Latest

Desert Vista Trail to Union Peak

I had passed the sign for the trail-head several times last week…and found that it was compelling enough to cause me to Google-it to learn more about it.  This trail is part of The City of Phoenix’s Sonora Desert Preserve…and you can click on the highlighted name…and then click on the link to the map to see exactly where I went.  If you click on the link to the map, scroll down to the bottom and then scoot over to the middle of the large map to see the course of the Desert Vista trail.  I started at the trail-head, followed the Hawk’s Nest, to the Desert Tortoise, then followed the Valle Verde Trail to the Horned Owl Trail to the Union Peak trail, back down and to the right, following the loop of the Great Trail back up to the Valle Verde, to the Desert Tortoise, Hawk’s Nest and to the trail-head again.  I made over 100 photographs during the hike and the following gallery presents what I think are 13 of the better images.  Please remember, if you click on any image, it will take you to a slide-show that will give you the opportunity to click on the images again to see them in a larger format.  Thank you for visiting and sharing a few minutes of your time with me…I hope you enjoy the hike!

Indian Mesa, Arizona

I’m not sure when I learned about Indian Mesa, but I think it might have been when I was researching Lake Pleasant Regional Park and the surrounding area for an earlier post this summer, but at any rate, I’ve been meaning to get out there and see it for myself…and decided to do it after the temperatures cooled off a bit.  So, this past Sunday, November 9…when the high temp for the day was supposed to be somewhere between 85 and 89 degrees, I started out early with the hopes of getting there and back before it got too warm.  Things didn’t start well for the venture, though…the directions were missing a few pretty important details, or maybe I was just a bit dense that morning…so I didn’t arrive at the trail-head quite as early as I had hoped.  It was still a very nice hike…and it even included water and Cottonwood trees….

If you’re interested in learning more about Indian Mesa, you can click on this link to be taken to the Wikipedia site that covers the subject.  You can also click on this link to learn more about the Hohokam people who are thought to have lived there….  If you’d like to view the images in a larger format, you can click on any photograph in the galleries to be taken to a slide show…and then click on the “View Full Size”  in the lower right corner of each frame to see the larger version.

 

The Saguaro Cactus – a study of variation within a theme….

In my driving through town and into the desert where I live, just north of Phoenix, Arizona, I have seen a great variety of the Saguaro Cactus…while they are all the same type of plant, it is incredible how different their sizes and shapes can be.  I made these photos on my hike to Indian Mesa, just north of Lake Pleasant, in north central Maricopa County…and only about 15 miles north of my home.  You can click on any photo to be taken to a slide-show that provides a closer view.  If you’d like to learn more about the cactus, you can click on this link to the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum’s fact sheet.

sometimes we need this….

OK, maybe it’s just me…sometimes I need this…like an ache or a hunger, a yearning, a desire, a want…yes, a want…a place where we can ask questions of the ether and the answers come to us in the whisper of a breeze or in the light ticking of aspen leaves against their fellows, tiny golden hands clapping so softly that we might imagine hearing them in a dream…or they come to us in the peace that the intensely enormous awesomeness of it all confers on us by simply being there….

You might remember the image, as I’m sure I shared it after my hike.  This is Mineral Fork in October, 2011…one of the tributary canyons that extend south from Big Cottonwood Canyon in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah…just south and east of Salt Lake City.

Mineral Fork Trail in Fall Glory, October 2011

Fall…memories….

It was probably a Sunday, because it usually was…September 23 of two years ago…hiking in the mountains of Little Cottonwood Canyon, just south and east of Salt Lake City, Utah…the Wasatch Mountains in Fall.  I would say that it feels like a lifetime ago…with so many changes since then, but it was in my life…then…consistently, richly…and now it is in memories only.

Fall memories in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, 2012

City Paint Phoenix 2 – Hair Pollution

It’s been a few weeks since I started the City Paint Phoenix series, but here’s the second installment…all images were taken the same morning as the first of the series, City Paint Phoenix 1 – “Old Man Phoenix.”  I don’t have a single image of the entire mural, as I would have had to stand a couple of dozen feet further away, and doing so would have brought me fully into the morning sun, so please try to imagine these first six images linked together from left to right, and you’ll have the entire mural.  This piece of art is on the west-facing wall of a salon named, “Hair Pollution,” at 1524 E McDowell Road in Phoenix proper.  I’m not sure how long the mural has been on this wall, but I found various links to it on-line, dating from 2012…when the paint was much less faded by the Arizona sun.

