Kofa Wilderness Area

Kofa Wildlife Refuge was recommended to us by a fellow photographer. I confess to having been once before, but frankly missing the point. We just didn’t understand the allure. So we decided to go back and see what was thought to be special about it, and give it a second chance.

Kofa is located northeast of Yuma and southeast of Quartzsite in the southwestern part of the state. It was established in 1939 to protect desert bighorn sheep who roam the 665,000 acres in the Sonaran Desert. While we were there the only animal we saw was a coyote walk through our camp.

What we did see though was how the light played on the craggy mountain ranges surrounding the area. Vast expanses of cholla cactus, ocotillo, and saguaro dotted the landscape, lit by the morning and evening sun. The mountains lit up in a colorful palette of maroons and purples. We began to see the beauty of the area.

There are roads and trails leading through the desert landscape making it a popular place for the many ATV / UTV’s we saw. Camping is easily laid out throughout the area, discouraging off road dispersed camping.

It’s amazing what you see when you open your eyes and heart to the beauty that surrounds you, even if you have to look a little deeper.


New Snow

The weather forecast said we’d get 12 – 18″ every day for 3 days. I’m not sure who got our snow, but we didn’t.

We got maybe 7″ over the 3 days.

We drove up Lake Mary Road having heard that Flagstaff got 18″+ just on the first day. It seems we found our snow. The snow as we neared Flagstaff grew heavier each mile with large drifts and snow piled high.

We were happy to find it… and the herd of elk wandering through.

Dr. Seuss Trees

When we went out to take photos after a recent snowstorm, I couldn’t help but think of our forests weighed down by wet heavy snow, as ‘Grinch trees’. You know, the Dr. Seuss animated classic with white cascading trees.

As we pulled off the road, fearful of getting stuck in deep snow drifts, we reveled in the blue sky the morning after our heavy snowfall. By afternoon, as the sun came out, the snow was gone, much to the relief of the burdened trees.

For more photos from our recent storm and it’s inhabitants that enjoy it, check out my post here… https://kritterspix.com/2023/01/03/let-there-be-snow/

Best of …. Landscapes 2022

It has been an amazing year full of record camping trips throughout the year. It felt as if we camped out more in 2022 than we were home… and we LOVED it. What’s not to like – rolling out of bed to stunning overlooks, amazing sunrises and sunsets, and exploring the great outdoors we so adore. Suffice it to say, I have a lot of material to choose from for my ‘Best Of’ this year. So in no particular order are some of my favorite landscapes from the year. Feel free to weigh in on your personal favorite.

Four Peaks all aglow at sunrise over Roosevelt Lake.

Sandhill cranes takeoff at sunrise at Whitewater Draw in Southern AZ.

Sunrise over Alamo Lake

Sunset over Toroweap, part of Grand Canyon North Rim

Sunset at Tucson Mountain Park

Sunset at Dogtown Lake outside of Williams, AZ

Sunset at Kaibab Lake

Luna lake at sunset

Fall colors along Haigler Creek

Maple fall overlooks Haigler Creek

We got a lot of ‘dud’ skies. That’s becoming part of photography for us. But we were also gifted with some stunning sunset / sunrises and magnificent overlooks. We did a lot of lakes this year as the water makes for great reflections and attracts eagle and osprey. For my Best Of … Animals 2022 check out my post here …. https://kritterspix.com/2022/12/29/best-of-animals-2022/

Like a little kid

Kids love snow. There is something just fun and adventurous about sliding down slopes, making snowmen, and snowball fights.

I know our pup, Trek, enjoyed her first snow.

So animals aren’t any different. Particularly the baby animals. They are just as nuts for it.

We’ve seen baby deer, elk, and now big horn sheep go crazy for the snow. We were fortunate enough to be able to watch this amazing herd playing in the snow.

We felt very privileged to witness their fun. You can literally see the joy on their faces.

If you enjoyed these photos, you can see more of this ‘shoot’ here.. https://kritterspix.com/2022/12/15/practice-makes-better/

Fall has fallen

It’s an early fall here in Northern AZ. Generally I don’t think of fall colors until later in October, but it seems our recent cold snap has induced bright colors and piles of fallen leaves.

Red, yellows, and oranges contrast with varying shades of green with great enthusiasm and happiness.

Fall must be one of my favorite seasons, as the colorful outbursts just seem to smile upon its recipient. We’ll have to get out more to enjoy what might be left of this vivid season and it’s brilliant hues.

Monsoon Horizon

July / August is our typical monsoon season. Storm clouds on the horizon bring great skies, wonderful sunrise and sunsets, and lush grass.

The lush grass brings out the animals happily feeding on the tender greens.

Nature takes care of its own as newborns are born around June to take advantage of the ample food and water to quickly nurture them to adolescent before the harsh winters are upon them.

It’s a beautiful season and great time to get out and enjoy its many blessings.

A-1 Lake

July / August is the perfect time of year to enjoy our lakes and rivers. The weather in Northern AZ is as good as it gets, and the water location yield great fishing and wonderful views.

We have hit over a dozen lakes this year, continuing the trend we decided to check out A-1 Lake outside of Pinetop-Lakeside.

The lakes not only offer great views, but amazing wildlife. This time of year is also full of baby animals of all types.

Early morning hours sometimes gift us with wonderful skies, great light, and early birds.

We love to see the innocence of youth in its beautiful environment.

Kaibab Lake

Kaibab Lake, just outside of Williams is a popular lake for fishing and camping.

It’s got terrific views and great fishing.

With its proximity to Williams (Flagstaff, and the Grand Canyon just 60 miles to the North), it is a popular spot for tourists.. During the summer / spring months flowers blooming along its shores. It is stocked by the AZ Game & Fish twice a month during the season, where trout, bass, sun fish, crappie and catfish are often caught.