My family and I are ending our last day in the high desert of Tuscon Arizona. The weather has been cool and breezy at sunrise and sunset, but warm enough for pool time in the afternoon. The dessert has unfolded for us with purple, orange, and yellow blossoms; attracting not only us but hundreds of hummingbirds and a few scatterings of butterflies as well.
Tuscon has one of the largest book festivals where over 400 authors congregate at the U of A with workshops, book signings, and even a science center this year. We explored all of it’s wonder and discovered a celebration of the creative mind, (and great gellato). I sat in on an Urban Fantasy workshop and peered into the lives of five published authors all picking through the vampire trash heaps trying to find an angle that hasn’t been used yet. What they found was an o.c.d. vampire, Camelot as vampires, and a paranormal romance where the bad vampires get banished to earth (making our planet into a type of Australia for vampires?). I must admit to you, I received more wisdom back at the hotel room than I did during the workshops when an older gentleman my husband and I had just met in the lobby told us about a book he and his friends had gotten published. It was not a series, but rather one book that met a need and filled a gap. When that interesting conversation ended I decided I will write with my voice, and instead of flocking after the mass hysteria I will work on what is burning in me to reach out, even if it is one book.
If you are traveling through Tuscon, I highly recommend the Desert Museum. Our 16 year old daughter was professing her love for her home in the mountains and her revulsion toward the barren desert while coddling her camera strapped around her neck. The first place we visited, once we arrived was the hummingbird tent that was bursting with all different types and stages of hummingbirds. Our daughter was able to capture a mother feeding a new baby in it’s nest made out of primarily spider webs (so it will stretch as the babies grow). The exhibit was spectacular, and I hear they fill the tent with butterflies in the summer. Next we hiked over to the birds of prey display.
I began shouting to her to grab her camera and get pictures of a hawk nose diving right passed her to pounce a near by quail, she did but didn’t see the second one that bombed right at my head. I dipped down only seconds after eyeball to eyeball with it, and then we watched as the two of them plucked feathers of of their fresh kill in a tall Saguaro cactus. Needless to say this museum left all of us with a new appreciation and love for Tuscon’s variegated desert.
Also if your looking for some great food spots I recommend “Egees” for slushies and “Frog and Firken” for great pub food. Love to hear of any of your own Tuscon discoveries or adventures.
May you find inspiration in the desert as well as the mountain tops.