A view from Marshall Lake, Arizona

A last reward after a long hike in northern Arizona…a view of the San Francisco Peaks from the shore of Marshall Lake (marsh) in the Coconino National Forest, just south and east of Flagstaff.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live in that cabin in the distance….?

Clouds over San Francisco Peaks from Marshall Lake

into the treasure box

The camera-phone six hundred and some miles away clicked in my daughter’s hand…fingers poked a message into the screen, and the image was transported across digital waves of something/nothingness and caused a small vibration from my phone…and I found it, many hours later, a tiny treasure…full of meaning and memories…of little ones cuddling on my lap, whispered words of “Papa’s mountains,” and the feel of a trail underfoot…images cascading in flashes of recall…sounds of water crashing or quietly rolling down the canyon…a scent of warm summer pine and wildflower…or the comforting wood-smoke on an icy morning while snow crunched underfoot….


I have crossed that bridge dozens of times…under the thick canopy of spring and summer fullness in the trees above, while the heady aroma of the mountains blew light or strong down the canyon….or atop a foot or more of snow piled high and reassuring, while I stood or knelt and made images of Christmas-tree-like reflections in the ice and snow rimmed stream…and then gone home to little one’s arms around my neck…”Did you have a nice hike, Papa…?”


*Iphound treasure courtesy of K. Brill, 8/31/16, Little Cottonwood Canyon, Salt Lake City, Utah.

City Paint Phoenix 17 – Tribute to Bowie

When a couple of you mentioned that the man in the last installment of City Paint Phoenix looked like David Bowie, it reminded me that I had previously observed a section of city wall that had actually been decorated with images that were very distinctly Bowie.


The mural is located at 1715 N 7th Street in Phoenix, about one block north of McDowell Road for any local readers….


While I was never a fan, I understand that David Bowie was an iconic figure in the music world for a period that spanned decades.


So instead of blabbing on and on about the guy and his career from any research that I would have had to conduct in order to do so, I will simply offer that I find the mural and the skill of the artist to be rather compelling….














And lastly, to give proper credit for the work, I will close the post with a panel sharing the artist’s information…Maggie Keane…please click on her highlighted name to learn a little more about her.


As always, thank you for visiting and viewing another presentation of iPhound beauty….  If you’d like to view other presentations of street art from both Phoenix and Salt Lake City, you can click on this link to be taken to a continuous scroll of the posts.

Sycamore Canyon Rim Trail

It’s been close to two months since I made the almost 190 mile trek north to flee the city and its trappings and find a bit of solitude and soul restoration in the wilderness of the Kaibab National Forest (Williams District) located just south and west of Flagstaff.

Lenticular clouds over San Francisco Peaks, Flagstaff Arizona

These lenticular clouds were an added treat as I found the silhouette of the San Francisco peaks in the distance…looking east.  Humphrey’s Peak is at the far left of the ridge, the highest point in Arizona.  You might remember my hike to the top in this post.

Morning trail along Sycamore Canyon Rim Trail

The weather forecast for the day said it was going to be partly cloudy up here…and those clouds in the first image were the only ones I saw for the entire six hours on the trail…  No cloud cover, but excellent canopy cover in the forest….

High desert prairie, Williams Arizona

The day’s hike is actually the Sycamore Canyon Rim Trail…an 11-12 mile loop that starts in the Ponderosa pine forest, crosses some meadows, meanders up into an oak and cedar forest that covers KA Hill…goes back down into the Ponderosa, and then skirts the Canyon.

Entering Oak forest while climbing KA Hill

The view above is entering that oak forest…and the view below is from atop KA Hill, looking east again at the San Francisco Peaks.  That lighter area along the road is where I stopped to make the photo for my recent post “yellow…along the way…

Looking east toward San Francisco Peaks from atop KA Hill

Coming out of the oak forest and making a fast descent from KA Hill through a mature Ponderosa forest quickly leads to this open area that looks like a lava field that is slowly being covered with wild grasses and less mature pines.  I don’t know if this area has been burned in the last century, but the majority of the trees were much smaller than the surrounding forest.  Maybe it’s because they’re growing in a lava field….

