Bear Canyon Lake

Twilight in the High Country

It’s not all dry, hot desert in Arizona. Bear Canyon Lake, one of several fishing lakes built by Arizona Game and Fish, is nestled back a series of dirt roads on the Mogollon Rim. The lake, with a depth of 50 feet and set at an elevation of 7600 feet, is accessible only by foot trail from the undeveloped campgrounds above.

Summer Peace at Bear Canyon Lake

Bear Canyon Lake is located just a few hours northeast of Phoenix, Arizona.

Salt River Wild Horses

This herd of about 40 wild horses has captured quite a bit of media attention lately because of a federal proposal to remove them from their Salt River home near Phoenix. Howard-9179

I felt blessed to spend a few hours with these breathtakingly magnificent animals.Howard-9350 Howard-0408

It’s easy to forget that the Salt River Wild Horses are just that … wild. I got this closeup using a 100mm lens, which means that I was very close to the horse, who had approached me. Within a few minutes, the horse got bored and moved on.

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Most of them have deep gashes and cuts, evidence of their power and strength. They fight. They bite. They jostle for dominance. They are pure beauty.

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Majestic Canyon Lights

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I took a friend from Shanghai to photograph our state’s treasure, The Grand Canyon. I was disappointed that I could not “give” her one of Arizona’s fabulous sunsets which would paint the canyon in a riot of colors and hues. When I viewed my images later, I realized that what we had captured might be as good as, or better than, the typical sunset photograph that is ubiquitous throughout the gift shops in Arizona and on the Internet.

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We had waited patiently for sunset, just sure that the clouds would shift ever so slightly to allow the sun to give us a show. We watched the rain as it moved around the butte to form a soft curtain which made its path steadily toward us.

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I’m sure that we looked absurd when we donned rain ponchos and held umbrellas above our cameras as we stubbornly stayed to capture the last bit of light and shadow in The Grand Canyon (and before the last shuttle departed).

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Throughout the day, I had wished for a break in the clouds for the dance of light in the canyon. We got a few glorious moments.

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Chihuly Magic in the Desert

IMG_6419I had a tranquil New Year’s Eve, wandering alone (amidst a crowd of thousands) in the Desert Botanical Gardens. Las Noches de las Luminarias is a beautiful holiday tradition here in the Arizona desert as the gardens are transformed for 31 days by the bright tiny spark of twinkling lights adorning the desert trees and the soft glow from 8,000 hand-lit Luminaria bags lining the walkways. This year, the desert plants were accentuated by the magic of Chihuly glass sculptures.

A starburst of blazing blue captures the guests' attention as they enter the park.

A starburst of blazing blue captures the guests’ attention as they enter the park.

I spent a long time with each sculpture, partly because I searched for angles to photograph, but mostly because they are beautiful, whimsical, and fantastical. It was good that I was alone because I would have annoyed anyone with me by my dawdling.

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I am pretty sure that these pieces represent flowers and cacti (need to do some research), but they feel like snakes…beds of brilliantly beautiful snakes.

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Autumn in the Desert

It’s been a while since I’ve posted pictures just for fun. Her are a few from today’s walk through one of our state parks.

I always giggle when I see this cactus.

I always giggle when I see this cactus. Remember Cousin IT? Here’s his 2nd cousin once removed.

I love it when the sun is the "just right" position.

I love it when the sun is the “just right” position.

Autumn in the desert

Autumn in the desert

Crumbling but still strong

Jerome was virtually abandoned for decades in the mid-20th century until artists and entrepreneurs resurrected and revived it. To their credit, they left the old buildings, even if all that remains is a solitary wall.

It has a face!

It has a face!

See the trees growing through the window...one behind and one in front?

See the trees growing through the window…one behind and one in front?

Sunday Post: Attraction

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Prickly Pear Cactus

It’s always fun to respond to Jakesprinter’s Sunday Post. Click on this link to see the many creative responses to his challenge to represent the idea of attraction.

We are attracted to many things. Google quotes about attraction and you will find the overwhelming majority refer to that mysterious magnetic relationship between two people. But aren’t we also attracted to our child’s giggle, our grandmother’s biscuits, our best friend’s laugh, our dog’s antics? What about the brilliant sunset or the crash of ocean waves or the piece of rich dark chocolate?

I am, of course, attracted to certain people, but nature captures my attention as well. I am attracted to flowers, especially yellow flowers, and I was rewarded with these beauties which I found today at the Desert Botanical Gardens, which is a Tourist Attraction.

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Prickly Pear Cactus

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Prickly Pear Cactus

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Columbine

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Palo Verde Tree

Sunday Post Challenge: HOPE

“Hope” is the thing with feathers

“Hope” is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—

And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—
And sore must be the storm—
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm—

I’ve heard it in the chillest land—
And on the strangest Sea—
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me.

~Emily Dickinson

Yesterday, while taking pictures at the picnic, I learned that hope comes from enjoying life, spending time with other people, giving time, sharing laughs and struggles.

Thank you to jakesprinter for another inspiring challenge. If you haven’t visited his blog, step on over; I think you’ll enjoy it.

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