The "off season" this year was exactly eight days long, from Thursday to Thursday, centered on President's Day. That was when Denise and I took our vacation.
Oh, don't act so shocked. It's happened before. Once. Maybe twice if you count that trip to Alaska in 2002. I'm not sure connect-the-relatives really qualifies as a vacation though, much though we love them all.
This time, we actually went somewhere warm. Southeastern Arizona, in fact, visiting friends in Tucson and Scottsdale, exploring the desert landscape and visiting mission churches, ancient pueblos, craft shops and a Native American museum. We also took in the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, a combination zoo/aboretum featuring lots of local wildlife, as well as an amazing selection of cacti and desert plants.
I took my camera and sketchbook, of course, and already saguaro cacti, cactus wrens, desert tortoises and white winged doves have made their appearance on my pots. We also saw jackrabbits, Gambel's quail and pyrroloxia (Mexican cardinals), though sadly, no javelina.
It's too soon to tell which patterns will be long term keepers; we'll have to see what you folk end up liking. My vote is on the tortoise, though.
After all, he has a track record...