Thursday, August 04, 2005

A new settler in the South West

I have now been in Arivaca for two days. It is quite interesting. This is only the third time I have been to Arizona and the first time in the southeastern quadrant. The flora and fauna is very interesting. I love the cacti flowers. Most of them now are purple or yellow. I also like the cold blooded critters. Last night several toads each larger than the first kept hopping up to me as I grilled shish tavuk. I have always found amphibians to be fascinating.

I am trying to pick up on the history and cultural strands of the region. I found a basic primer on Arizona history in the living room and have been reading it in the mornings before breakfest and writing. I am now up to the Civil War.

There are some Russian-German Mennonite settlements in northern Mexico not too far from here. They came from Canada during the early 1920s. I may take a research trip down there some time.


Camicao said...

What is shish tavuk?

I reside in the southwest, but not Arizona, and toads are great. Did you know that they are good luck? We had one on our back patio all of last summer. Sadly we haven't seen him this summer. What I do hate about parts of the southwest are the SCORPIONS.

While you're in Arizona you may want to try a Tony Hillerman mystery. You're in the right environment for it. (The best, and most thoughtful and feeling one is "A Thief of Time.")

J. Otto Pohl said...

Shish tavuk is Turkish for chicken on a skewer. The Turks have a v sound where the Arabs have a w. But, the word is of Arabic origin as are a number of other Turkish food words. The Greeks call it souvlaki. I marinated it in lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. It was pretty good. I did not have an outdoor grill in Virginia.

I have seen no scorpions or rattlesnakes yet. I know that rattle snakes do live in the area, however. I saw one small and three big toads last night. We had monsoon rains that filled up the creek on the property during the last couple of days.

Well, if I can find any books by Tony Hillerman I will buy them. I will probably have to go to Green Valley to find them. I live in very remote area. The actual town of Arivaca is eight miles from where I live. I can walk it in an hour and a quarter. The road to town is not paved for most of the way.

Camicao said...

Darn, it sounds real nice being out in the middle of nowhere, grilling Shish Tavuk! I envy you. What precisely are you doing in Arizona? I assume it's a vacation?

Frank said...

I understand that if you use a blacklight, you can see scorpions glowing in the dark. Apparently, they're the only (arthropods? animals? arachnids? I can't remember what group it is, exactly.)that does so. Something in their carapaces.

J. Otto Pohl said...

No it is not a vacation. I could no longer afford to live in Alexandria. I have a place to stay at my uncle's that does not require money to pay rent. I will be here writing, applying for jobs and fixing up the place until something else comes along. Today I need to build a brick wall to direct the flood rains. I will post more on Arizona later.