Most people-- when they bother to think of Arizona at all-- think of the Phoenix and Tucson parts of the state. The parts with the towering saguaros and other desert accoutrements. Now by the time May rolls around, almost every single one of our visitors down here in the south has gone home. If you're looking to save pennies on a trip to Phoenix, you come when the weather's a blast furnace. You can bet hotels will lower their prices and beg you to stay then!
Well, I have a young niece who will be here in June. June is when we can get temperatures like... oh, say... 118° or at least day after day of temperatures over 110° (43-48°C.) plus brilliant blue skies and sun so intense that you can get burned in well under five minutes. This young English rose of ours is going to have her baptism by fire-- and I'm going to make sure I'm stocked up on sunscreen!
We're planning on showing her some of the sights in northern Arizona, which will involve overnight stays. Boy howdy-- while hotel prices are cheaper down here in Phoenix, they are anything but cheap up north! Unless you're in an area with a ski resort (yes, Arizona has ski resorts), prices are cheap in the winter up north while they're expensive down here. Have I confused you yet?
And while time is making its inexorable way to June, I thought I'd share a photo of one of my favorite cacti at the Desert Botanical Garden. Now take a look-- doesn't that cactus look like it's trying to make a run for it? Want to know its name? Let me introduce you to the Creeping Devil cactus before I head on out to the corral for those links!
►Books, Movies & Other Interesting Tidbits◄
- Harper Lee's article for an FBI magazine on the infamous killings that were the basis of Truman Capote's In Cold Blood has been found by a biographer.
- On the heartbreaking difficulty of getting rid of books.
- Here's a couple of links all about book covers... Meet the Penguin Random House Design Awards people-- they really do judge books by their covers. (Thanks, Kathleen!) And the secrets of the book designer: the many ways a cover is rejected.
- Game of Thrones: the books versus the television series.
- Timbuktu's "badass librarians"-- checking out books under Al-Qaida's nose. (This is an example of my buying a book simply because of the title. I hope to get to it soon.)
- How books can help us survive a war.
- How Scottish history has inspired Game of Thrones.
- Women detectives in fact and fiction.
- Is a literary renaissance occurring for India's lowest caste of citizens?
►Channeling My Inner Indiana Jones◄
- The mile-long "band of holes" in Peru may be the remains of an Inca tax system.
- Archaeologists in Taiwan have found a 4,800-year-old fossil of a woman cradling an infant.
- 600 kilos (1,300 pounds) of Roman coins have been discovered in a town in Spain.
- The site where Sir William Wallace was appointed Guardian of Scotland has been uncovered in Selkirk.
►Channeling My Inner Elly Mae Clampett◄
- There's something mesmerizing about watching sheep being herded online. (Baa, ram, ewe!)
- Looks like the U.S. government is getting set to adopt the bison as our national mammal. Did you know that bison are considered the first major conservation success story on earth?
- Watch a baby dolphin being born.
- A wild otter has become a man's best friend.
- Never underestimate Mother Nature: a weasel was responsible for shutting down the world's most powerful particle collider.
►The Happy Wanderer◄
- Author Judy Blume is selling her house in Key West.
- Nine strange roadside attractions in Arizona.
- Augsburg, Germany has installed traffic lights for texters. (For cryin' out loud!)
- The joys and perils of literary tourism.
- Japan is getting "invisible" trains that blend into the landscape.
- The secret bookstores of Buenos Aires.
- Ten of the most incredible images of astronaut Scott Kelly's year in space.
- The world's most beautiful library is in..........
- A walk through Chawton, Jane Austen's home.
- With the world's largest number of ice cream flavors, I think I want to visit the Coromoto Ice Cream Shop the next time I'm in Merida, Venezuela.
►I ♥ Lists◄
- Ten facts about Poets Laureate.
- A people's language grows (and shrinks) according to what's important to them. If you live up at the Arctic Circle, you need a lot of different words for snow. In Scotland, you need at least fifteen special words to describe the weather.
- Literary characters who could be on reality TV.
- Ten favorite dance scenes... a list where I would've substituted a few choices of my own.
- Here's a top ten list of contemporary African authors.
That's all for this week! Don't forget to stop by next Friday when I'll be sharing a freshly selected batch of links for your surfing pleasure.
Have a great weekend, and read something fabulous!