University, botanical garden, and Tanque Verde


Another full day today!

This morning I accompanied my host Jim to his workplace at the University of Arizona, to see the cool building where he works as a mapmaker of the local natural areas. We biked over together, which took about 15 minutes, much of which was on nice bike-path infrastructure within the campus. There is a really nice courtyard (see pic of me admiring it) right in Jim’s office building, with water catchment technology to capture all the rain when it does come, to irrigate the plants.

After that, I said goodbye to him, then Sonya back at the house, and I went to explore the nearby Tucson Botanical Gardens. They are housed in a small former estate, and contain many beautiful plants, fountains, and art pieces.

After that, I headed about ten miles east, to the outer-Tucson area of Tanque Verde, to meet my new Servas host and her dog and two cats. Her house, like Jim and Sonya’s, is built in a classic southwestern style, with traditional tile floors and stucco and brickwork.

We had a wonderful talk over dinner about our various travels around the country and the world, and we also watched a beautiful one-hour video that depicts the Sonoran desert (this area) in all five seasons (there is “dry summer” and “wet summer” here, with the monsoon season).

Tomorrow, we will get up early to explore nearby Sabino Canyon with a guided tour. I’ve heard good things (thanks, Lysa and Dave!) so I’m looking forward to it.

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