A Special Place

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Do you have a special place?

Maybe a restaurant you meet your one and only?  A place of solitude that elicits fond memories?  A spot you go to so that you might clear your head?

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We should all have such a place of tranquility and peaceful reconciliation.  Alas, many of the restaurant / bars that my husband I remember fondly – where we met, where we danced to quiet music, etc.  – are now no longer there.  And I’m not talking just change in names… buildings gone, and unrecognizably landscapes have taken the place of long forgotten icons.

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But we still have our special place.  It’s not a restaurant or a bar… it’s an attitude of peaceful reflection.  My husband first went when he was a boy of 10 years old.  He went camping with his dad.  His dad felt he should know how to drive in case anything happened to him.  So it’s a place, he first learned to drive with his dad – gone now some 20 years.

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My husband took me there before we were married, some 30+ years ago now.  It was then that we discovered these ruins as we looked over this grand landscape and saw this structure tucked into the side of the hill… seemingly undiscovered all these years.

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We have been going back ever since, and deem it our special place.  It is magical, tranquil, and awe-inspiring.  We should all have such a special place.

 

 

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Bison are back

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Back in the mid to late 1800’s over 60 million bison roamed the plains.  From North Dakota to Arizona herds were plentiful and prolific.

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Until they weren’t.  Hunters decimated much of the herds.  In fact, it was in large part ‘how the West was won’, as hunters kill Native American Indian’s food source.  With only some 23 bison left, concerned citizens the likes of Theodore Roosevelt and the Bronx Zoo, among others isolated the remaining bison to prohibit their extinction.

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Today, bison are being re-introduced and bred under the watchful eye of Game and Fish Departments, National Wildlife Federation, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and private organizations across the country.  Today’s bison are carefully monitored for disease and genealogy to assure healthy, robust, diverse herds.

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It’s a real treat to see them grazing on the Plains and to appreciate and observe these large historic animals.

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For more bison pix, see my post here … https://kritterspix.com/2018/11/05/they-are-not-buffalo/

Ring Tale

We have explored the backroads of Arizona extensively.  Along our travels we have been fortunate enough to see all sorts of amazing scenery, and wonderful animal sightings.  I always feel blessed to have these great animals cross our paths at the same time they cross ours.  Some animals are common to see, elk and deer for instance.  Others, not so much, but we have seen… bobcat, turkey, and even bear.

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On a recent trip to Sedona we saw this elusive little critter practically under our feet.  We spot lighted him with our flashlight and caught a fleeting shot.  It’s a ringtail cat!

Apparently, it’s the Official State Mammal of Arizona (who knew?).  They have a fox-like face with pointed ears and a long distinctive tail.  The ringtail is part of the raccoon family… note, the familiar striped tail.  They live in a riparian habitat in the rocks near water, making Sedona a prime area (apparently).  They are noctural creatures, only coming out at night.  So, we were lucky to catch of glimpse of him.

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We had been taking night shots at an overlook in Sedona when he scurried across us, curious what we were he came back for a another quick look.  Funny how that happens.  Sometimes it is all about being in the right place at the right time.

See more Sedona pix…. https://kritterspix.com/2018/10/30/sedona-az/  and   https://kritterspix.com/2018/10/30/oak-creek-sedona-az/

SnowFall

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Before Fall Colors have even popped yet, we got our first snowfall.  Fall Colors dropped against the blanket of fresh snow made the maple leaves in their varying color stand out.

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I love the contrast of color Fall brings, with the green Pines, yellowing Oaks, and emerging reds amidst the scattered Maples.  It’s a potpourri of color and textures.

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The snow just adds another dimension in this already gorgeous time in our myriad of seasons we get to enjoy.

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For more of my fall color photos, check out my post here… https://kritterspix.com/2018/10/20/first-snow-2/

Fall is in the air

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We went out to check on Fall Colors, but it’s still a little early for this neck of the woods.  Maybe next week will yield more color.

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For now, we were happy to walk through the woods and take in the crisp air… as was this little squirrel we found.

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Winter is coming.  Storms are on the horizon, and we have already had our first snow.  We’ll take it.   Our burnt forest can certainly use a good soaking.

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We’ll make another trek next week to check on colors again.  It’s all good.

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Grand Canyon North Rim

 

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It’s true that the South Rim is closer than the North Rim… by a bunch!  But, give me the North Rim any day.  The views are better, and the crowds less (that by itself is reason enough).

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We enjoyed the many overlooks and stunning views along the way.

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The aspen leaves were turning and the fall colors were stunning.  The roads and the hillsides were covered with their golden hue.

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You can see more of my Grand Canyon photos here… https://kritterspix.com/2018/10/05/grand-canyon-north-rim-bright-angel-point/  and here … https://kritterspix.com/2018/10/05/grand-canyon-north-rim-point-sublime/

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Las Vegas Wander

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I find it funny that whenever we mention to people we are going to Vegas… most will cringe and say, ‘why?!’  We don’t go to gamble so much, as we go just to wander.

… and we love the food.  There are so many great food options available in a very small space, either on the strip or off.

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There is art everywhere… whether it’s in Bellagio, or along the roads and between buildings.

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People watching always makes for interesting conversation fodder in Vegas, as Vegas swims with a wide variety from around the world.  It continues to fascinate me how much money goes through this relatively small town of only 600,000 full time residents, (more in outlaying suburbs around Las Vegas metropolitan area), with 75% of Nevada’s total population living in Las Vegas.  Las Vegas reports revenue from gambling alone of an astounding $1 B per month.

Our trips are never long, but always delicious.