A Tale of Two Cities

IMG_0968Today I depart for Tucson, Arizona–a city in the high desert of the Sonoran Desert which stretches from Phoenix to Baja, California. At one time, for nearly twenty years, I lived in this desert.

During that time I frequently visited my father and sisters in Pensacola. Each time I flew from the desert to the coastal city on the Gulf, I found ironic similarities between these two cities. First, the cities are nearly on the same latitude: 32 degrees N (Tucson) and 30 degrees N (Pensacola).

Opuntia GloryBoth regions support species of Opuntia–prickly pear cactus, and both have a certain species of horny toad.

This is a photo I took in Tucson in my old neighborhood. By sheer coincidence (??) the little House on Belmont Street has a prickly pear cactus that is native to our coastal region. It is not as pretty as this one pictured here, but I am told its blossoms are a lemony yellow like this purple variety.

Tucson is subject to drought as is the whole of the Southwest. Florida is subject to over use of its fresh water resources. Both cities then are dealing with some form of water issues.

Ft Picken in Fog 12_18_08 026But, of course beautiful Pensacola by the sea is on the Gulf of Mexico and viva la difference! This might be what it looks like at Gulf Islands National Seashore this morning in a dense fog.  Tucson was once covered by an ocean; Pensacola was once a dry Savannah. Traveling back and forth I often pondered these similarities in the places where we live–their interchangeable nature when we look over longer stretches than one human lifetime.

Check back here for updates on my trip. For now, the little garden in the front yard is heartily growing at a rapid speed using permaculture techniques; my friends will stop by to water now and then. The house will be quiet but the soils will be a riot of activity.

Post Script: Since writing this blog, many people have sent me information on downsizing. One hilarious email included how to fold my socks to save space. You have to watch this video and then tell me if it is not extreme OCD! Thanks, Betty! Guess whose socks are little squares in her suitcase?? Yep, I succumbed…

Also, Tucson 10-day weather forecast! Gulp


6 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Cities”

  1. These photo’s are astounding. Great camera work! Is this the property you just hailed from? Jealous. When I move from Florida It is imperative I move closer to my beloved cacti! These shots are just beautiful.


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