When I was little, I visited Tucson with my Grandparents to celebrate my Aunt’s graduation from the University of Arizona. I took from that trip memories of the extreme heat, the lightning, and a very colorful dead bug in the parking lot of the Best Western we were staying at. Why I remember the last two on that list, I’m not entirely sure.
Fast forward many decades later and I find myself in Tucson once more. Some things have remained the same. For one, the heat is exactly how I remember it but I can definitely appreciate the daily doses of sunshine I have experienced throughout the year. I’m still fascinated by the lightning–just as I was when I was pint size–but disappointingly, I’ve yet to see that strange exotic bug again. Maybe that’s for the best.
A lot has happened in the years between child and adult. I’ve lived in many places and taken art courses just about everywhere I’ve settled. A class in painting with watercolors really made me look at the world differently. One never realizes how many variants of green exist in a leaf until you’re trying to paint it. The brilliance of a dusty sunset seems even more spectacular somehow, too. Arizona is so proud of their sunsets that they incorporated the natural wonder into their state flag.
So perhaps this time around, I’ve arrived in the desert with a keener sense of the colors and textures that this part of the Southwest offers. I’m learning to appreciate cactus, although I admit, at times I miss the cooler hues that the Pacific Northwest allowed me with all the evergreen and water–or the vibrant shades of violet and fuchsia in the many flowering plants and ground cover carpets found scattered throughout San Diego. Sigh.
When I think back to the childhood wonder I had for that dead bug on its back, its many legs up in the air, I can remember why it fascinated me so. Blue and green, its hard shell was wonderfully metallic. I’d never seen anything like it. So perhaps there was an artist in me even then. A details kind of girl for sure–if nothing else.
This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is “Tour Guide: What do you love about where you live? Show us!” I hope you enjoy the photos I’ve selected, a glimpse of the color and textures of Tucson close up.