeks to move here. It is quiet, even tonight, Friday, on the edge of Tucson. Most of the people are about our age, snowbirds, a good number of them full-timers. This campground is obviously a favorite with Canadians. Many of the campers are from British Columbia. One neighbor is from Manitoba and others from Alberta and Ontario. The majority have a hummingbird feeder out, like we do.
Spring is coming to the desert here. Some creosote bushes are sprouting yellow flowers. The Ocotillo are developing leaves and some have small red flowers at their tips. It has warmed up and we are able to wear shorts. Yesterday was the first day since we arrived in Arizona that is was warm enough and the wind calm enough we could be comfortable sitting outside.
Wednesday we biked to the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum, just up the road. It is a wonderful facility with marvelous exhibits about the beginning of the world, animals of the desert, plants of the grasslands and mountains of the desert, butterflies, hummingbirds, and on and on. We could easily have spent all day there, except that is just too much to absorb all at once. If we lived here, we would return many times. We even saw one of their herd of javelinas. In the hummingbird exhibit, we watched one of the tiny birds sitting on a nest!
When we are somewhere with a better internet signal, I will add photos to this post.