Archive - 2006

January 15th

Leaving Tucson

As if to taunt me, this morning was about as beautiful as it could get in Tucson. Had breakfast outside at a little greasy-spoon called Frank's with friend Ron, an astronomer at the University of Arizona who hails from back home. Then stopped by the home of Dad's high school roomate Elmer before heading down I-10 to near the Mexican border and then across into New Mexico.

Caballo Mountains

This beautiful range is east of the freeway running from Las Cruces, New Mexico to Truth or Consequences, NM. At the base of the range runs the Rio Grande River. The scenery around Truth or Consequences is some of my favorite in the country.

January 13th

Dishonest photography

If you are planning a trip to Tucson based upon my pictures, beware. I have done nothing to depict the city accurately. In fact, the entire goal of my picture-taking, it seems, is to idealize, to eliminate the ugly, and to pull out what I see as beautiful or at least intriguing.

More U of A

All around campus, there are blooming flowers. One also sees some blooming plants at other institutions, but rarely around homes. Probably takes too much water.

These pansy blooms are huge. What makes pansy blooms large are cool nights combined with ample sunshine. They get that here in Arizona. Although the daytimes are sunshiney and toasty warm to the bone, the night-time temperatures can sink into the thirties.

University of Arizona student union

Spent the afternoon walking around the beautiful campus of the U of A. With the perfect weather, it was an ideal afternoon to take pictures and just amble around. After about an hour, I came across this building.

What a place! It was the new student union. I was struck by its catwalks, decks, overlooks, railings, and its openness. The building takes advantage of the Arizona climate to blur the distinction between indoors and out.

January 12th

Finger Rock Trail

Here is an ocotillo with its nasty thorns. The ocotillo puts on leaves when it rains and drops them again when it gets dry.

Took a hike on Finger Rock Trail today. I was so distracted by taking pictures that I didn't make it far up the trail. I don't like going far up the trail anyway--you have to come back the same way you came. Makes me claustrophobic.

January 11th

Local scenery

Just took a walk around the neighborhood behind the hotel. Tucson is laid out just like the farmland in northwestern Minnesota--the whole thing is in one mile squares. There is a main road every mile without fail. Those roads are busy and noisy.

January 10th

A town divided

Patagonia still looks like a scruffy western town, but there are signs that it is being taken over by the foofs: Herbal medicine shops, art galleries, foofy coffee shops, etc. So, the cowboys are firing back. This gas station is next door to a health food store which would probably be on the opposite end of the spectrum.


Took a trip to Patagonia, AZ, a small town near the Mexican border. I had been there before, but today I had a chance to look around. The highlight was this mosaic, which contained tile mixed with mirrors.

Here, the mirrors in the mosaic make it look like there are holes in the fence. Actually, it is a reflection.

January 9th

Spirit of 4th Avenue

On the advice of weblog reader Mara, I went down to the health foods store today and sure enough, high up on the shelf was a Neti Pot. I snapped it up, as well as some sea salt--New Zealand extra fine, for you salt conniosseurs. The salt, which I got out of the bulk bins, cost me fourteen cents. It will last forever.

The health foods store and all things funky can be found on 4th Avenue, or 4th Ave as it is called locally. I ate at a Mexican place there, and it was delicious. Coffee shops and