Well... I was a slacker and didn't do a blog for July. So, here's one covering two months!
The monsoon season really ramped up in July, and during July and August, you could at least spy a rain shower on the horizon someplace or another a good portion of the time. This also meant cooler temperatures (more 90's, less 100's) and higher humidity (oh joy - I thought I escaped that!). I'm a sky gazer anyway, and it's been a glorious time to watch the drama unfold above.
On a hot day in early July, I took a trip up to Mount Lemmon to escape the heat. At over 9,000 feet, it was nearly 30 degrees cooler on the mountaintop than down in Tucson. The trek is a little time consuming, but well worth it. During the monsoons, though, part of the key is finding a time when it's not raining up there, as the mountains get so much more rain than the city does.
The wildlife sightings weren't as plentiful over July and August, but we did see our first tarantula spider outside the apartment. He didn't bother us in the least and I thought he was pretty interesting. I know, I know, I'm a weirdo. We also had a few onslaughts of Sonoran Desert Toads (aka Colorado River Toads) in the depression outside our apartment, which the monsoons filled to make a little lake. They make the weirdest (loud!) noises and depart as quickly as they appear. I was totally baffled the first time they showed up until I figured out what the racket was.
I also got to spend some time in the Tortolita Mountains, just north of Tucson, while house/dog sitting for my second cousin Kim and her sweet dog Murphy. Kim and her husband Ian have built a beautiful home that is surrounded by a rocky desert wonderland. It was like a mini vacation in our own backyard.
August was, well... full of love. The first week of August, I took a trip to Corvallis, Oregon, to see my sister and her family. As a bonus, the icing on the cake was that my mom was there, too. We had lots of fun and laughs and a trip to the coastal town of Newport, where the high was 60 degrees - not a temperature I've seen in a while!
I visited my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, the last week of August for a whirlwind few days. Having never "moved away," it's a new thing to visit home and figure out the logistics of how to cram in visits to everyone who's been an important part of nearly 40 years of your life. I was sad that I could not arrange a way to see every one of the many, many lovely people whose faces I miss. I had many more great intentions than I had days and hours, and unfortunately time seems to have a way of evaporating when you’re trying to meet new babies, celebrate milestone birthdays, help moms, catch up on major life changes, check in on puppy dogs that own your heart, attend weddings... you get the picture. I did my best and that's all I can do. I can't wait for next time!
And now, art! I think I did pretty well considering that I took two trips. I started making 2"x3" size "miniature paintings" and have really had fun with these little studies. Many have sold and they've proven to be a popular item.
I also received a really neat commission. I was asked to recreate one of my miniatures as two 5x7" paintings. The scene, which was from a trail at Madera Canyon, Arizona, made the customer think of the stories she reads to her grandchildren. She said it felt “like you could walk right into a land of tales and mythical creatures.” She plans to have them help her hang her piece and to help them hang theirs. Then she will tell them that when they look at their painting she will look at hers, and they’ll meet in the “Land of Stories.” So sweet!
There are, of course, still pieces waiting for you in my online shop. I hope you'll hop on over and see if one of them takes you to a special place, too. Shop now ›