Thursday, March 24, 2011


I am at a Starbuck's that actually has posting power which the RV park is lacking in!  So I plan to cover a lot of categories, hence the title!
 Casa Grande ruins just south of where we are staying.  This is another home of the Hohokam peoples.  I find it interesting that some were living in cliff homes, some in the stonewalled ruins I showed previously, and now some right smack in the middle of the desert in this adobe type of structure.  This big building was probably a
community building of some kind.  Maybe sort of a temple?  They did have the holes on the top of the structure that sunlight shone through on the equinox and solstice.  And that amazes me, too.  How did they figure those things out?  An early version of Google?
Then we went to a monastery.  Also right smack dab in the middle of the desert.  This place, in contrast to the ancient ruins, is brand new.  The Greek Orthodox head sent out several groups of 6 monks to build monasteries in different parts of the world in the early 1990's.  Six men arrived in 1995 and built this beautiful oasis in the desert outside of Florence, AZ.  There are several beautiful chapels, lovely fountains and gazebos, and beautiful, and very productive gardens in this compound.
The grapefruit are about the size of a softball and a half!
The chapels are beautiful, ornate, and very peaceful.  Visitors are allowed except when services are going on.  There is no entrance fee, but everyone needs to be tastefully dressed, and as they are dealing with not very tastefully dressed tourists for the most part, they have clothing there for you to wear during your visit.  Ruth and I had to don long, ankle length skirts, long sleeved shirts or jackets, and head scarves.  Ernie and Ike had to dress in long pants and long sleeved shirts.  And it was a warm day!  Thank goodness the chapels were cooler than the outside, and there is a lot of shade as you walk through the gardens.
The furnishings are sparse, but what is there is very ornate, like this lighting fixture in the largest chapel.
And as we left the grounds, there on the top of a little hill sits this beautiful chapel and cross, sparkling white in the afternoon sun, just as I imagine the buildings in Greece look.  This was a very pleasant day.

On Tuesday we again joined Ruth and Ike and we went to the botanical gardens.  The temps had dropped so the afternoon temps were only in the 70's, as opposed to the earlier 90's that we had been blessed with. a lovely day to spend outdoors and to ponder these words of Luther Burbank: Flowers are sunshine, food, and medicine for the soul.
These chartreuse colored "plants" are glass sculptures by the glass artist, Chihuly.  Very interesting, I thought!
This cactus is starting to bloom.  The desert should become much more colorful after everything is blooming.
I don't know the name of this tree, but it was lovely!
I absolutely love this photo.
And this one.
The whole tree was this sunshiny yellow color and was just lovely!
Another blooming cactus.
The butterflies are lovely, as is the glass dish they are feeding out of!
Isn't our God an awesome God?  Such beauty He made for us!
We stopped at the gardens of the LDS Visitor Center and found this fountain and these flowers.
And this lovely red tree that was covered with these flowers hanging against the blue sky.  Beautiful!


TonjiaT said...

beautiful pictures Marge! I love cactus blooms.. Enjoy that weather, we had snow today in Colorado.

Russell said...

These are incredible images! Wow! You certainly know you are not in Iowa or Minnesota or Kansas anymore!

Yes - nature's beauty is unbelievable, isn't it? Very, very nice.

I certainly enjoyed scrolling through all these pictures and seeing what life is like in another part of the world. Most interesting! Thank you!

Jeanne said...

Your pictures are just beautiful! What a great time of the year to be in that part of the country. Soon it will be too HOT and then you can head back home !

Lena . . . said...

LOVE the pictures. I think the tree you were questioning is called an oleander.