The second collection of photographs are close-ups or isolation shots of the various components, elements of the greater mural that struck me as significant in their singularity and caused me to wonder at how and why they might or could be related in such a way that would cause the artist, Joerael Julian Elliott, to combine them in this presentation.  By the way, if you follow the link to the artist’s website, you’ll find (among other fantastic and wonderful things) a photo of the mural in its full form if you click on the “Public, and then the “Street” tabs.  Also, please remember that you can click on any image to be taken to a slide-show that provides an even closer look at each photograph.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this second showing in the series of City Paint Phoenix…a representation of some of the street and building art that I’ve found during my commute and wanderings in my new and old home of Phoenix, Arizona, USA.  If you’d like to see earlier postings, from both Phoenix and Salt Lake City, you can scroll to the bottom of this page and find the Categories widget…click on Street Art – Graffiti, and you’ll be taken to a continuous scroll of those earlier posts.  Thank you for visiting….

field work

There was a time when I wondered why it was called “field work,” but I never asked about it, and after a while, it didn’t matter.  It became one of those words that just was, it represented things that were both inside and outside of its clear meaning; it was a job thing that those who did the work knew about and those who didn’t might wonder about for a while and then not, after the conversation or topic was discussed or reviewed, or maybe not…it came to be understood for what it was, we were out of the office looking for people…out in the field, sometimes literally, literally out in or near the fields, maybe sometimes just driving past them, watching brown skinned people bent over in their labors plucking and pulling some vegetable or other from the irrigated desert something, hauling it in sacks, placing it in waxed and sun-warmed boxes that lay in rows between the rows, becoming heavy with their loads of that some thing or other…and sometimes I’d pass other fields and become so transfixed with what grew there that I had to pull over and get out and look at them, at it, at what was growing there, to ponder those things up close and with my flesh and senses in a way that I could never do sitting behind a desk or absorbing intended meanings by reading someone else’s printed words about what they had beheld out there on the side of the road when they were there…watching harvested carrots tumble from a truck into a bin and then carried loudly away on a conveyor belt into a tin-covered shed with blue-jeaned and white-shirted black-haired young men scurrying about…intentional, purposeful in their scurrying as fighter jets from the nearby air base passed, screaming loudly overhead…jet noise, the sound of freedom.

These became my fields, my stretches of irrigated and corrugated earth that smelled like a warm and freshly opened bag of sour-cream and onion potato chips when the onions were being harvested, or expanses of red and pink and yellow and white blossoms lying restless in the breeze atop their green bushes of rose leaf and thorn that stretched to a near horizon of Phoenix’s western desert, or the rows and rows upon more of the same of white cotton bolls rich against their brown and dried plants of late summer, soft and marvelous in my gentle and searching fingers, waiting to be harvested by rolling machines that were loose from chains and whips and had drivers with air-conditioned cabins and cup-holders…rolling, plucking, chopping and raising the desert dust again to fly perpetually away in the breeze and gone…they became my fields that live in my memories and my printed words…and maybe even in my heart, as these things sometimes do.

I was back in the field again the other day in the place where I started doing this county-level work so many years ago…and while I did drive past fields and fields, some sown and most fallow or raw in their desert form, most of my time was spent in the figurative field of city streets and neighborhoods, apartment complexes, and doctors’ offices, visiting and searching, finding some people and taking a small tube of their life’s blood from them, finding another some by going door to door in an apartment complex asking, do you know Tom, do you know Tom, I’m looking for Tom, have you seen Tom today…not finding some other people, but finding people who knew them, people who loved and dreaded their homecomings when they get out of jail this weekend, people whose lived lives are worn in their tired and wrinkled faces and hands, in their faded tattoos that spoke of prior affiliations or devotions…of tears shed for lovers and sons who were sent away, and in the sweaty palms of anxious little sisters and daughters who carried their futures in their swollen bellies and were shyly proud of being the only one who had never been to jail…they wore those lives on their persons and in their slurred and whispered words that echo still in fresh memories that are only a few hours old and are reminders yet of other fields and visits…and other found and unfound people.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,232 other followers