Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tucson--Day Three--Sunrise Walk

I was hoping to get up early enough to see the sunrise, and I was up at that time, but didn't see much from my window. Nonethe- less, I got up and went out for what turned out to be an hour-long stroll through the golf course. I saw many birds (at least 10 species that I could identify) more rabbits (found out they are desert cottontails, not jack rabbits) and lots of cactus.

Cool thing I found out about the Saguaros: they may live over 200 years and grow to heights over 75'. Growth rates vary, but in the Tucson Mountains, saguaros commonly begin to flower at the age of 55 (about 8' tall) and grow arms when they are between 50 and 100 years old. Arms function to increase reproductive potential because the flowers/fruits are borne on the ends of stems (main trunk and arms).; Their pleated stems allow them to expand and contract as they store and use up their water.

Birds I've seen so far: white-winged dove, road runner, northern mockingbird, black-chinned hummingbirds, house finch, black-tailed gnatcatcher, gilded flicker, Gambel's quail, curved-bill thraser, desert wren and probably others I've not identified yet.

Tonight, I'm not going anywhere. I'm glued to the TV and the Celtics game. I want them to win tonight, but regret that I'm not home to see/hear all the celebration. We had to go to a dinner tonight that had the misfortune of starting exactly when the game did. Midway through the second quarter, my whole table was gone, being too anxious not to be watching the game. If I were home, my condo building would be rocking. Yes, already =)

Photos are from my 5:30 a.m. walk through the golf course at JW Marriott Starr Pass Hotel and Spa in Tucson.

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