Our every other day afternoon tennis game was rained out today and I finally have a chance to catch up this blog. Portal Irish Music Week 2015 was a success but it wears me out. Responsibility for 50 people’s welfare and good times is a heavy mantle for a natural introvert. I get tired of hearing my name even as I delight in the fact that it’s a successful event. As soon as everyone left town two dear friends from Helena showed up. Rosemary and Ed swung in to see us and Portal before their winter as campground hosts at Death Valley National Park. We paid them a visit last fall and they did us the honor of coming in to see us. RR and Ed credit (or blame) us for their recently adopted wandering lifestyle. RR does not miss her house one bit. A house we made rather lovely revisions to just a few years ago.
So these two dear ones show up just as the rains come in and I have to resume my duties at the Cave Creek Visitor’s Center. They came in and visited both days. One afternoon we did a bug safari. I’ve learned that bugs are the most reliable nature viewing you can do. They are everywhere. One must appreciate what is available. Since I’m tied to the VIC infrastructure I observe the insects that make the VIC grounds their home. Due to a great monsoon season and a diverse flower garden of local species we have a wide variety of pretty bugs to find. The yellow crab spider below is known to use camouflage to hide in the flowers and can grab a honey bee and disable it with a powerful venom in under a second. The male tarantula was walking about looking for a female dance partner. Alas, I saw no action with either spider.
Finally my day off arrived and we took RR and Ed and their humongous labradog, Bowman, for a leisurely hike. Being a Visitor Center volunteer is not a one way flow of information. I have learned a secret of this job: valuable information comes my way, too. So far I have learned about many things, most notably the edible acorns and the location of pictographs in the surrounding area. It is well known the Chiricahuas are full of Native American archeological sites. That is no secret. Finding these sites is another matter. Knowledgeable people are rightfully protective of the areas and rarely share what they know. In situ pictographs, petroglyphs, and Native American relics are frequently stolen or vandalized. I enjoy seeing these sites but I don’t usually seek them out. I’d rather some one say, “Hey, you want to see something?” Then I know the information was given freely. Recently people shared with me the location of a few of these sites. So RR, Ed and Burt and I checked out a spot on our hike. This is a different site than I visited with the clients of PIMW. Pictures below but that’s all you’ll see here. The four of us ate too much and enjoyed some wine and had a grand old time. RR and Ed are now on their way to Death Valley.
On the work front we are very busy. Our clients (Mom’s casita) have sold their home back east and are headed our way in just over two weeks. It would be nice to be out of their hair before they arrive but I don’t think we will be quite done. Meanwhile I have resumed demo work at the next job (Home office and dining room bump out). I had a pool to dismantle. I subcontracted the arduous sawing to Burt. He used a skill saw, a sawzall, and a grinder to break the pool up into pieces I could carry away. Free large item trash day is this Saturday and we want these heavy hunks of fiberglass to leave town. The pool’s fiberglass was thick enough for a boat and it was bolstered by a 4 x 4 timber running the length of two sides. It was partially submerged but so sturdy I think it may have been made to be freestanding.
Today we installed a tongue in groove ceiling in the casita. And now we are up to date.