the wandering chick
at the Presidio
Above and Right: at the Presidio San Agustin del Tucson in Old Town Tucson; Ocotillo branches (right) had many uses, among them fences and dividers.
Ocotillo fence and gourds
St. Augustine Church
St. Augustine Church
El Tiradito The Wishing Shrine
St. Augustine Church

El Tiradito Shrine is one of Tucson's most known and loved places, especially by the locals. It's packed with legend, dating from the 1870s, but no one can agree on which
of three stories is the real one. All three conclude with the death of someone on the (original) spot where the shrine is located. And in all three legends, that person was a sinner- an El Tiradito, a castaway - the victim of a love triangle gone wrong. No matter which is true, the shrine is the only one on the National Register of Historic Places dedicated to the soul of a sinner.

How it got to be on the Registy is a story in itself: An Urban Renewal project in Tucson in the 1960s had planned to build an expressway that would have demolised both El Tiradito and theBarrio Viejo in which it's located. Citizens, outraged, formed the El Tiradito Foundation and lobbied for the shrine to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places, knowing that once the location was placed on the register, it could not be destroyed.

Today, it still stands, rustic and informal, pretty only in the eyes of those who respect its history and purpose. Many call the small corner on E. Main Street a Wishing Shrine. They say if you make a wish and light a candle, and your candle stays lit overnight, your wish will come true.

Tucson courthouse
Tucson 's courthouse
Even on an overcast day, the La Placita Village brightens both your spirits and your surroundings. La Placita is a few blocks of colorful businesses, eateries and apartments. The spot is dedicated to those who founded Tucson and fought to keep it alive.
La Placita Village
La Placita Village
La Placita Village
La Placita Village
La Placita Village
The Amtrak Depot
La Placita Village
The Congress Hotel
Above and Left: The Hotel Congress is another famous landmark in Tucson. Built in 1919, it retains its early charm in both the lobby and a couple of rooms and cafes off the lobby. John Dillinger, the infamous bank robber, stayed here in 1934.
lobby, Congress Hotel
Tucson is rich, rich in history starting with the Hohokam Indian tribe that mysteriously disappeared hundreds of years ago and continues to such Wild West legends as John Dillinger and Wyatt Earp. A wonderful walking tour of the old and newer parts of Tucson is a great way to see the city.
Tucson courthouse

Above, left: Walkway of Tucson's courthouse

Above, center: It seems no matter where you are in Arizona, you'll find prickly pear cactus in some form or another

prickly pear cactus
Elysian Grove in an old town burrio
the Elysian Grove Market, today a Bed & Breakfast in Tucson's historic Barrio Viejo, was built in the 1920s.
El Charro Cafe
The Carmen Theatre

Above: The El Charro Cafe is the oldest continuously family operated Mexican eating establishment in the United States. It was established in 1922 and is occupied in a home built in the 1890s and on the National Register of Historic Places.

Left: Teatro Carmen is also in the Barrio Viejo. Built in 1915, it staged theatrical performances in Spanish.

Below: Typical houses with unique water spouts in Barrio Viejo, Tucson's historic district.

houses in the barrio section of Tucson

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The Tucson Botanical Garden has a small butterfly exhibit that houses a decent variety of soft floating colors in the way of butterflies. It wasn't possible to get many of them to land long enough to get a decent picture, but others stayed put allowing for a decent photo op.
butterfly exhibit
butterfly exhibit
butterfly exhibit
butterfly exhibit
An azure frog is tiny, about one-and-a-half inches in length. They are in common in South and Central America.
The Tron frog is another rare species found at the Tucson Botanical Garden's butterfly exhibit.
This butterfly attached to a lady's arm and stayed with her the whole time she visited the exhibit.
Like a reversible jacket, the Blue Morpho is as pretty on the outside as it is on the inside.
A Red Lace Wing