Sunday, July 29, 2007

Calm between the storm

Yesterday it monsooned here in Tucson all day except for a two-hour period in the morning (while I was out walking with Yukester). My street was running like a little river. There were huge booms of thunder, long streaks of crackly lightning, power outages, trees uprooted, debris flying in the wind, and big branches torn from their trunks. Here are some photos from our walk through the nearby campus of the University of Arizona, starting with the morning trickster sky.


I saw these people sleeping on the porch of a house.

They were sleeping so soundly, protected from the rain of the previous night and early morning.

We took a different route than usual through campus, to the UA turtle pond.

We saw nibbling koi and some that didn't nibble, little and medium sized orange fish and a few small white ones. Here, koi nibble on the roots of the palm trees growing around the pond.

See the swimming turtle?

We walked along an olive tree street. I admired this old trunk while Yuki sniffed the grasses wet with morning rain.

Past the east entrance of Old Main and the curly old cactus, we headed down 'the mall" to the cactus garden.

By the student union, we saw neighbors Michael (human) and Bernard (dog). We stopped to talk (and bark) with them.

I stepped up and into the raised garden to take a closer look at the cactus blossoms (echinopsis oxygona, aka cereus oxygonus - easter lily cactus). Yuki waited quietly for me, standing guard.

I counted nine blooms on this cereus cluster--that's some serious cereus.

Back sides of the cereus cluster. All the blooms were pointed eastward.

They are closed up now, I'm sure. They only last one day.

Friday, July 27, 2007

teapot no. 61 & no. 62

You can see my growing second set of 100 teapots here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Breathing in, breathing out

There's a nice grey cloud cover this morning in the usual sun-filled expanse of sky. Just back from a walk with Yuki in the cool air (it's only 75ºF!!--24ºC !!).

These days, I continue to go back to these simple mindfulness instructions (I say the words silently and slowly as I breathe in and out):

Breathing in, I know I am breathing in
Breathing out, I know I am breathing out

Simple, yet most effective.

Within a few breaths I am back in the present moment, the only place/time that life is truly available to us.

Time to work now.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


This morning I spent a few hours planting native trees and plants and sprinkling wildflower seed in berms with other volunteers in my neighborhood. I was very happy to be the seed sprinkler; I felt like Johnny Appleseed joyously putting seed around the trees and plants, then raking them in. The ground in this site was so hard that a contractor had to dig the tree and plant holes for us, not even a pick ax could penetrate the kaliche.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

morning treasures

Yuki & I went on a walk this morning through the UA campus and, when we got back, I found this chimenea by the dumpster in the alley behind my house. I cleaned it out, put its broken right foot in place, and set it on my tea patio under the ramada. Come late autumn, it'll be cool enough to light a little fire and watch squirrel's insides glow orange and red.

On my walk through campus, we went over to the cactus garden and then looped around to Old Main to see my favorite old cactus.

Here's a watercolor sketch I did of the UA cactus garden on a similar walk through campus two years ago:

The UA cactus garden is a popular place to be photographed at graduation. I had my photo taken here, too, after commencement (May, 1999). Here I am in my hot black nylon cap & gown in 100° temperature standing with my mom. My dad wasn't there... he died a few weeks before. I graduated from UA with a Bachelor of Arts degree in East Asian Studies, Japanese Thought & Religion, with a minor in Spanish.

The old interesting cactus at Old Main and some yellow flowers by the new student union.