U-Must Like Yuma

We’ve visited Yuma at least once every four years since we started full-timing. (You can read the original posts by going to the May 2010 archives.)


Our first year, we spent more than five winter months here. We marvelled at the mouth-watering freshness of mineola tangelos right off the trees… the overwhelming scent of lemon blossoms from the thousands of acres of groves that surround the city… the neighborhoods in Yuma circled by walls… the white converted school buses that transport agricultural laborers from worksite to worksite — as many white buses as some cities have yellow taxi cabs, (though I haven’t yet seen a city taxi hauling porta-potties behind it)… and so many “winter visitors” (the politically correct term for “snowbirds”) in this small city that out-of-state (and Canadian) license plates easily outnumber Arizona plates.

But even now, after many visits to Yuma, new experiences strike us.

Like these brave little Burrowing Owls, who’d found a place to get out of the Arizona sun in this sewer opening in a well-traveled shopping strip…


… and braved the humans around them by making the short flight up to the rim of this wastebasket:


Of course, catching glimpses of the high-flying military jets that soar overhead is always a thrill:



That means seeing two jets in formation is even more fun:


Looking back through these photos, I deleted plenty of blurred shots. As I pressed the “Delete” button, I realized the closer the jet, the fuzzier the picture. Makes sense — those military aircraft go so fast, it’s hard to keep them framed and focused at the same time. So I got some chopped shots…


…and a lot of images of the sky…


… but all were worth it to get this. Though from very far away, these jets were re-fueling in air:


Practicing and testing for an annual certification, pilots from several branches of the service were putting in more flight hours than usual, and that meant we were treated to more aerial showboating than ever.

One late winter day, lounging in a pool, we got a personal flyover (so it seemed) by not one, not two, not three — but four military jets. I’d tell you which ones, but I can’t distinguish them. They do fly the brand new, highly advanced F-35 out of Yuma, so we hoped we were treated to those. (Oh, and photos? Sorry. I carry my camera nearly everywhere — but not in the pool.)

Sometimes, you see the same things, but you see them differently. And that makes the experience new all over again!

About Ellen

Fiction writer and photographer, I travel the country with my sweetheart of a husband as a "full-time RVer."
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