You may have seen my Best of Landscapes 2019, here…. https://kritterspix.com/2020/01/09/my-best-landscape-photos-of-2019/ or my Best of Wildlife 2019 here… https://kritterspaw.com/2020/01/09/my-best-wildlife-photos-of-2019/ . Below are some of the ones that DIDN’T make the cut.
1. Pismo Beach, CA... wish I could get sunset shots like this in AZ!
2. Lil Buck… If only AZH had published THIS pic
3. Hawley Lake …. Through the Fog is Clarity
4. Javelina … not a common sight in this neck of the woods
5. Snow Elk…. Animal behavior can be so much fun to capture, sometimes these little guys do the darnedest things
6. Moqui Snow … I need to work on getting more landscape snow pix
7. Oak Creek Fall … Gotta love waterfalls & fall, such an amazing combination
8. Morman Lake Elk Pool … While this is a busy pic, lots of fun interactions to look at
9. Kaibab Daisies … I had never been to Kaibab Lake before, I need to get out more
10. Babies Rule … love me some baby wildlife!
I could go on, but I think the exercise of limiting oneself to only the best forces one to be critical of oneself, encouraging growth and improvement. Something we should all heed in our lives. Happy New Year!
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The snow just adds another dimension in this already gorgeous time in our myriad of seasons we get to enjoy.
For more of my fall color photos, check out my post here… https://kritterspix.com/2018/10/20/first-snow-2/
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).
We enjoyed the many overlooks and stunning views along the way.
The aspen leaves were turning and the fall colors were stunning. The roads and the hillsides were covered with their golden hue.
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/
Hutch Mountain Lookout tower is one of many throughout Arizona. It is on the National Historic Lookout Registry. It was built in 1936, and still serves as a manned major viewpoint for fires in the Flagstaff area. Located off of FR3 (Lake Mary Road) at Milepost 310, not too far down a couple good dirt roads.
The day we were there there were 9 fires in the area, all started by dry lightening, including the Tank Fire. The Tank Fire was in the very same area as the Tinder Fire which devastated our neighborhoods just a month before. As an eery reminder of those terrifying days, our neighboring subdivisions CCP 1&2 were issued pre-evacuation notices. Fortunately, the fire was quickly doused and completely contained.
From the top of the tower you could see the Chinooks flying on the horizon dumping water of the fire.
The surrounding landscape is full of Ponderosa pine, mixed conifer, elk and deer.
At 8535 feet elevation the days are cool, and nights brisk. Climbing the tower offers a vantage point across northern AZ.
We just got back from the Grand Canyon – South Rim hoping to get some great storm cloudy pix. It’s difficult if not impossible to schedule a trip around a storm, as getting reservations at the Canyon can be it’s own difficult task. But we managed to get last minute reservations in one of their old ‘rustic’ cabins.
A storm was predicted for the days we were there… but today’s weather forecasters are often wrong. Furthermore, it’s hard to say if upon a storm one will get awesome clouds and interesting sky, or complete whiteout and washed out gray skies.
The afternoon we arrived brought snow almost immediately. The next day we were socked in and you couldn’t see the Canyon over the edge…. so I was glad I got the shots I did when I did.
The day it snowed all day, we had hoped to get to see Hermit’s Rest, a Mary Colter building 7 miles off the main Grand Canyon loop. Unfortunately, the road was closed due to all the snow we were having. We got about 8″ in the day we were there.
Going to the Grand Canyon is like touring the world…. people of all nationalities wander with you taking in the magnificent sights of the ‘big ditch’…. even in the snowy winter.
While we were out driving in the snow, we passed no less than 3 tow trucks towing multiple cars that had careened off the ice. It was like a ice rink with rental cars as bumper cars, skidding into trees and into each other, many of whom had no doubt never before seen snow. Roads were blocked with tow trucks clearing the way, making it impassable everywhere.
We found these elk watching the traffic go by… munching the afternoon away after a short clearing.
Check out my pix … here…. of Mary Colter’s Desert View Watchtower.
Just off the Forest Road 300 is an obscure road marked FR 218: Milk Ranch Road. Along it are magnificent overlooks of the Mogollon Rim below. One can find an open spot in the woods or down a long rocky rough road to be rewarded by this great expanse.
If you’re lucky you’ll be blessed with amazing skies, puffy clouds, and remarkable sunsets and sunrises. If you’re not, just enjoy the view, a nice picnic and peaceful, relaxing visit.
For more from this trip and Lessons from a Squirrel check out my post HERE.
We recently had a wave of 3 snow storms which all together yielded about 2′ of snow. The birds huddled under branches to keep out of the intense snow blasting sideways with the strong winds. You can see more of my Snow Animals on my photo blog…. here.
The drifts piled high where the winds swept them against trees and boulders. But it didn’t deter the big animals from trudging through. We saw more than one limping as a result of tripping over unseen rocks and uneven terrain.
It amazes me the treks these animals must take on a daily basis going from hither to yon incessantly. It’s a tough life in these mountains and woods with their treacherous inclines and rough canyons.
One of the easiest and most beautiful fall color outings to get to outside of the ‘big city’ is Lockett Meadow. It’s only 20 minutes from Flagstaff and yields awesome concentrations of full color yellowing aspens.
The characteristic white trunks and silver dollar yellow leaves make these aspen fields stand out in their stunning beauty. It’s a great place to go for the day, for a picnic, and just soak in nature at it’s finest.
It’s been an early fall. I wrote about it first here. As such the leaves are already starting to dissipate. Compounded by our gusty winds, the leaves are definitely falling as we are getting ready for winter. But for now we are enjoying the last hurrah of what has been a gorgeous Fall here on the mountain.