Lava-covered prairie

The drainage from the above field leads down into the natural pond/cistern in the below photo….

High desert forest pond beneath lava prairie

…and continues down into this stream bed that leads back into another forested area….

Sycamore Canyon forest and stream

….and probably less than a mile later, leads to this surprise….

Lava walls and lily pads

….a lava-wall-bordered pond with lily-pads…actual lily-pads…in a pond…in the high desert of Arizona…..  Wow….!

Cliff-sides and lily-pad pond

Two of the three people I saw on the trail all day….and their two dogs….

People at Pomeroy Tank, Sycamore Canyon Rim Trail

Another of the “Pomeroy Tanks” that are important water sources for the wildlife in the area.

Greenery and stream-bed

Heading back into the forest proper…crossing a dry stream-bed with more lava rocks….beautiful green….

Under cover again on forest trail, Kaibab National Forest

The loop eventually comes to what are referred to as the Sycamore Falls…behind me and to the right in the below image…which was not flowing…and which is a favorite spot for rock-climbers to practice their skills.

Canyon long-view from Sycamore Canyon Falls

You can easily see the two guys in the below photo…but how about the guy in the one above….?

Rappelling down Sycamore Canyon Waterfall lava cliffs

I stopped to have a snack at the below location…on the eastern ridge of the canyon (looking west) with the falls to the right…where you can see a man in white above where the other two guys were climbing….

Time for lunch along Sycamore Canyon Rim Trail

I think the stream-bed would be an excellent place to explore…for hours and hours…maybe even days or months…..

Wrong turn cliff-side

I made a wrong turn…or took the path less-traveled that took me to the cliff-edge of the canyon…and had to turn-around, retrace my steps…find the real trail…back to the loop, but it was a beautiful diversion…with lots of compelling green.

Something's out of place, Century Plant along Sycamore Canyon Rim Trail

The trail eventually led up toward more of a plateau again…forest covered…with strong breezes and winds whipping and almost roaring through the tree-tops.  With the lack of cloud-cover that I thought I would have for the day, the winds were welcome in keeping things from getting too warm when walking outside of the cover of the forest.  Almost as surprising as finding the lily-pad pond shared above was the discovery of these Century Plants with their bright yellow bouquets…and attendant butterfly and humming bird.

Walking the Rim, along Sycamore Canyon Rim Trail

Another view of the actual canyon rim…provoking thoughts of what the place must have looked like when it was forming in the aftermath of the San Francisco Peaks‘ volcanic eruptions in those 200-and-some millions of years ago….

Long view of Sycamore Canyon, Kaibab National Forest

Thank you for visiting….I hope you enjoyed going with me along the Sycamore Canyon Rim Trail…amid the green, forested north of Arizona….

PS….and for what it’s worth, this is my 1,000th post on WordPress…..  Thank you for accompanying me on this journey, as well.  I’ve met a bunch of wonderful people here and a solid couple of handfuls of very special friends over the past seven years.  :)

City Paint Phoenix 16 – King Wong Whisper….

It’s been a while since I shared any of the city’s building art, but here’s another installment in the City Paint Phoenix series…something that I have named “King Wong Whisper,” as it appears that the young man is suggesting that we speak quietly…or maybe he’s encouraging us to not tell a secret….

King Wong mural 1

The images have been tucked-away in my phone since May of this year….  I was “out in the field” for work and happened to notice the brilliant colors on the side of the building as I drove past.  And I knew that I absolutely had to turn around and take a minute or two to grab a couple of photos.

King Wong mural 2

Amazing work…in my opinion…by an unknown artist on the north side of a strip mall located at 2545 N 32nd Street in Phoenix…”King Wong Chinese Restaurant.”  Click on the link to view the menu…and to see if you’re in the delivery area….

