Sunday, January 6, 2013

Three Weeks in December

Always I like to share with others the many ways that Tucson inspires me. It's nearly impossible as there are so many aspects to this diverse river valley-- that no longer has a flowing river (except after big storms and below the waste water treatment facility) but the riparian zone is still there as a reminder.  Washes come down out of the mountains with no water-- except after those storms.

Tucson is ringed by mountains. In the Catalinas, Mt. Lemmon is 9,157 feet with snow in winter and even skiing now and again. We had no time for it this time; but when you drive up there you travel through every climate zone from the desert to Canada with the appropriate trees. One time we drove down the backside (not the typical route down) and it was quite an experience on a winding, gravel road where we passed nobody on the whole drive down-- fortunately as it was narrow with steep sides.


Tucson is an incredibly creative area with tempting landscapes everywhere you look, the rich browns, olive greens, ochres, reds, purples, oranges, and golds. In the winter, the low lighting shadows everything richly, making it a photographer's dream. It has been interpreted by many artists through  brushes, canvas, cloth, paint, clay, and even etched into rock.

Arizona Historical Museum had a quilt show of totally gorgeous works depicting the desert and it's environs to tell Tucson's story.

It's also rich for an historian with the ancient peoples who left behind ruins and petroglyphs and then later comers with diverse Native American tribes, prospectors, miners, priests, ranchers and all those ready to make a profit without working for it. Indian wars, outlaws, corruption, heroics, even a big earthquake that redecorated one of Tucson's favorite little canyons.


With my visit to Old Tucson for photos of today's attempt to recreate the Old West for tourists and movie sets, then the Arizona Historical Museum full of old photos, stories, and information, I left the state happy with the photos and information I had gleaned for the book I am working on-- an 1886-87 historical romance sharing some characters with an earlier historical romance (not yet out).


I had a thought also on the drive back from Tucson that what I like better, as a description of what I write, would be to call them emotional adventures. On all levels they are about the adventure of life that centers around the emotional and sexual connection between two people. More on that at a future time.

For now, I created a video that attempts to capture a little of the Tucson mood and of what I experienced three weeks in December.


1 comment:

Dick said...

A nicely done video. I only got to Tucson twice on my Snowbird trips but wished I'd gotten over there at least once with Annie. It is beautiful in a way totally different from what we in the NW are used to. I've been amazed at the forests of saguaro cactus around the area. I've seen saguaro in other parts of Arizona but think there are more of them around Tucson than any other place.