Barely two weeks past Epiphany and not only is it NO MORE HAPPY CHRISTMAS in Tucson, but no more winter as well. We have vaulted directly into a long succession of what would be perfect Chicago June days, 73 degrees, bright blue skies, and so much sunshine that the shady side of the street is very inviting, but with enough of a breeze to make it okay if you can't marshal the energy to stroll over there. The burgers-on-the-grill scents wafting out of Bob Dobbs' Bears and Cubs neon-signed windows, paired with the occasional whiff of cigarettes from the patio completed the illusion.
Then the prickly pear pads I had to dodge in order to continue down the sidewalk brought me back to the desert. Well, that and the hoots coming from the Cardinals bandwagon jumpers watching the game at the bar and in many houses I passed on the way home.
The flock of lesser goldfinches has returned to our yard, along with the house finches and white-crowned sparrows. Gila woodpeckers have polished off the suet cake in the feeder my dad made for us, and continue to squawk from all points of the yard and surrounding trees. The hummingbirds perched in the mesquite squeak their hope for new sugar water. Spring has sprung, calling me up to the trails in the Catalinas while water's still running. It finally cracked 0 in Chicago yesterday. This isn't a bad place to be in January.