Maggie the Dog and I went for a walk in the desert again this morning; I’ve been away in Toronto for a meeting, so it’s been a bit. At 5:30am, it was chilly in Tucson, a shorts-but-fleece morning, although it started to get a little warmer when the sun came up. Still, in the mid-to-high 50s, it was at least 10 degrees warmer than the high temperature the whole time I was in Toronto! A friend from across Lake Ontario in Rochester, NY, wrote to me that it was darn cold for that time of year; certainly was for someone coming from Tucson where it was 97 the day before I left! (It has since come down a bit to a high in the high 80s.)
At least the temperature in Toronto (both outside and inside the conference hotel, where climate control always makes them the same everywhere) allowed me to wear my lovely Harris tweed sport jacket that I bought the last time this same conference was in Toronto, maybe 15 years ago. It was in a different hotel, and there was a tailor in the basement who was retiring and selling his handmade stock a discount prices, and I bought it along with two wool suits. Thus, two labels inside: one designating the fabric as a genuine Harris tweed made in Scotland and the other the label from Harrington tailors in Toronto. Mr. Harrington, who told me he began as an apprentice tailor in London (England, not Ontario) at the age of 14, may or may not still be alive, but the jacket is in great shape, and, with a windbreaker, kept me fine walking around Toronto, including a quest led by others, looking for an open Thai restaurant with a less-than-2-hour wait, as the sun went down and the temperatures dropped to low 40s. (We actually didn’t find one, but had a fine meal in a Chinese restaurant in Toronto’s Chinatown; a place in an old warehouse-looking building with a big mural of Chairman Mao looking down on us and a menu that probably had 25 items total, appetizers through deserts, instead of the characteristic many pages in most Chinese restaurants I have been to.)
Some of my colleagues had brought down jackets. And of course, many were from places that were no warmer than Toronto was. And, back here in Tucson, the first other person I saw walking her dogs this morning was wearing her down jacket at over 55 degrees, so cold is certainly perceptual, and 55 is perceived as cold here!
Anyway, it is getting to be late Spring, but there are still plants flowering. Here is some prickly pear, and most beautiful I think the Echinopsis, which flowered about 20 blooms two nights recently – all of them gone by midday the next day. Trying a third time to see if I can put up enough screen and chicken wire to prevent the whatever-it-is (ground squirrels would be my guess, since they are ubiquitous) from eating my tomato plants before they even get started (later we’ll worry about birds and hornworms – actually the screen should prevent birds getting in). Big hefty lizard in the yard now. If anyone knows what (plant I think, not animal) the spiky thing on the tree is, let me know.
And of course the obligate picture of last night’s sunset!