Hutch Mountain

 

hutch lo far_IR.jpgHutch 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.

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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.

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From the top of the tower you could see the Chinooks flying on the horizon dumping water of the fire.

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The surrounding landscape is full of Ponderosa pine, mixed conifer, elk and deer.

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At 8535 feet elevation the days are cool, and nights brisk.  Climbing the tower offers a vantage point across northern AZ.

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Buck Personality

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The more I study the animals, the more I am convinced that they each have their own personality.  The males of the species are much more spooky, while the females are more docile.

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We caught this nice little buck enjoying the day after a recent snow storm.  He was soaking up the snow looking for food and water.

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He seemed very content, and not in a hurry to get anywhere…. and I was happy to watch him and take it in.

 

 

 

Deer Level

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They say that some of the best photos are taken from your subject’s perspective.  So if you are taking photos of a child or pets… to do it from their low vantage point.  It brings more story telling to the photograph, seeing the world from their eyes.

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One of my recent favorite subjects are these baby deer I keep seeing.  There must be 4 families, with one mom and one baby each.  Sometimes I see them all at once… sometimes only one at a time.

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However I see them, it’s always a treat, and something I never tire of.  The little fawns are each different.  Some more playful, some more timid… some more scrawny, some more filled out.

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Mom is ever watchful and protective of their new little ones, and quick to sense danger.  It has been fun to watch their behavior and individual traits.

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For more deer photos see my photo … here.

 

Spots

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We saw our first fawn, and I posted the photos here.

Since then we have had several sightings of different families.  It has been an enormous treat to see these precious baby deer.

deerlick_IR.jpgMom is still very protective and constantly checking on her little ones.  It’s so awesome to watch.

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I can tell one family that comes by, as dad is still hanging out with them… usually waiting in the wings ever watchful.

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Snow Birds

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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.

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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.

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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.

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April Showers bring Snow

What’s with this weather?  Just when you think it’s time to plant tulips… or at least a garden; take off the long underwear and bring the shorts and t-shirts out of storage… NOT.

We got SNOW!

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Ok, it’s true.  It didn’t come down for very long… or very much.  But come down it did.  In a downpour of fine snow mist it raced across the sky, as if in a hurry to get somewhere else.  It didn’t stick, or stay long.  It was here and then it was gone.  Glad I stuck my camera outside to capture it’s fleeting coldness.

This little buck got caught in a wave of it, and the cross hairs of my camera lens.

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While Phoenix is getting 90F days, we are getting snow storms.  Go figure.  You never know what the day will bring here on the mountain.