Saturday, March 9, 2013

This and That and Quilts

Well today was a travel day. Not a huge travel day, but by the time you repack EVERYTHING and load it in the vehicle, check out and hit the road, half the morning is gone. (We can't get up too early you know, after all we are retired now, no need to rush.)
The drive from Phoenix to Tucson is not a long one, but we only arrived here at supper time.
We hit some heavy rain at times, but also spent most of the afternoon at an attraction called Biosphere 2.
Time Life Books listed it as " One of the 50 Wonders of the World". It is a spaceship like glass facility elevated on a ridge nearly 4,000 feet above sea level at the base of the Santa Catalina Mts. near Tucson Arizona.

For 2 years, beginning in September 1991, four men and four women were locked inside this airtight, 3-acre greenhouse in the desert 35 miles north of Tucson near the town of Oracle. During their tenure in Biosphere 2 (earth is considered Biosphere 1), they conducted experiments on how the earth, basically a giant greenhouse, manages to support all the planet's life forms. Today there are no longer any people living in Biosphere 2, and the former research facility is operated more as a tourist attraction than as a science center.
Inside there are many different conditions...rain forest, desert, ocean.
To many people it was considered a failure; to the scientists it was a great learning experiment; to me it was an interesting and entertaining way to spend a rainy afternoon.

Keep in mind, this is all inside a dome. Lemon trees, coffee bean plants, cacti, fish. A very BIG science lab.

The scenery and landscape in Arizona is much like Canadian weather...just give it a bit of time and it will change. Forests, mountains, deserts, canyons...you can golf in the morning and ski in the afternoon.
Today the clouds and scenery made for a very pretty drive. The Santa Catalina Mts. are quite stunning.

I promised to tell you a little about the quilt show yesterday, so here goes. This quilt show was put together by a guild in one of the retirement RV parks in Mesa Arizona. These ladies do a show every March, they have a membership of 70 and they have 300+ quilted projects on display. Admission was free.

These quilts spoke to me for various reasons. Some for the colour combinations, some for the quilting detail, others for the pattern, but one thing I want to point out is they all have a white piece of paper pinned to them with the words " Turn Here" . Rather than handing out white gloves for handling the quilts, they asked that you turned or lifted the quilts by holding the pieces of white paper. An economical and easy way around the white gloves!

I will show a few more of these quilts at the end of the next few posts. Stay tuned...

3 comments:

HollyM said...

I would have loved the biosphere! And how fun to come across a quilt show. I really like the first one. Interesting pattern.

JoAnne said...

When we lived in Arizona, at Fort Huachuca (by Sierra Vista, about 70 miles SW of Tucson) it was in the mid-90s and the Biosphere was in the news fairly often. The big "experiment" was over and all the ramifications and the future of the place was all being discussed. It was cool to see the photos from inside! The scenery was sure pretty, too. The quilts were very fun to look at and that was an ingenius idea for letting visitors look at the backs!

Linda H said...

I'm very familiar with that area just north of Tucson Wendy, as I have an Aunt who lived there for years - not far from Oracle. They had a small "ranch". Those mts. are gorgeous- especially when there's a storm coming and you can watch the lightning dance along the tops of the mts... Lots to see and do in Tucson. Make sure you visit the Sonoran Desert Museum, and Old Tucson is fun too- old movie sets, a la Gunsmoke, Bonanza,High Chaparral, etc. WELL worth the visit if you like or liked western movies at all...