King Wong mural 3

Another bit of iPhound art…..

Fisher Point perspective

Just over two years ago, I took my first “Arizona hike.”  I had journeyed up to the Coconino National Forest just south of Flagstaff and ventured along part of the Arizona Trail to the convenient turn-around location of “Fisher Point.”  In reflecting upon this particular landscape feature, I have referred to it as a stone tee-pee, as that’s how it appears….

Lewis Point with stone tee-pee and human perspective

I suppose the mass might appear to be large enough on its own, but I thought the miniature human bodies would help provide a bit more perspective.  The “doorway” of the bottom of the rock is a bit of a cave that doesn’t go too far into the rock…maybe 20-30 feet.  Fisher Point, by the way (unless I’m mistaken), is atop this particular stone tee-pee.  There is a trail that takes curious hikers up through the draw to the left of this rock, winds up and along the hillside, and finally deposits them at a safe distance from the edge that still allows a greater view of the canyons and meadows that exist around the Point.

yellow….along the way….

The prairie had a name…posted on a wooden placard roadside…west of Flagstaff and east of Williams…close to my destination and far, far away from home…that elemental and figurative place that exists in heart and mind…and has an elusive definition that encompasses both desire and acceptance….

Yellow wildflowers in a field of prairie grass east of Williams, Arizona

the bird and the butterfly….

It feels like ages since I’ve been here…..

Hummingbird on Century Plant blossom

….here on the blog, that is.

The weather has been rather extreme for hiking down here in the desert valley…I heard that four or five people died because of the heat a few weeks ago….not a good thing…oppressive, nasty, raunchy heat…..

Tiger Swallowtail butterfly on Century Plant blossom

So last weekend I headed north…waaaay north…twenty five miles west of Flagstaff…the high was only 85 degrees…spent six hours hiking a sweet loop-trail that skirted the northern parts of Sycamore Canyon.  With about an hour of the hike remaining, I came across a section of the forest that had six or eight of these Century Plants…Agave americana…just kind of hanging-out, real bright and everything in the middle of the otherwise dark green forest….the blossoms on this particular plant were easily eight feet above the ground.

roses in “rowses”

The western edge of metropolitan Phoenix is covered in various agricultural plots, fields and fields of sundry growing things, from acres of palm trees, salt-cedar trees, wheat (or some other grain), corn, cotton, carrots (recently harvested), onions, alfalfa….

Field of roses portrait

…and roses….

Field of roses landscape

…fields of them….

Flowers and clouds

….rows of them….

Fullness of pink roses

….rows(es) and rows(es) of roses….

Line of sight roses

“….red and yellow, (pink) and white….they are precious in (my) sight….”

Mountains and roses

A wrong turn last Sunday brought me to this bit of sweet serendipity….the northeast corner of Reems and Olive for any local readers….

One pink rose

I slowed down a bit to admire the fields, clouds, and the bright sky, and knew that I had to return with my camera in quick minutes to capture what I had hoped would be some amazing photographs.

Red and white centered

By the time I did return, maybe 15-20 minutes later, the clouds were piling closer to one another and the blue patches of sky were becoming fewer and fewer…and then blue was gray and the light was good for some photos and not for others.

Soft white roses

I’m not sure how long I was actually out there, stepping gently between the rows, crouching among the thorns, and muddying my shoes a bit in the process….

Rich red rose buds

…but I left with over 100 photos….

Rose bushes inside view

….and managed to whittle the prizes down to these few….

Roses in stages

As always….thank you for visiting….

Sonora Desert Morning

…the trail rounds rocky corners and hiding hills and rises gently from the desert floor as the sun eases from below the far horizon and lights anew this sharp and prickly land…the glow and flare inside the lens is equaled among the red spines and golden stems of cacti and brush and grass alike…the morning fire quietly waking the harshly coated earth…sweet light fading soon with the ascent of day….

Sonora Desert Morning