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Saturday, April 13, 2024: About a month ago I got a Facebook message advertising the Tucson Symphony Orchestra (TSO). I've seen the advertising before but this one really caught my eye because they were to play the Gustav Holst Suite, The Planets. I have been a fan of The Planets since my college days. I learned the tickets were advertised at only $14, $28 for two. Actually, after adding taxes, ticket fees and parking, the event cost $50. I have listened to the Suite probably a hundred times at no cost so I had to decide if I wanted to pay the $50 to hear it again. I decided the venue (Linda Ronstadt Music Hall) and the ability to SEE the music as well as HEAR it would be worth the $50. I remember going to a concert when I lived at Lake Tahoe, California where the orchestra played Beethoven's Sixth Symphony. I listened to the music multiple times before the concert so I could recognize the themes as I listened to and watched the music. I did the same with this concert. I listened to The Planets multiple times, watched YouTube videos of other orchestras and read what Wikipedia had to say about the Suite. Finally, I took binoculars so I could see which instruments were developing the themes which I knew so well. 
 
 

Monday, April 8, 2024: The big news today was the viewing of the solar eclipse from our park observatory. We used the Stellina telescope with solar filters for the observation. Click the left photo to see the group which had gathered just outside the observatory to watch the eclipse. The Stellina object are viewed on the phone of each individual logged into the Stellina. That makes it easy to take photos and view the image for yourself. Tucson was not in the path for full eclipse, we got about 70% coverage. Click the right photo to see what we saw at the maximum coverage which occurred at 11:19 am.
 
 



Sunday, April 7, 2024:  I spent nearly the entire day, planning then arranging our family room/bedroom.  It is the largest room in our park model so much be a multi-purpose room. After that project I decided to take Abby on a hike into the Pantano Wash right out our back door. A strong hiker to go for miles. Abby and I went for 1.5 miles which was plenty for both of us. Click these three photos for more view. Behind the center photo is a view across the wash. Look for the furthest Palm Tree to the left of the photo, that's our Palm Tree.
 
 



Saturday, April 6, 2024: Our photo club chose to visit Patagonia, a tiny village south of Tucson nearly to the Mexican border. It is at 4055 foot elevation and claims to be cooler that Tucson during the summer months. The photo club wanted to visit the Hummingbird sanctuary owned by the Tucson Audubon Society. This turned out to be a popular location especially since it is a weekend day. We were able to see many Humming birds but they were so busy very difficult to get any good photos of them. We did walk a scenic trail with Abby to a view point. Our leader, Warren, showed us a unique cafe with some lovely bakery items and we caught the owner of the "Four Little Birds" delivering Sourdough bread so we bought a loaf. There were several gift shops along Main Street which we had to visit but purchased nothing. The hour drive to Patagonia was very scenic, especially this time of year. Click all three photos for more views.
 
 
Monday, April 1, 2024: This is April Fools day so nature has played a trick on us in Tucson. She brought rain all day. Fortunately I had prepared for such a day with a couple of covered projects. The first is LED lighting on the deck. I chose blue lights tonight but there are an infinite number of colors I could choose from. The lights can be controlled by Blue Tooth and I have programmed an internal timer to turn them on at 7 pm then off at 11 pm. I might choose green tomorrow. They can also be programmed to multi-color patterns. The second project is a Galaxy Projector which projects stars and a galaxy pattern onto the ceiling. Here is a short video of what that looks like.
 
 

Friday, March 29, 2024: We finally get a view of Mt Lemmon after several days of weather. It seems strange that Mt Lemmon would get more snow this time of year but there it is. We are expecting more rain on Sunday and Monday so maybe even more snow for the mountains.
 
 
Thursday, March 28, 2024: Abby is sharing her fur with our bird friends for their nests. I just refilled the basket. Notice how the fur is sticking our of the basket? I didn't do that.
 

Wednesday, March 27, 2024: We often get an unusual bird at the Hummingbird feeder. This is a male Gila Woodpecker who visits the feeder quite often. I'm not sure it comes for the sweet liquid or just an easy source of water. Look of the length of that tongue. This is a beautiful bird and we are glad to have him around. Click this photo for another view.
 
 
Monday, March 25, 2024: We get bird visitors everyday. Mostly Quail but occasionally the Gila Woodpecker and in this case the female Cardinal. The male Cardinal is not far behind.

We had some very special visitors today. My friend Erik and his Son, Andrew from Roseburg, Oregon visited for a short time while on their drive from Roseburg to Albuquerque, New Mexico. They took an hour out of their whirlwind trip to stop and see how we are living now. Andrew is graduating from high school this year with a 4.0 GPA plus the first place trombone player in all of Oregon. He has been accepted into four universities, Reno, Nevada; University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Arizona State University and University of New Mexico. He and his dad are touring each of the four universities in five days before flying home from Albuquerque. Of course, I suggested the University of Arizona, Wildcats but it is too late this year to apply. Andrew is interested in nuclear science which may not be offered here. I feel very special that they took the time to stop.

 
 

Saturday, March 23, 2024:Our one concert per month took us to see "Short Notice", Hits from the Brits.  They played 26 tunes (they announced the number at the beginning of the concert) and gave a bit of history with each tune. The history made the music more interesting. The park supported the group well. We heard tunes from The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Kinks, Elton John, Queen, Fleetwood Mac and more.
 
 

Friday, March 22, 2024: I drove to the west side of Tucson this afternoon to watch my friend, Wes, attempt to qualify for the level 1 Certification in model rockets. Wes spent this last week building his rocket and getting it ready for the launch. His rocket shot 1300 feet then deployed the parachute for a soft landing. Unfortunately it landed in a tree. It came against a large branch which knocked a hole into the body. The rocket must land unharmed for certification. Here is a short video of Wes' launch. After a repair, Wes will try again.
 
 
Thursday, March 21, 2024: Our last view from our own observatory here at Rincon Country East was of the Andromeda Galaxy. It is our closest galaxy to the Milky Way. It is 2.5 million light years distant. It is a spiral galaxy like the Milky Way growing closer to us. It will collide with the Milky Way in a couple billion years. This photo came directly from my phone as observed from our telescope.
 

 Wednesday, March 20, 2024: Welcome to the first day of spring at Rincon Country East Resort in Tucson, Arizona. We have been here nearly six months and aren't tired of it yet. These last few days have been filled with fair-weather cumulus clouds which has provided tonight's sunset. In another two weeks most of the RVs you see will be headed to their home states and the park will be much less crowded. Although we haven't been bothered by the number of visitors since we are on the only cul-de-sac in the resort. Click on this photo to view a visitor we invite to our back yard every day.   

 

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