I’ve been sorting through the huge number of pictures I took in Arizona. I took literally thousands of photographs, many of which I have not really looked at. This seemed as good a time as any.
This is the Grand Canyon. It’s every bit as amazing as I expected plus 200% or maybe more. I don’t think it’s possible to genuinely capture it, at least not with any equipment I own, but there’s nothing to keep me from trying.
This is one of the pictures that shows a piece of it with the Colorado River way down below. Too bad I didn’t get any of the condors in the picture. They are gigantic and magnificent. And they fly below you in the canyon, sometimes coming up to where you are standing, then diving back down.
The Little Colorado is a small, relatively shallow river, but critical to the local ecology. Bridges cross it all along its more than 300-mile length. Imagine how difficult this crossing would be without the bridge! Now think about doing it in a covered wagon. Not.
Grrr. Arf. Grrr. Arf. Rrrrgrrr … Who will win this battle of the titans? Not the teddy bear, that’s for sure!
Once upon a time long ago there lived a king who built an amazing castle high atop a mountain in the desert.
From his aerie, the king could see almost his entire kingdom except for his capital city, which lay far to the south. Still, from the great height of his castle’s ramparts, he could see for many miles and it was magnificent.
But there were hardly any people. Eagles flew by. Sometimes one of these great birds would stop and perch on the castle walls, but then they moved on to wherever eagles go. Sometimes a passing mountain goat, looking for greener grasses came close, then wandered off. No one came to visit. It was too far and too hard to reach.
Eventually, the king felt so isolated he barely remembered what it meant to be a king or why he had moved to a place so beautiful but empty. Realizing he was lonely and would remain so if he stayed where he was — after a few more years passed because he was a stubborn ruler and the real estate market for second-hand castles on desert mountaintops was soft — the king abandoned his mountain retreat.
He left the walls and the turrets for the wind, rain and wild creatures to do with as they would.The monarch took his most treasured belongings and returned to his city to be with people, his people. And there, with life bustling around him, he was no longer alone or lonely. Sometimes he missed his castle in the desert and dreamed of it.
Away in the desert, atop its mountain perch, the castle began to crumble in on itself, yet even to this day, if you travel through the desert, you can see it. There it is, high on its perch in the Painted Desert, overlooking a tiny silvery river. You can visit, if you like.
Although it’s completely natural, this always looks to me like a mountain fortress. It doesn’t look entirely real, does it? Our American southwest has some of the most amazing natural beauty anywhere on earth. I’m not sure if it can truly be captured with a mere camera.
Little Colorado River in Arizona is the principal river running through the Painted Desert. It is one of two major tributaries of the Colorado River in Arizona and begins as 2 forks in the White Mountains of Apache County. The West Fork starts in a valley on the north side of Mount Baldy at nearly 10,000 feet and the East Fork starts nearby. Eventually the two forks join in a canyon near Greer to form the Little Colorado River. It’s a shallow river and sometimes seasonally nearly dry. Here in the Painted Desert, it’s simply beautiful, a sliver of shining water amidst incredibly beautiful rock formations.
Just after dawn, the gray shakes on the old houses by Rockport’s harbor change to gold, bathed in the reflected glow of a miraculous sunrise. Seagulls on rooftops wait for the day.
This is my home. A sequence of pictures taken in the first hour of sunlight a few days ago. The final picture was taken from the road. Look for the sign that displays our house number. We put it up because no one, including us, could find our house from the road in the summer without something to mark the driveway. Sun comes at this angle in July for about 40 minutes starting just before 6:00 am. Then it quickly rises and is blocked by the canopy of the oaks.
You can barely see our pond hidden deep in the woods. I used a very long lens to get those two pictures. It is nearly impossible to physically walk to the pond. The ground is rocky and uneven. There is no path. The ground is choked with blackberry brambles and poison ivy (which I am trying very hard to not scratch). The creatures who live in the woods go there to drink and happily consume the blackberries along the way. I’m sure the berries are yummy. I wouldn’t know since I’ve never gotten any before the birds and other fruit-loving critters consumed them all.
Finally, we breed world-class mosquitoes in the pond and are their lifeblood. Add that to the poison ivy. Serious itching. Very serious. My doctor suggested I stay clear of the woods. (Scratch, scratch, scratch …) How would I do that? Just asking.