Life is short – see and do those things that are important to you.
I have always wanted to see the Monarch butterfly migration, ever since my friend Gary told us about it when he was down in Mexico years ago. I don’t want to go to Mexico to see it, so we did the next best thing and headed to the coast of California.
Of course, we headed to Paso Robles first to pick up some wine for the trip. Just 2-1/2 hours south of San Jose, and a half hour from Morro Bay, we spent a couple days tasting great wines and buying some to enjoy on our trip down the coast.
While we were amazed to see the eucalyptus trees dripping with butterflies, we were disgusted to realize that they are indeed a dying breed. What used to be millions of butterflies, has dwindled to only 4,000 to visit Pismo Beach alone, and it lessens each year.
The milkweed the butterflies like to eat and lay eggs in are dying off, as are the eucalyptus trees they shelter in. Trees have blown down, washed away, or burned up and the monarchs don’t come anymore. Areas from Morro Bay to Santa Barbara are now devoid of the annual migrations.
Such a pity, as the monarch is such an amazing story of triumph and resilience. The monarch butterfly only lives 2 months… a month of which it becomes a caterpillar, then morphs to a butterfly when it is focused on eating and laying eggs for a new generation.
It takes 5 generations for the butterflies to fly from southern CA to British Columbia… and then 1 generation to coast back, and start all over again.
I’m glad we were able to see the monarch migration. It enriched our life for witnessing natures beauty. Take time out to do those things that are important to you.
As I watch the news of CA on fire, my heart goes out to those in harm’s way. Having been through our own fire, stamping it out in our neighbors yard, watching the flames from our back deck, and still in the midst of the aftermath and burn area around us – I feel their pain more than ever.
We wandered around Oak Creek and West Fork Trail enjoying the gorgeous environment of Sedona, and I couldn’t help but think of all the gorgeous countryside around the wineries of Sonoma that we have been to many times.
I hope and pray that the fire fighters are safe, homes are saved, and these terrible fires can be controlled, put out, and CA can move on to the repair, restore, and heal from this awful time.
Check out more of my Oak Creek / West Fork pix on kritterspix.com…. https://kritterspix.com/2019/10/31/oak-creek-fall/
My friend, Maureen, asked me the other day if I had ever been to Potato Lake. I promised her I would take some pix to share so she could see it.
It’s been quite some time since I was last there. Last time the small circular lake was surrounded by yellow quacking aspens making the lake aglow. It reminded me of Lockett Meadow with the burst of color on a smaller scale.
Unfortunately, on this visit, I think I could count the aspens, as there were very few left. Most had burned up or fallen down. Such a pity.
In the absence of aspens, a ton of new crawdads have taken up residence. Always fascinating how where one thing falls another rises up.
If you’ve been to Mogollon Rim by way of Forest Road 95, you’ve passed over the bridge at East Clear Creek.
The road itself is dusty, windy, and beautiful. It’s kind of like a suspense thriller – and I don’t mean spooky guy at the end. In fact, for me it’s a plot that thickens. It starts with boring tall forest to pull you in. It’s nice enough, but sorta drab.
Then it sprinkles in some cool craggy oaks, and the occasional fir. Then.. just as you turn the corner, it grabs you with more breathtaking views.
It’s a suspense thriller with a happy ending.
… and sometimes unexpected twists and turns.
We’ve lived in AZ for a bunch of years now. Truth be known, I was actually born here – one of the few I think.
We’ve been to all the big lakes of Phoenix – you know: Saguaro, Canyon Lake, Lake Pleasant, Roosevelt, Apache, and Barlett, and many of the other well known lakes like Havasu, Lake Powell, and Lake Mead. We’ve even been to some of the more obscure lakes like Ashhurst, Kinnikinick, Woods Canyon, Long Lake, Bear Lake, and Knoll Lake.
Still, you just don’t think of AZ as having so many lakes.
We went to Blue Ridge Reservoir recently… you can see my post here – https://kritterspix.com/2019/08/20/reflections-of-blue-ridge-reservoir/
We found ourselves thinking – we need to get out to some of those ‘other’ lakes we haven’t been to.
