Summer Fun

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Death Valley Summer 1990

Seen in Bad Water
Puggle, odd little creature
Tours southwest desert

While Gretchen was attending classes at EMCC, I’ve been hiding out in the house posting about the scorching hot summer. June was a hot one in Phoenix this year. We hit a record high of 119 on Tuesday June 20th. It didn’t beat the big record for Phoenix of 122 on June 26, 1990 but we’ve gotten close on more than one day just this past Friday we broke another record with a high of 118. Since I’ve been following all the heat stories in the comfort of my AC, I noticed tourists out at Death Valley were getting out for photos next to the digital thermometer. It read 130 in the article. I had to go dig up the pictures we took the first time we came out west. And yes, it happened to be the year Phoenix holds the all time record high. It was HOT but I don’t think it was 130.

In the photo above I am holding my puggle. And no it is not a mix between a pug and a beagle. It’s a stuffed animal that now has inherited a new guardian. I still have the puggle and when Gretchen saw it, she fell in love.

Melt Down

I think I may be the only person dressed for winter in Germany later this month. Be sure to watch my blog in August. I’m sure I’ll have lots of photos to post.

Nasturtium

Nasturtium-Tropaeolum

CC BY-SA 3.0, Link Wikipedia

Nasturtium leaves
add some zing to salad greens
with hint of radish

NaPoWriMo Prompt Day 5 – In honor of Mary Oliver’s work, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that is based in the natural world: it could be about a particular plant, animal, or a particular landscape. But it should be about a slice of the natural world that you have personally experienced and optimally, one that you have experienced often. Try to incorporate specific details while also stating why you find the chosen place or plant/animal meaningful.

Here we are on day five of NaPoWriMo. On the first day I told you Rachael is taking an outdoor eduction course at ASU. She is also taking a garden class. She learned about the nasturtium flower and told us how it tasted like radishes. Well Mom wanted a taste and she brought home a couple leaves last week. Whew! They definitely have a kick.

Meanwhile Gretchen is not feeling well and stayed home from school today. Poor girl has slept the morning away. I need to get set up to work, the new adventure I told you about the last day of March. It is online so I am able to work from the comfort of home. Great gig for someone who can’t drive. I need to check on Gretchen to see if she needs anything before my work day begins.

If the little American sentence was not enough poetry to satisfy your nature needs, here is one I wrote on Desert Spring Silver Birch Press published a couple years ago. Enjoy the rest of First Contact day.

End of March

End of March

Single file march
over to the park
children laugh
and dogs bark
outside to play
before it gets dark
she tries to teach
and ignite a spark
for the water cycle
this last day of March
but it is dreary
the wind picks up
students grow weary
looking for desert
plants and animals
how do they adapt
to dwell in the desert
where rain seldom falls
leaving them parched
a hare hops across
their path unexpected
sign of rebirth
or cruel April fool

 

Welcome back everyone! It’s day one of NaPoWriMo. This is my interpretation for the prompt at napowrimo.net: our (optional) prompt. In honor of today’s interviewee, I’d like to challenge you to write a Kay-Ryan-esque poem: short, tight lines, rhymes interwoven throughout, maybe an animal or two, and, if you can manage to stuff it in, a sharp little philosophical conclusion.

Yesterday, Rachael took Gretchen and me over to the park to teach us about the life cycle in the desert. She is taking a course in outdoor education and had to write and teach a lesson plan. It was in the mid 60s yesterday, and for us desert dwellers it’s chilly. I was cold anyway. When we came to the part of the lesson where it asked us to walk around and find plants and animals who live in the desert. I said, the only animals I see are children and dogs. Rachael said to find, draw and write about the plants then. A few minutes later, she pointed out the rabbits. Her first teaching experience didn’t end up being all about flora after all.

Flat Stanley’s Stay in Arizona

Over Memorial Day weekend we played host to Flat Stanley.  You know my husband is sooo infatuated with his car, he said we had to drive Stanley around in it.  Well how does one explain a paper character driving in a 280Z?  Since Avondale, AZ is the home of the PIR, I figured Stanley needed to be seen at the raceway in style.

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Flat Stanley arrives safe in Arizona.

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Making sure Flat Stanley remains safe securely buckled in for his car ride.

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Flat Stanley posing in front of Estrella Mountain.

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He made it safely to pose in front of PIR.

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Stanley enjoyed a much slower ride on the back of a tortoise as well.

 

Stanley

Sight seeing
Through
Arizona
Nice time
Learning about
Estrella mountain and
Yucca trees

NaPoWriMo Day Eighteen – Ruba’i

Every morning I wake to greet
The sunshine and love my retreat
Back east they’re still dealing with snow
My desert spring lush in dry heat

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Picture taken by Shawn Hosking on Camelback Mountain

NaPoWriMo Prompt – And now for our prompt (optional, as always). Today I challenge you to write a ruba’i. What’s that? Well, it’s a Persian form — multipe stanzas in the ruba’i form are a rubaiyat, as in The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Basically, a ruba’i is a four-line stanza, with a rhyme scheme of AABA. Robert Frost’s famous poem Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening uses this rhyme scheme. You can write a poem composed of one ruba’i, or try your hand at more, for a rubaiyat. Happy writing!

Yesterday, I was busy writing tweetkus.  Tweets written as haiku. I heard Western New York had gotten more snow. I thought I better threaten the sun to get with the program.  I don’t want to deal with snow when I visit Buffalo in July. 😉

I’m no fan of snow
Summer better warm July
Sun has been forewarned

 

Then today I check the writer’s digest PAD prompt more weather poetry.  I decided to write a ruba’i on my beautiful Sonoran Spring. And now I have miles to go before I sleep… I need to get ready for the weekend.