A Whoosh and a Tale

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We got about 8 inches of snow out of this last storm.  I am loving the beautiful fresh fallen snow on the trees.. and this sweet deer taking it all in.

Then… in a Whoosh, 1/100th of a second later, to be exact.  From right behind the tree came quite a surprise to me… and this lucky deer.

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OMG!  What the HECK was THAT?!?!

In a flash, this mountain lion thought he had dinner.   But in just a matter of minutes, he was back empty-pawed.

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Dejected and hungry, he left the scene of the near miss, not to be seen again.

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The deer have since been back… but are a lot more cautious and alert.

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It was the first mountain lion I have EVER seen in the wild.  I felt so fortunate to get a shot of it.  As it was… I was looking through my viewfinder when it happened…. and it was over in less than a blink of an eye.  Life happens quickly, it pays to know your path and be prepared.

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More Best of 2018

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.

ts snohort2_IR.jpg1.  Tree Saddle Snow    First Snow of 2018, January 21 on Mogollon Rim.

vsm st hirt_IR.jpg2.  Blue Shutters    Provence FRANCE

v waterrok_IR_IR.jpg3.  Water Rok    Vernazza, Cinque Terre  ITALY

riostripvill_IR_IR.jpg4. Rio Boats    Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre ITALY

_40A0799_IR.jpg5.  Fog Trees    Fog over Moqui Draw

pt imp river_IR.jpg6. Point Imperial River    Sunset over Grand Canyon North Rim, Point Imperial

D_Smathia_Grand_Canyon_NR_0918 copy_IR.jpg7.  Awesome View    Your’s truly, taken at North Rim Grand Canyon by Arizona Highways Photographer, Suzanne Mathia

cp flwrs hort_IR_IR.jpg8.  Cape Flowers    Grand Canyon North Rim, Cape Royal

AspenMaple_IR.jpg9.  Aspen Maple    Fall Colors on Mogollon Rim

_40A4032_IR.jpg10. 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/.

 

Stained Glass Door

All good ideas start with a vision.

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It’s not like I seek out things to do.  They just come to us, with a need.  Well, maybe, need, isn’t the right word.  How about… a good idea.

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For instance… we have these doors.  They are pretty plain.  Wouldn’t they look better with a stained glass window on them.  That’s what we thought!

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So I drew up a pattern that seemed suited for our area… you know, elk, bunnies, blue jays, trees.

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And then set out to build it.  We have never fretted over the amount of work in any particular project.  I suppose if we did, we’d never get anything done.  We just think of the finished project, and how cool it might be… and set out to accomplish it.

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Once the pattern was finished, I set out to choose the colors… and cut the glass for the 6′ tall door.

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And cut glass….

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Then I began the daunting task of a combination of leading and foiling the glass pieces in a long labor intensive effort that took patience, determination and perseverance.

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Then after soldering all the joints, I had to ‘pack’ the lead channel with a DAP window caulking.

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Then use a gypsum powder to clean the flux off the solder joints and lead channel.

 

I actually made my husband a bet… I expected the project to take a year, he gave me 8 months.  Working long consecutive days at every opportunity I had available to me, I finished it in 6 months.

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Now our door isn’t plain any more.  Who knew we needed a stained glass door… but it was a good idea.

 

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 and 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.

 

 

Bison are back

_40A3761_IR.jpgBison at North Rim, Grand Canyon

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/