Saturday, August 8, 2009

Hug an Ocotillo Day

Our family has always loved the desert dweller and we even went to the trouble to transplanting this very speciment from our Mom's back alley to my brothers front yard so we could share it with all those passing by. It is a stunning specimen that blooms yearly. Here you see the family embracing its pride and joy.

El Presidio Walking Tour

Earlier this month I did the El Presidio Historic District walking tour led by Ken Scoville of Old Pueblo Walking tours.

I am a Tucson native and honestly most of it was new to me! I will be doing this again in the future and taking along some family and friends.

For more details of what we did and saw, check out my video below.

Ambassador Bjay

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bat Exodus

One of the great unnoticed happenings in Tucson occurs at sunset each night. I decided to take a stroll along the Pantano River Walk, north of Broadway Blvd. A monsoon storm was brewing to the south and the clouds were darkening. Just as the sun set behind the mesquites, the thunder rolled and lightning flashed across the sky. A cooling breeze was followed by big rain drops and a dark swirling under the bridge. The bats were awake and ready to take flight. As they did, they came out in a wave and headed north for a night on the town. It is really a sight to see.

Cancer Survivors Boot Camp

Guests at the monthly dinner of Cancer Survivors Boot Camp enjoy a living history presentation by Arizona Historical Society Docent Irma Moreno at Brandi Fenton Park Aug. 4.

Monday, August 3, 2009

No Bad Bugs

I gathered my niece and sister and we headed out to Colossal Cave Mountain Park to participate in the “No Bad Bugs” presentation. Presenter Carl Olson, an associate curator of entomology at The University of Arizona had a great slide show of some fascinating specimens. Prior to the show, we had gone on a little hike in the park and a brown walking stick decided to hitchhike on my sisters’ sock. Not being a bug person, she did a quick shimmy dance and knocked the thing to the ground and my niece and I raced to catch up so we could see it too.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

"Picture This" at the Tucson Museum of Art

For my first day on the job I elected to visit and talk to folks at the Tucson Museum of Art. There were a lot that did not know about Tucson's birthday celebration but the several people were ecstatic about Tucson's efforts to make this celebration available to the public in the manner they are doing. All agreed to look us up on our web page and continue with the festivities. The first two couples had already been to an event the night before.

Gloria White

Aug 2 Picture This! at Tucson Museum of Art

Picture This! at the Tucson Museum of Art offers a chance for kids to explore art and create some too! The Museum staff gave us a short tour of the current exhibits of local artists. The kids had great insights and interpretation of the art. Then we all went to the education building to create our own mixed media piece. There was a tantalizing array of materials to choose from, unleashing everyone's creativity. I had fun telling parents about Tucson's Birthday celebration - the kids wanted to know where they could get birthday cake!--Carolyn

Tucson's Birthday Kickoff at Presidio San Agustin del Tucson

I went to the Birthday Kickoff at Presidio San Agustin del Tucson. I met a lot of awesome people and learned more about Tucson in the process. What can be better than that? I am really happy to have stepped out of my box and into the Tucson heat to participate. :) It was worth it!

It was particularly poignant to think of my ancestors living there, as well as other presidios/forts around southern Arizona. That is usually hard to imagine when driving through the busy streets of downtown Tucson in my air conditioned car.

The Presidio San Augustin del Tucson is nestled in downtown Tucson, yet it takes you back in time and makes it easier to imagine what it must have been like to live in that isolated fort in the Tucson heat and the hardships they had to deal with. They had no air conditioning or swamp coolers, were surrounded by desert, and had to protect themselves against attacks.

The threat was so serious, a sentinel had to stand atop Sentinel Peak (A-Mountain), and scan the horizon for Apache attacks.

I'm so glad I went and got to go back in time and appreciate those who came before and to celebrate Tucson.

I know there may be many of you who cannot get out or who cannot handle the heat. You can still celebrate with us! I will provide links in my posts so you can take virtual tours and celebrate with us.

Here is a really nice video. It is a realistic animation of downtown Tucson. Time goes in reverse and slowly buildings begin to disappear and you will see the walls of the presidio start to form. Then you will see the presidio fade out and it goes back in time to a Hohokam village.

If you watch it...go to the blogger page and let me know what you think - leave a comment!

Do any of you have ancestors from early Tucson? If so, please comment and share your stories!

Here is a video from me, so you can see what fun I had.

Happy Birthday Tucson!

Bjay - Tucson Birthday Ambassador

PS - It's not too late to become a birthday ambassador yourself or to host an event!