Oujournalist’s Blog

The blog of a freelancing journalist in Arizona

February 9, 2018

Filed under: Artists in Pinal County,green,Pinal County,travel — Candace Hughes @ 4:39 pm

Candace Hughes’ photographs continue in Apache Junction City Hall and Library art show.img_1844


North Market shares history, fun March 23, 2017

Filed under: businesss,green,Ohio history,travel — Candace Hughes @ 4:17 pm

Martha Brian, journalism professor and former Columbus Monthly staffer, introduced me to the North Market close to downtown Columbus, Ohio. Before the North Short changes, it was a dicey area to enter, but had fresh food that was hard to find in the campus area just to the south. It did require a bus ticket or a car to get there, but offered a whole chicken my husband and I could make last for a week.

I return now several times yearly while visiting my parents in nearby Delaware, and find the same fresh whole chickens available, along with a variety of produce, flowers and meals.

The market may be expanded and remodeled soon, so now is the time to venture in, take a notebook or laptop, and spend an afternoon with coffee, tea, dessert, fresh pastries or bread, or a meal before carting home groceries.

My professor did a profile for Columbus Monthly magazine when the market was in danger of destruction, but the city of Columbus eventually purchased the historic property and now it draws convention goers, the lunchtime crowd, and people from all over the city.



Peaceful walks at the Desert Botanical Garden November 10, 2016

Filed under: green,travel,Uncategorized,wildlife — Candace Hughes @ 6:59 pm

As I walk through the garden at sunset I recall the healing events I have experienced here. Since about 1981 I have been visiting the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona. I learned about it while doing a story on luminaria when working at the Scottsdale Daily Progress newspaper. The luminaria are paper bags with a candle inside lighting the pathways and the custom comes from the Mexican tradition of leading the way for the coming of Christ. At the garden, musicians hide in grottos playing instruments and bell choirs inspire in an adobe building dating to the 1930s.

In addition to the holiday tradition, the garden offers offrenda or an altar decorated to welcome the souls of the dead which may arrive here for one night on the day of the dead, October 31. I pause to let go and allow my loved ones to rise peacefully to heaven. As I visit a young woman stands weeping at the altar constructed to provide food and drink for the souls of the dead.

The pathways also offer places to grind mesquite beans into flour and listen to frogs by a pond. At a hilltop or butte we have seen a shooting star and on occasion a tortoise emerges from a burrow to peek at visitors.

In addition, our family came there for a respite one late summer night after my husband got home from work. We carried our infant around at sunset until a monsoon began to creep into the garden and we scurried to our car making it just in time before the deluge.
Photo by Darcy Hughes


October 24, 2016

Filed under: Artists in Pinal County,Books,green,Pinal County,travel,wildlife — Candace Hughes @ 6:25 pm

Here are my title suggestions for my National Novel Writing Month project:

Recovering Nature

Desert Desserts

Stop and Smell the Cactus Flowers

Finding Myself in Nature

Natural Pain Relief: Essays on Living in and With the Desert

Meditations on a Thorny Landscape

Get Close But Don’t Touch: Essays on the Sonoran Desert

Listen and Look, but Don’t Touch: Writing in the Desert

Finding Hope in the Southwestern United States20140302-171823.jpg


Porch perches  October 15, 2016

Filed under: green,Pinal County,travel,Uncategorized,wildlife — Candace Hughes @ 9:55 pm

A Western screech owl graces our Pinal County porch.


October notes on our surroundings in the Sonoran desert October 13, 2016

Filed under: green,Pinal County,travel,wildlife — Candace Hughes @ 12:04 am

Our surroundings that we are adjusting to include the pleasure of singing birds, the alertness of warning birds and the rattling of snakes. We are grateful for our cool mornings and evenings, wind and rain and the beauty of the rising and setting sun. Our place in the Sonoran desert is to leave wildlife, plants, trees and the earth alone as much as we can.

Fashioning people for our surroundings helps us revere severe conditions and dangerous temperatures and wildlife, but also to love the change of seasons when cool temperatures return and the snakes stay underground.
We have hearing, sight, smell and touch to help us protect ourselves and to appreciate our environment. Our intellect and compassion assist us in conserving soil and water and plants and trees and animals. Gratitude and learning to live with all things are our mottos.
We enjoy visiting forests and seeing the turning leaves and the different volcanic mountains in northern Arizona, and the Kaibab squirrels, scrub Jays and acorn woodpeckers have a different effect on the environment.

Today it is Wednesday, October 12 and it was about 90° and we appreciate having some cloud cover. The desert definitely has a different take on the changing of the seasons. 


July 13, 2016

Filed under: Artists in Pinal County,Books,green,Pinal County,travel,wildlife — Candace Hughes @ 4:31 pm

Light in the desert


6 a.m. wake up call by birds

light through their wings as they call to each other

sunbeams pass by creosote flowers

insects glide into the haze

from last night’s dust storm