Poppies, Pipes, and Plagues

We are not the only ones in the world dealing with tragedy this week. Friends in Australia say the floods are the worst thing that’s ever happened to their country. Nearly 500 people have died so far in the Brazil floods. Women are still being flogged and beaten all over the world by religious psychos, bombs are still being set, animal shelters are still overflowing, everybody but the cruel are struggling.

This morning on the way to work a bright orange glow caught my eye from the side of the road. Poppies. In January. Arizona is so beautiful and not at all how the media tries to define it. I used to think people were the same all over, but not anymore. The friendliest, most creative, easygoing people I’ve ever met live here. People smile and chat with you in stores and on the street—it’s nothing like Connecticut at all. Maybe because life is harder there. In CT I didn’t know any of my neighbors, here I know everybody on the street. I wouldn’t trade my crappy little house on the border for the biggest McMansion on the eastern seaboard.

Arizona poppies in January

Fence made out of wood and pipes in Bisbee

Gate made from old pipes

Abandoned cactus wren nest in dried yucca

Snake eggs we found when we moved an old lawnmower in the yard. They smelled horrible. I don’t know what kind they are, but they’re not rattlesnake because rattlers give birth to live young. We’ve had rattlers in the yard, I worry about them because they can kill a dog.

The shapely Chinaberry tree in winter. These beautiful trees are not native to Arizona, but they flourish here. We planted a little one in our yard two years ago and it’s already grown a couple of feet. Some people don’t like them because they shed all these berries, but what do I care? In the summer they provide a shady canopy, in the winter their beautiful form.

14 responses to “Poppies, Pipes, and Plagues

  1. Yours is the only blog I read that makes me want to move out west.

  2. Thanks. I do believe you’d fit right in here.

    F*ck Tom “I’d be nervous going into a bar in Arizona” Brokaw. Stupidest statement yet regarding recent events.

  3. I spent time there (Ft. Huachuca) when I was thinner and wore green all the time. I remember looking up at a nearby ridge and seeing snow on the caps. The sweat pouring down my back told me the snow I saw was a mirage.

    Turns out I was just ignorant. I didn’t explore the area enough. Poverty of confidence & cash slowed 18-year-old me down way too much.

  4. Wow you never mentioned that before! We love the Huachucas even more than the mountains here (the Mule Mountains). Coronado National Park is one of the most spectacular places in the world. I’m sorry you didn’t get to explore it…you may never have left. Yes there is snow up there now. Sometimes we drive up there when I want to be in the clouds. The temperature drops steadily as you rise, and when you get out of the car at the top, you have to put a coat on, even in mild weather.

  5. I loved the weather and scenery in Arizona. But I spent far too much time on post worried about money, passing my MOS classes, and writing letters back home. Strange how years later, writing those letters seems less important than the experiences I missed while writing them.

    After Arizona, I went to Panama for over a year. Explored as much as I could afford but still regret not seeing more of AZ.

  6. You wouldn’t know Sierra Vista now, people say it’s the next Tucson. It’s laid out sort of haphazardly because a town that begins with an army base doesn’t really have a center. It’s spreading outwards, but as far out as the developments sprawl, every single residence has the Huachucas in their backyard. The inner parts are very commercial, but so what—you can get anything you want or need there, from lighting fixtures to bongs.

    As far as the hot summers, bah. Summers everywhere are hot. Ours last longer. Small price to pay for a $30 a month heating bill in the winter instead of the $300 a month we paid in CT (and that was for the bare minimum of warmth). Housing is still cheap. Not too much crime. It’s a nice town.

  7. I got two old friends in Arizona. One lives in Sierra Vista. I sent them a link to your blog. They both have been to, and loved, Bisbee. One chastised me for never visiting back in the day. Maybe one day I’ll wind up in front of door surrounded by bottle caps….never know!

  8. I was going to say before hey why don’t y’all come out for a visit, but I figured with four kids vacations probably aren’t on your agenda!

  9. Makes me want to go south with tent and cameras out of this frigid climate.
    As usual, beautiful pictures of your area. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Thanks Francis, and I would love to visit Wawa. In the summer.

  11. Poppies…beautiful, Debra. And that you say you would not trade your place for a McMansion. Peace of mind. Not many have it. Beautiful poppies, beautiful post. All so very good.

  12. Thank you. I don’t really have peace of mind, but I’m working on it.

  13. I’d say those are birds eggs. Snake eggs are usually soft and leathery, these look too brittle.

    • Hi Grant, sounds like you’d know! I don’t know what kind of bird would do that though…maybe a quail, but we have dogs and cats and it seems unlikely they would put themselves in danger.

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