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Snow palms

Here in Tucson we have the very rare “snow palm” tree. See the photo for proof!


A storm spun in from the west last night, bringing us yet another incredible winter rain in the dark hours before dawn and continuing through the morning. Rain down here in Tucson means snow up in the Santa Catalinas and the Rincons, and we get a front-row seat. I am predicting some nice desert blooms in April as a result!

I think our guests were caught by surprise. We all knew the storm was coming but the steady moderate rain and cool temperatures inspired Bobby to say he felt like he was in the Pacific Northwest. It’s true — I don’t think we’ve seen a rain like that since we left the Hoh Rain Forest. But being Tucson, it couldn’t last long. By noon the rain was over, and in the afternoon a few sunny breaks appeared in the clouds.   For a final surprise, we got a little hail late in the day, about the size of fishtank gravel, as the storm exited toward New Mexico.

Tomorrow we’ll be back to full sun and temperatures in the 70s late this weekend.


We were planning to take the Welshes up to Mount Lemmon to play in the snow — a concession to the seven-year-olds who are feeling snow-deprived — but with this recent storm I’m sure the road has been closed temporarily. Occasionally four-wheel drive and chains are required.

Don’t let anyone tell you it doesn’t rain in the desert. Of course it does, it just rains less than most places. But because this town is so oriented to fine weather, there aren’t a lot of rainy day activities. People here don’t drop everything and grab their skis or sleds when a storm comes through. The rain seems to put everyone into a Sunday afternoon mood, so there’s a lot of puttering around going on here today. Bobby backed up his laptop with a new hard drive he bought last night. Eleanor and Danine both did laundry, and Eleanor worked on a beading project. Emma and Elise have bounced from activity to activity. I put a log in the fireplace and moved a few boxes out of our storage room into the kitchen for unpacking.

I’ve also been finalizing some travel plans. This weekend we’ll go to Patagonia and the Tucson rodeo. Next week I will be heading up to Las Vegas (with a stop along the way), and in just about four weeks we’ll be pulling out of town for the season, heading east.

Our approximate schedule looks like this:

mid-March: west Texas, including Big Bend National Park and Ft Davis

late March-early April: service stop in Weatherford TX (near Ft Worth), New Orleans, Florida panhandle

April: Florida (Tampa, Orlando, a few other spots)

May: up the east coast, with stops in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, VA, etc.

mid-June to mid-July: Vermont and upstate New York

summer: Canadian maritime provinces? Nova Scotia, PEI, Newfoundland — this is pretty iffy but we’d like to do it

August: back to Vermont

late August: heading southwest again with stops in Arkansas, Colorado, Utah, and northern Arizona.

late October: arrival in southern AZ

But don’t hold us to any of this. We’ve learned over the last couple of years that we prefer to keep our firm commitments and reservations to a bare minimum. Anything might happen. You’ll just have to ride along and see!

One Response to “Snow palms”

  1. Peter Nault Says:

    As a “semi-native” Floridian, I have found that April is the best month weather-wise to be in Florida. The temperatures are salubrious, and the summer humidity has not yet begun. Here’s hoping that this holds true for you if you keep to your travel schedule!