Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Winged things and flowers

More from our Arizona trip!

Here is a honeybee on the flowers of a creosote bush. After a rainfall, the creosote bush emits an interesting smell which some like and others don't. I was a fan, and thought it smelled fresh and nice.

 And here's another "bee" at the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson:


This is the Starr Bumblebee, designed to set a record as the world's smallest aircraft. I thought it was adorable!

It took all my strength and willpower not to reach out and pet this guy's hair. And I liked the other guy's "Sober Riders" emblem!

That morning, we saw mule deer right outside our guesthouse. Lovely!

On another day, we visited Kartchner Caverns State Park, where we had a tour of some beautiful caves. You weren't allowed to photograph the caves, so I instead took pictures in the surrounding gardens, which were being carefully tended by inmates from one of Arizona's prisons.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is a Pipevine Swallowtail.

And here are two happy little pollinators, a Sonoran Bumble Bee and another little gal waiting to be identified by someone more knowledgeable than me!

I chased this all over the parking lot, because I drew one for Katie of the Sonoran Desert and was thrilled to see one in person! It is a Tarantula Hawk Wasp, which Wikipedia says "delivers a sting which is rated among the most painful in the insect world." As the name suggests, they prey on tarantulas!

That same day, we visited the wonderful Amerind Museum


Parked outside was this cool old fire truck:

The website says,  "Founded in 1937 by William Shirley Fulton, the Amerind Foundation is a private nonprofit 501(c)(3) anthropological and archaeological museum and research center dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of Native American cultures and their histories." They have a lovely small art gallery as well.

And the surrounding landscape was fantabulous...

And more photos from the Kartchner Caverns gardens. Another Sonoran Bumblebee...

And my favourites, the Bumbleebee again and another Swallowtail...

While the area, we found our way to the Singing Wind Bookshop:

One of the coolest bookshops I have ever been to, with a fantastic selection. It is tucked away on a ranch in Benson, AZ. The place was started in 1973 by Winn Bundy, who owns the place and has lived there for decades. She gave us a tour of the shop and her knowledge was truly encyclopedic. She was also one of the few Americans I have met who knew a LOT about Canada, and has even travelled to the Yukon. A fascinating woman with a great store filled with carefully-selected books. It is worth seeking out if you are in the area!

I could have spent hours here. Looks can be deceiving. This quiet little home is a jewel in the desert!

It was 0C today and raining. I'm not sure why it wasn't snowing, but I did wish I were still in warm and sunny Arizona...

A little bee video!


  1. Nice tour. Love the pix. The bees are special!

  2. Oooh! All so lovely! What a wonderful trip! I think I need that little airplane. It looks just the size for a goat! Hee hee

  3. That little bee airplane is just adorable.
    Bees should have more tributes of all sorts!

  4. Whoa! Those Sonoran bumble bees are ENORMOUS.

    I'm enjoying these photos. Thanks for sharing with us.

  5. Fascinating trip. Thank you for sharing those extraordinary moments.

  6. Anonymous9:34 pm

    Don't you think the guy's hair is a hat? If so, I've touched one. You wouldn't like it. :)

  7. I love seeing all your Arizona pics! And I want to go to that bookshop...

  8. Anonymous4:04 pm

    Fabulous closeups!

  9. ROnna, those big bumblebees were so cute!

    Isobelle, you deserve your own goat-sized airplane. Wouldn't you look wonderful in that one?

    Elisabeth, I completley agree!

    Ahab, they are considerably bigger than the ones we get around here. And very very fuzzy. Glad you are enjoying my vacation pics!

    My pleasure, Claude. I am missing the sun and heat right now.

  10. Marylee, is it a hat? I didn't want to stare too much!! It eerily matched the rest of his hair, but it was definitely very weird... thanks for the heads-up on touching!

    David, it is a great bookshop and I swear the owner knows every single book in it. She is in her 80s and sharp as a tack.

    thank you COgDis. I have a backlog of art I need to do related to this trip. It was very inspiring.


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!