Friday, November 13, 2015

Mt. Lemmon, AZ

One of my grandparents' favorite places to take out-of-towners is Mt. Lemmon. This is because Mt. Lemmon has enough of an elevation change that there is actually a small ski resort at the top of the mountain, and the temperature is routinely 30-40 degrees cooler than it is in Tucson proper.

I didn't get any photos of it, but the at the lower altitudes of Mt. Lemmon, there is a real problem with Fountain Grass.  I wanted to get some photos because it sure is pretty (even if it is invasive), but there never seemed to be any along the pull out areas - it was always along the areas where we couldn't stop because of safety concerns. Which I guess makes sense - there are probably people who come and pull up the plants in the areas where it's easiest for them to get to.  In any case, there were parts that looked very much like the Wikipedia photo about fountain grass...

The view of Tucson from the first scenic overlook on Mt. Lemmon.  Tucson doesn't have skyscrapers, so it looks very flat.  The entire south side of Mt. Lemmon is a saguaro forest - it was very similar to Davis Mountains only with Saguaro instead of Yucca.

The little infographic showing the various altitudes and associated plant types.  It was 50 degrees at the top - it was 90 in Tucson that day.

Balanced rock at one of the scenic pullouts.

Wanda on the left, Vern in the center and Shawn on the right.  Shawn actually has a photo of me taking a photo of him, and it's actually a really cool photo because the wind is blowing and the sky is all black with just a smidge of blue...I should try to find that photo...

Looking up at the trees across from the ski resort.

Ski run.
Grandpa and me walking at the top of Mt. Lemmon.  The top of the chair lift is that building in front of us.

At the tippy-top of Mt. Lemmon.  I love my trees with character...maybe this would be my tattoo tree with a bird added to one of the branches...


Agua Caliente park in the shadow of Mt. Lemmon.  We went here solely because they wanted to show us all the palm trees.  As you might imagine, Palm Trees are not native in Arizona so every time you see them, you know that someone planted them.  This park reminded me a lot of Bonnet House in Fort Lauderdale.

Prickly Pear growing IN the palm tree.  Damn birds, always getting those seeds places where they're not supposed to be.

Doing a short walk to the pond and back.  This was just after Grandpa was telling me about Osage Orange plants and how they had them growing along the fenceline back when he was a kid.

Agua Caliente Park pond

Saguaro at the first pull out on Mt. Lemmon.  It takes about 75 years until saguaros start to branch, and most don't live past about 200 years.

I went through all of the photo albums my grandma had at the house and I thought it was hilarious that she had a picture of the agave that I had taken a picture of (only taken about 20 years ago).  The saguaro is now looking a bit worse for the wear, and the one that was behind it obviously isn't there any more...

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