Friday, August 21, 2009

Blessings Friday: Tucson's Birthday and Penny Collecting

Yesterday was Tucson’s birthday. For the month of August, lucky residents and visitors get to enjoy celebrations honoring Tucson’s unique history, culture, and natural wonders—and most of it is free. We took advantage of yesterday’s free admission to Reid Park Zoo for our walking adventure.

Besides the requisite lions, tigers, and bears (oh my), we saw other animals—some we were allowed to touch which is really neat. To be honest, I didn’t go anywhere near the snakes they had out for us to touch.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

This little guy is a Bearded Dragon. He can bite, but he’s not poisonous. The color gradations on his beard are extraordinary. I thought he was kind of cute.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

This giant tortoise was munching on veggies, what a good diet he follows.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

This is a new activity Cindy and I just discovered. It started at Colossal Cave the other day on our hike. There was a penny machine that smashes your penny into the shape seen above and imprints various illustrations associated with the site you’re visiting.

We discovered there are many such machines around the world. Cindy and I purchased collector books and are now running around Tucson like crazy women finding the machines. You ought to see us as we enthusiastically crank those machines. We collected 12 new penny impressions from the machines at the zoo. There’s a web site about collecting the pennies and where to find the machines. What a fun and relatively inexpensive souvenir collection to enjoy with your kids, too.



meg said...

My son has been collecting those pennies since he was 10~ he's on his 3rd or 4th book & has a quite impressive array.

Heidi said...

Years ago, the Space Needle in Seattle used to have a penny smasher--it may still.

I came across not one, but two different gopher snakes across the path on my hike today. They run four-plus feet long. Betcha you would've squealed!

Diane Schuller said...

gosh, I am enjoying this series about your walks. I love those penny machines. I've never seen one up here in Canada but I too would love to crank one up! :)
Gosh, wish I lived nearby, I'd love to ask if I could join on a few of those explorations

Jane said...

We love the penny "squisher" machines for our souvenirs! I didn't realize they had books for them. Will have to get a book & track down all my squished pennies.
Happy Birthday, Tucson!

Jane - Jacksonville

Thimbleanna said...

That little dragon guy is beautiful June. And I've seen those smooshed pennies before, but I didn't know there were lots of places to collect them. How fun!

Storybook Woods said...

We have some of those pennies, but I did not realize there was a collection. Clarice

Niesz Vintage Home said...

Sounds like a fun day! I love the zoo.
Never saw the penny smashing machines. Didn't they use to put them on railroad tracks or something?
I guess the machines would be safer. :)