Arizona is filled with many vast expanses and amazing viewpoints. The landscape is diverse and varied, with cactus in the south and pine trees in the north. The land has seen equally disparate travelers, from the Indians that roamed the land hundreds of years ago, to the early European / American settlers who risk life and limb to trek across her rugged peaks and valleys.
Back 1000 years ago, tribes roamed this land having left abandoned ruins that leave only to our imagination life in another time. From A.D. 1050 – 1425 the Sinagua lived, foraged, and hunted this land from this ancestral Hopi pueblo, now known as Chavez Pass.
A large oval depression north of the pueblo is the remains of a prehistoric ball court. It also served as a trade center for a network that reached from the Hopi Mesas and Zuni Pueblo to the Pacific and Northern Mexico.
There is very little left of what once was. The overgrown thistle and foxtails outnumber the petroglyphs and stacked rock walls, or what’s left of them. Yet, the opportunity to wander through something so ancient and decaying into the land over time, allows us a glimpse of simpler times, when life really was rough.
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!
We have had quite the drought this summer, with no rain. That finally changed with a quick storm that rolled in and gave us some rain, hail, and a little snow!
We took the opportunity to run out to the rim to see if we could get some storm pix.
We loved the sky opening up and raining on the valley below. It made for some spectacular views.
When it rains on your parade, look up not down. Without the rain, there is no rainbow.
Bad weather always looks worse through a window…. gotta get out there and feel the storm and it’s intensity to live life to the fullest.
It turned out to be a great day for storm watching.
I was just talking about the animals fattening up for the winter.. https://kritterspix.com/category/pix/
I know, it may not seem like winter just yet, particularly for those in Phoenix. But it was 39F here this morning… so winter is coming.
Yet, somehow, we got our first little visitor. Usually the babies show up in June – not September. This scrawny little fawn, still with her spots, made a brief appearance.
She’s got a steep learning curve ahead of her, and a lot to learn in a short time. Not to mention that she needs to put more fat on her little bones!
Momma, you hear that. Bring her back for a visit more often. We’ll do our part. : )
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. 🙂
It’s not very often we see javelina. They are more of a mainstay in Phoenix area and southern AZ, in warmer climates than they are in Northern AZ.
But we got our first glimpse of these unusual beasts. Officially known as collared peccary, they are similar to wild boar.
Javelina are prey to mountain lions, bobcats, and coyotes. As such they are pretty skittish and aware of all sounds and smells around them, particularly as they are known for their poor eyesight.
This small herd of 5 we encountered appeared to be 2 adults and 3 young (perhaps less than a year old).
We’re always happy to see animals, no matter what they are… the more ‘exotic’ the more exciting, especially if I manage to get a photo.
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. : )
We set a record for snow this week! Single day snow of 35″. That brings our estimated total this year (since Jan 1) to 90″! We are LOVING it. Particularly, after our recent fire, we can sure use the precipitation. Wooohoo.
It snowed an inch an hour for from 8am Thurs to 8am Fri.. and then some. It was a sight to see… and very happy we were here to see it.
Snowy faces all around!
Check out more pix here….. https://kritterspix.com/2019/02/23/snow-elk/
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.
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.
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.
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/