So we decided to head out to Kaibab Lake. Neither John, nor I, had ever been. So we were stoked to go someplace new… and found it to be very close to Flagstaff, just outside of Williams in fact.
We found it to be a beautiful respite, with terrific sunset & sunrise views.
I think we’re on to something… let’s go do more lakes!
We got out to the woods recently if you saw my post here… https://kritterspix.com/2019/07/18/a-walk-in-the-woods/
But since there are woods all around us up North, we are sharing the load. A recent trip to Greens Peak outside of Show Low highlighted a much different environment.
This forest is a bit higher elevation than the Mogollon Rim, and gets more rain. So it makes a great spot for foraging and mushrooming.
The woods are dense with trees and moldy rocks. Lots of shade and shadows, and cooler temps.
I love that we have the vast diversification of areas to solicit and wander through. It’s a great way to relax and ‘chill’.
Can’t wait to go back… we are already planning our next trip. It is mushroom season afterall. 🙂
Life gets busy, but we should never be so busy that we don’t take time out to frequent our favorite spots and do the things that rock our individual boats … and for us that includes the Mogollon Rim.
We actually got snow, sleet, hail, and rain during our short trip, which made for awesome scenery and elk wondering what we were doing there.
It made me wonder what took us so long… oh, there was that project, and that chore, and that meeting, plus that snow storm, the roads were closed… well, okay.
Always find time to smell the roses, or in our case fresh forest air.
This time of year the snow is melting up North…. and the sun is shining in the Valley. We have become pretty acclimated to the cooler temps… so HOT HOT is just HOT, as it was when we went down this past week and experienced a whopping 87F. Ok, I know we’re spoiled… but we’re toughened up by our winters.
We went to see the flowers, but in truth, while we got into a couple small pockets, it was already late in the season, as most were already gone.
We enjoyed those we did see, and soaked up the heat. But enough is enough, so we took the appropriately named, Desert to Tall Pines Rd (SR 288) back to the snow.
In a matter of hours we were back in our comfort zone, with snow on the ground, amidst the forest and Tall Pines.
We ventured to Workmens Creek, outside of Young, and enjoyed the cascading water from their snow melt.
Ahhhh….. how refreshing. : )
Just East of Palm Springs along I-10 in California is Joshua Tree National Park. Established as a park in 1994 it is home to it’s namesake, the Joshua Tree.
The Joshua Tree looks like a Yucca Tree, but it actually part of the Agave family.
The park itself is a big loop that takes one through hiking trails, multiple camping sites, and picnic areas.
It makes for a scenic drive through boulders, wildflowers, and lots of Joshua trees… making it a fabulous drive through this desert oasis.
I did a Best of. 2018 here…. https://kritterspix.com/2018/12/27/best-of-2018/
I’m fortunate to have taken enough worthy photos that I can share multiple Best of 2018 posts, albeit some similar themes.
1. Tree Saddle Snow First Snow of 2018, January 21 on Mogollon Rim.
2. Blue Shutters Provence FRANCE
3. Water Rok Vernazza, Cinque Terre ITALY
4. Rio Boats Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre ITALY
5. Fog Trees Fog over Moqui Draw
6. Point Imperial River Sunset over Grand Canyon North Rim, Point Imperial
7. Awesome View Your’s truly, taken at North Rim Grand Canyon by Arizona Highways Photographer, Suzanne Mathia
8. Cape Flowers Grand Canyon North Rim, Cape Royal
9. Aspen Maple Fall Colors on Mogollon Rim
10. Ruins Burst Sunrise of old Indian Ruins
I love these posts. They make me reflect on the year past, where I have been and what we have done. These images are a glimpse into our lives and our souls. I hope you enjoyed taking the journey with me.
For more pix check out… https://kritterspix.com/2018/12/27/best-of-animals-2018/ and https://kritterspix.com/2018/12/27/best-of-2018/.