30 November 2015

Skulls and Talons ~ yikes!

Prior to the Desert Museum's Raptor Free Flight program a docent was showing the skulls and talons of some of the birds we were going to see in flight. She pointed out the disproportionate size of the eye sockets in relation to the skull. These large eyes provide the raptors with incredible vision so that they can spot a snack from very long distances. You can run, little field mouse, but you can't hide! Scroll down for the previous two days to see the beautiful Barn Owl and the gorgeous Harris Hawk.

29 November 2015

Arizona's Barn Owl ~ Beautiful and Brutal

Well, "brutal" is all a matter of perspective. If you are a mouse, yes, this Barn Owl is brutal. Barn Owls can catch up to 2,000 mice in a year! This gorgeous white-faced bird is part of the Raptor Free Flight program at the Desert Museum. Barn Owls are known for their silent flight and that is how they are such effective predators. 

28 November 2015

Fierce, Beautiful Desert Predators ~


If you have never seen the Raptor Free Flight program at the Desert Museum, I highly recommend this eye-popping and close encounter with some of the desert's most fierce predators. The flights are every day at 10am and 2pm and they are just amazing! These photos are of Harris Hawks which hunt as a family - so interesting! In the last photo one of the hawks is eating a little mouse that it caught. 

27 November 2015

Oh my - and these were just the appetizers!

I hope you ate way too much yesterday and enjoyed every bite! There is so much to be thankful for and an amazing feast is the perfect backdrop for giving thanks. Here is the selection of appetizers at my feast - fresh fruit, grilled shrimp, fresh figs, 4 cheeses, cherry tomatoes with feta or olive/sardines. Oh la la! And then we still had dinner....  Oh, I should also mention that we had four different desserts, too. Just too yummy! (: 

26 November 2015

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy!

Christine Huley, Theo, Eileen Erickson, and Peanut

Peanut in a Sweet Pose

While I was taking the cornucopia and cactus pilgrim photos I met these women and their precious pups. So I took their photos and they sent them to me so I could post them here. Good fun! I hope that all of you are having a wonderful day today filled with food and fun. 

25 November 2015

Don't forget your kitties on Feast Day!

Yesterday I posted yummy dog treats and today the cats get their fair share! Funny story - I don't have any cats so the first time I made these I made them the same size as the dog treats. One of my cat-parent friends told met to scale the size back, big time! So you cat owners will already know that they need to be small. But if you are making them as gifts (as I was), remember that cats will not be interested if they are walnut sized!  (:

Crunchy Tuna Cat Treats
Makes about 3 dozen treats
  • 1 can tuna, no salt added and packed in water, drained
  • 1 cup oat flour*
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 heaping tablespoon dried catnip
 *It’s easy to make your own oat flour. Simply grind old-fashioned oats in a spice grinder (or a super clean coffee grinder) until it is transformed into a light powder. There you have it — oat flour!

1. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment, combine drained tuna, oat flour, egg, olive oil and catnip. Blend until mixture is smooth. It will be thick but pliable and not terribly sticky.
3. Roll dough into 1/2 teaspoon balls and place on prepared cookie sheet. Use a skewer to press an X-shape into each cookie ball.
4. Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes until they are dried on top and slightly browned. Allow to cool completely before offering to your kitty.
5. Place treats in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to seven days.


24 November 2015

Don't forget your pups on Feast Day!

My pups love, love, love these snacks. And all of their pals do, too! You can't go wrong with pumpkin as the main ingredient. It is so good for your precious pups and so yummy! Here is my current favorite dog treat recipe. If you make it, send me a photo of your pups enjoying them and I will happily post it here. (:
·         1 can (15oz) canned pumpkin
·         4 Tbsp molasses
·         4 Tbsp water
·         2 Tbsp vegetable oil
·         2 cups whole wheat flour
·         ¼ tsp baking soda
·         ¼ tsp baking powder
·         1 tsp cinnamon (don't substitute nutmeg - that's bad for dogs)


1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.     Mix pumpkin, molasses, vegetable oil, and water together in a bowl.
3.     Add the whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon to the mixture and stir until dough softens.
4.     Scoop out small spoonfuls of dough and roll into balls on your hands (wet hands work best).
5.     Set the balls onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. If you like, you can flatten the balls with a fork.
6.  Bake approximately 25 minutes until dough is hardened. 

Enjoy! Or should I say, "Woof!" ?   (:

23 November 2015

A Bully Pulpit Indeed ~

From time to time this homeowner paints his/her opinion on their Broadway-facing wall. They certainly get a lot of attention from the thousands of motorists who pass this mural every day. I'm sure that must be gratifying to be able to flex your First Amendment rights so publicly! 

