Saturday, March 13, 2010

In Which We Volkssport

I dragged Lady Scientist T off to Patagonia (about 40 miles south of here, near the Mexican border) with me this morning for a 5K Volkssport. The 10K was through a "beautiful, high, grassy plain with great views of the valley," as the Volkssport Walking Klub email described it, and I sorely wanted to walk there, but I had a thousand and one things to do at home and couldn't spare the extra hour or so that a 10K would have needed. The weather was perfect--about 65 degrees Farenheit when we started, sunny, blue skies, just absolutely perfect. I was so glad to be out of town and walking through beautiful country side. Patagonia is a cute little town, part Old West, part artist colony. We stopped for an early lunch in Sonoita (where, alas, my favorite local restaurant, Grasslands, is no more; the sweet old couple that owned it have retired. What a pastry case--to die for!) at Crossroads Cafe, a small but pleasant restaurant. Brief menu, but the meals we ordered were tasty, the waitress friendly, and the view out the window stupendous. It was a slightly different angle to the photo below.

And no, if you followed the link above, I am not the only Volkssport member under 70. There are quite a few ex-military families around here that belong, so that there are thirty-somethings and young kids out on our walks. I used to take the dogs, but they are sadly too old and arthritic to undertake even a 5K, especially in warm weather, and I think even today would have been too warm for them. The organizers used to make a big fuss when I would show up with the fluffies; very happy memories down that lane.

Oh, and here's part of the lane through the Nature Conservancy property that was part of the walk:

And we saw some deer tracks on the path.

And after working in the garden for two straight hours this afternoon pulling dandelions and mustard, I decided my sore back and I deserved a cup of tea and a piece of cake. My hummingbird, who is usually not at all shy, has been avoiding coming to sip some sugar water because he must know somehow I've been trying to get his photograph. This photo is completely dreadful, but it was taken through the security mesh door, so the light is dreadful and the focus almost as bad. He's stretching his neck up to see what I was doing. He's a ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilocus colubris) and I will keep trying to get a better photo of him for you

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