Friday, September 23, 2005

What do they say about mad dogs and Englishmen? Today it was mad me, covered in sunscreen but still out in the Tucson sun. Amazingly I am a little sunburnt but not too bad. If I am going out in the sun again, a hat is definitely the thing.
A student at Pima College has a father who is a retired tour guide and he offered to take me around Tucson. So this morning we went out to the Sonora Desert Museum. On the way we travelled through the Saguero National Park and saw lots and lots of cactus. Al, my guide, is very knowledgeable so not only did I get geographical and geological info, he also identified all the cacti and vegetation for me.
At the museum, quite a few of the animals were out (as the morning went on, more of them were asleep or hiding from the sun). I saw a Mexican boa, but wasn't allowed to touch it as they can get grumpy and bite. Also saw more snakes behind glass, and then a lot of geological stuff, including a bit of a meteorite.
Other animals included a wolf, beavers, otter, gophers, lizards, squirrels and a multitude of birds (hummingbirds too). All quite amazing and I think I got some good photos.
Then we went to Sabino Canyon which is north of Tucson in the Catalina foothills. We caught the trolley up the canyon but saw virtually no wildlife (probably being sensible and staying out of the sun, unlike moi). On the way back I thought we could walk the last two stages but it was further than I thought. Talk about 'are we there yet'!! Took me ages to cool down. Did see a couple of tiny lizards and an antelope squirrel. There were lots of warnings about mountain lions but not a one in sight. I liked the instructions that said if you come across one, throw rocks at it. Next instruction said 'don't bend down or take your eye off it'.
Got home in time to visit Bookman's which is a huge second hand book and CD/DVD shop. Found a couple of interesting writing books, plus some magazines that will come in very handy.
Tomorrow I will be doing washing (laundry) and then going to a poetry workshop in the morning. This means I might type up my snake poem and workshop it. Tomorrow night the first part of the children's book writing workshop starts.
My two pairs of shorts from Goodwill are very handy (the new clothes shops here all have their winter clothes in stock). More sunscreen, less sun, I say.

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