Phoenix Day 1

Arrived in Phoenix yesterday. It is hot here even at night. When we arrived it was 105 degrees. Today it got to 110 degrees. The sky is perfectly clear and everything is dry. Arizona, at least the Valley of the Sun, where Phoenix sits, is a different world. We will be in Phoenix for the next couple of days. Then we are going down to Tucson and Tombstone.

Alex and Lisa, Chrissy’s sister and brother in law, are putting us up. They have a nice Phoenix style house. The boys are sleeping in the living room. We have an upstairs place.

Nothing much lives in the desert without the help of irrigation and few people lived here before the invention of air conditioning. Phoenix is comfortable only because of 20th Century technologies. The temperatures are a lot like those in Iraq. Alex& Lisa have done a wonderful job of landscaping. Last time we were here the yard was nothing but rocks and dirt. Now there are trees and desert plants. There is a short moss-like grass. It is very green and has to be watered every day or two. Below are some pictures from today.

Above is Alex & Lisa’s back yard. It took a lot of work to make it this nice. The tree is a palo verde. It has very small leaves, but the trunk remains green all year and allows photosynthesis.

Above is the neighbor’s yard. This is what it looks like when you do nothing. Unlike in more humid climates, the grass doesn’t cover the sins of the landscaper. This guy’s idea of landscaping is evidently to leave the dirt and rocks and put on a layer of dog shit. (those are the specks you see in the picture)

Saguaro cactus grow only in the Sonora Desert in Northern Mexico and Arizona. Phoenix is on the northern edge. It takes many years fro the Saguaro to grow “arms”. They are protected species and are registered. This one in Alex’s yard was given to him by a lady he worked for. It would be worth about $2000.00 if he had to buy it.

In the distance is what the landscape looks like without irrigation. The hills are pretty and pretty dry.

No matter where they are, the kids engage in the usual recreation – video games. Note the determined expression on the boys’ faces as they overcome the threat to the universe.

Alex made a nice playground for his two kids, Christiana and Roman.