22 November 2015

The Hitchcock Tree ~

I have named this tree in my neighborhood "The Hitchcock Tree" in honor of Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece, "The Birds." This tree never blooms but it isn't quite dead. And it always attracts birds that just sit on the bare branches. My puppy has taken to barking at these brooding birds and rather than fly away (which I think normal birds would do), they all just stare at us. It is a little creepy! (:

21 November 2015

Mysterious Woman in Red ~

Here are a few more mysterious diners from the Tucson Train Depot murals. The woman in red is traveling alone - where might she be going wearing a dress like that? Hmmm.

20 November 2015

Ghostly Travelers ~

I just love this wonderful trompe l'oeil treatment on Tucson's historic Train Depot windows! Groups of travelers are depicted having dinner as they wait for their train. What do you imagine this couple is discussing behind THIS window? It's fun to speculate! 

19 November 2015

Flowering Directional ~

While we were tramping about in the rain for our walking tour I took a quick photo of this fun directional sign. Not strictly historical but cool to look at anyway. It is a metal sort-of agave sculpture that has all of the Arizona counties "sprouting" out of it as flowers. I love public art! 

18 November 2015

Ageless Beauty ~

In the 1930's this beautiful standing clock stood in front of the Daniel's Jewelry Store on Congress Street. Downtown was busy and people would say "meet me under the clock" when they would connect with a friend. In the 1980's the City needed to remove the clock in order to work on the sidewalk. It was restored and moved to Church Avenue.

I mentioned that the walking tour I took got rained on (repeatedly!) and this photo looks as though it was taken in twilight because of the street light that is shining. As you can see on the clock, it was a little after 10:00 in the morning! 

17 November 2015

Downtown Tucson's Gem ~

No walking tour of Tucson's vibrant downtown would be complete without a stop at the historic Fox Theatre. Our walking tour suffered intermittent showers so the photos are a bit "overcast" and the vibrant tile colors are not displayed here to their best advantage.

The Fox is the only remaining example of "Southwestern Art Deco" and has been beautifully restored to its former glory. The Fox shows movies and also has live music performances. It is one of my favorite spots downtown. For more info on the history and more photos, click here

15 November 2015

Paris in Tucson ~

With the terrible news coming from Paris right now I want to take a moment to tell (or remind) anyone who is in Tucson that there is, indeed, a "piece of France" here in town - the Alliance Francaise de Tucson. If you are looking for connection to the French community, this is a good place to start. Each month there is a French film and there are classes, workshops, book discussion groups, conversation groups, French celebration events and more. Starting in January there will be a monthly potluck. Connect to France at AFT! 

14 November 2015

Desert Diva ~

The amazing Anna Warr and the Giant Blue Band performed at the Boondocks. Anna is an amazing powerhouse of a singer! One of her band members, Mike Walden, also sometimes commands the microphone. Catch them again at the Boondocks on December 11. The Boondocks is a great venue for live music and dancing! 

13 November 2015

Bobcats and more bobcats!

A friend sent me these photos of a mom bobcat prowling on her own at his ranch in Sonoita and then a little later the same mom bobcat appeared with one of her kittens on his patio. It's funny that I would receive two images of bobcats within a few days!

12 November 2015

Meow~ !

This beautiful bobcat was spotted in a Foothills backyard! What gorgeous coloring! Meow, indeed! 

11 November 2015

A True Tucson Thanksgiving Tradition ~

Tucson's tamales are famous and so is it any surprise that Tucson chefs use tamales to stuff their holiday turkeys? For some amazingly easy - and DELICIOUS - recipes for this year's stuffing, Tucson Tamale Company is happy to provide some ideas. Click HERE for recipes that will make this year's bird "Totally Tucson." Bon appetit! 

10 November 2015

Epic Annual Tucson Event ~

Each year Tucson hosts an amazing event that celebrates loved ones who we have lost. The All Souls Procession is a weekend event with lots of activities and it culminates with a huge parade that travels through downtown Tucson. This year it was estimated that the crowd of participants and onlookers was about 150,000. Here I am posting photos of friends who participated. For more photos and information on this spectacular event, click here

09 November 2015

Did you or your dog Bark in the Park?

The amazing Scottie McGowan, Director of Southern K9 Operations!
Sweet face!

And another sweet face! 

What a gorgeous group! 

Always an awesome raffle table! 

Gaggle of Goldens! 

Sue Lindley, Volunteer Extraordinaire!

Carrie Kinnear, Agility Expert, with one of her pups.

Lazy shady day! 

Your dog on a tile - nice gift idea! 
Every year the Rescue a Golden of Arizona group puts on a wonderful "Bark in the Park." It is a chance for pet parents of Goldens to gather and enjoy a lazy day in Reid Park with their pups. This year there was an agility course set up. That was fun to watch! Also, a local artist displayed beautiful photo tiles that she makes from your photo. Her email is Dragonflybyjen@gmail.com. She makes a $5 donation to the group with every purchase. There was also a nice grill set up for lunch. What more do you need for a perfect day? (: