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Holiday in the desert

I spent 13 years of my life in the desert (and I’m not speaking metaphorically). I have some wonderful memories of my years in Tucson. Weekends with either one of my grandmothers, a rare snow day, summer monsoons, hikes in the mountains, meeting my husband.

The Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona is beautiful, barren, lush, and ugly all at once.

The sunsets are amazing, the wide-open sky both inspiring and unnerving. I love the endless sunny days, and simultaneously long for rain when I’m there.

I admire the scrappy cactus, mesquite, and palo verde that thrive in such arid land, while secretly craving maple and oak trees.

I loathe extremes of temperature, so I have no plans to ever move back. Visiting, however—especially during a mild time of year like November—is always a treat. (We look forward to summer visits to southern Arizona about as much as a five-year-old likes Brussels sprouts.)

Below are a few of my favorite photos from our short visit to Phoenix and Scottsdale. Click on any photo for a slide show.

Tell your friends!


  1. Reply

    Wonderful photos, Gwen. Living at the bottom of the world in NZ, I wake up to green, green and more green, every day, winter or summer. So for me, that was a great little snippet into life in southern Arizona. And the Javelina actually find a path through all those prickles for a tasty treat, huh? I never would have thought. 🙂

    • Reply

      Joe: That was so cool. I’ve never seen one in the “wild” before. There were two, and they were eating the cactus in the person’s yard. I guess they’re pretty hard on the landscaping in that neighborhood. 😉

  2. Reply

    Never been south of Phoenix but spent 11 years in the White Mountains. Crossed that desert many, many times. I still have lots of friends there and will be happy to visit again but I love rainy Oregon. You took some great pictures. Javelina can be mean so you were lucky to get that one.

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