Latest

Election Day and Jesse Girl

It was Tuesday morning after an anxious Monday…stressful months.

So many things have happened so far in this year of 2020…

…lies revealed, viruses emerged, taxes not filed, bountied soldiers’ lives not acknowledged, quarantines served…

…promises broken, tallies marked, masks unworn, lives lost, children caged, families torn, secrets revealed…

alliances broken, and real heroes scorned.

Sometimes it hurts to pay attention.

My morning commute down quiet streets, following taillights…

…watching the eastern sky gray into dawn, encountering silhouette cityscapes of buildings…

power lines, and ubiquitous palm trees.

Others heading in the same direction, south on Central Avenue…the light rail…bicyclers…

…a far off desert “mountain” the defines the lower edge of the Valley of the Sun.

Art museum, opera, loft apartments, pharmacies, coffee shops, attorney general office, city athletic club…parking meters…

…cameras watching to see who steals through a light….

Heading east now and ever approaching my destination, passing charter schools, groceries, fast food, temp agencies…

…ever present construction zones…and hospitals.

My bride and I ate lunch at this city park decades ago…when our children were little and life was difficult, though less complicated….

I could go straight and then left and reach the office…or I could get on the freeway and go somewhere else…head west and away.

When I found a pedestrian bridge on an evening walk in Utah, a local spray-can artist had adorned the walkway with “Seek Life.”

Looking west from the bridge…contemplating the day…desiring that it fulfills hopes…that more ballots are cast for my guy than the other….

An overhead ornament on the bridge…a simple thing in a complicated time.  Breathe….

On a Desert Morning

My morning today, November 1, was spent in part at my desk, reading and looking at images from friends’ blog posts across the country…with the office window open only inches away from me…cool autumn breeze slightly chilling my fingertips, with my cat lying next to the laptop with his nose and front paws occasionally touching the window’s screen as he intently watched the birds on the ground outside, or froze to an unusual kitty stiffness as hummingbirds approached the honeysuckle a foot away from his twitching whiskers.

Sunrise eight months ago…a Sunday morning in March.

Bouys in a sea of clouds….

Nature’s gifting on a cloudy and rainy day just over two years ago…radio towers atop the White Tank Mountains in the far west valley of metropolitan Phoenix.

a fence in context

From July 2019…heading north for a hike….

You might remember earlier posts with the images of sunrise through the seed-heads.

To use John Muir’s favorite word, it was “glorious.”

Wildfires earlier this year have turned this into a charred mess…posts and wires strung across a wasteland.

But it will come back…glorious splendor will return…after a season or two of restoration….

Colorful Desert…”supellex varia ad desertum”

I believe I have already shared some images from my springtime wanderings in the state trust land north of the White Tank Mountains in northwest Surprise, AZ…but I didn’t share many of the floral images…so here they are…covering a range of something like 22 days…three Sunday morning visitations.

Interesting name for the ones below…”Blue Dicks.”  I prefer the alternative name of Desert Hyacinth…just sounds better, somehow…Dichelostemma capitatum.

Chia, below….Salvia columbariae.

Rounded a bend in the trail and found this mass of lupines…Arizona or Coulter’s lupine…something like Lupinus sparsiflorus.

Closer….

….with their telltale eight leaves….

Lupine and a single Golden Poppy…Eschscholtzia mexicana.

A view to the north and east from the state trust land….

Lupine and Desert Fiddleneck…Amsinckia tessellata….

And the near ubiquitous Brittlebush…Encelia farinosa.

Orange Globe Mallow, Sphaeralcea munroana, with Lupine.

Probably Buckhorn Cholla, Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa…as the spines are much closer than we usually see on the Staghorn Cholla, Cylindropuntia versicolor.

Probably Buckhorn Cholla, not Staghorn

Red Brome…Bromus madritensis.

Lupine…in preparation (parabatur).

Desert Chicory…or New Mexico Plumeseed…Rafinesquia neomexicana.

Desert Bluebell…Phacelia campanularia.

That’s all for now…Quod ut ‘quia iam omnia.

Clouds…and hope for a high-desert rain….

Day trip north on Saturday of last week…US Highway 89 from north of Wickenburg, through Yarnell, into and out of Prescott, brushing up against Ash Fork, heading west on I-40 and skirting Kingman, and then back down US 93 to US 60 and “home” again….

It was good to see cottonwood trees along roadways again.

Maybe Argemone pleiacantha, Southwestern Pricklypoppy…maybe, quite possibly…also found alongside the roadway…high desert travels.

Fat, fluffy clouds are a welcome sight in the high and low deserts…even if they are accompanied by high winds and the general ugliness of broken branches and occasionally uprooted trees and downed fences; they’re seasonal treasures that truly freshen and sweeten the air and leave a rich verdure in their passing.

Windows down on the truck, just me and my thoughts…green rambling forests…the smell of warming juniper on the breeze….

Someone received the distant rain…rather, it was received somewhere, maybe not where any people could feel it…although, by the time I arrived in Prescott, further north and west of where we see the rain in the above image, I did receive a little of it…something like 13-17 drops on my windscreen…a regular downpour.

An anvil cloud in preparation, above, is usually a good hint that rain is coming.

This section of US 89 was new to me.  I’d driven it plenty between Flagstaff and south of Salt Lake, but never this stretch.

Low clouds…

…wide horizons with a lot of green in between…

…and then out of the mountains into the high desert flat-lands north of Prescott…

…raw desert with compelling geologic formations…

…some kind of caramel ball wildflowers along the roadway…

…and southern clouds that didn’t leave a drop in their passing….

Sycamore Canyon – Parsons Trail, Stream in Context

This was my destination when I was on the road and spotted the fire on the desert morning mountains in an earlier post…Parsons Trail in Sycamore Canyon.  You might remember that I visited here in March of 2015…before Spring had sprung…that’s over five years ago, already.

More images will follow, of course, but I hope you’ll enjoy these three…all taken from the same spot, more or less, accounting for shifting feet…

…starting with a closer look down the stream beneath the canopy of overhanging trees…

…and then slowly widening the view to encompass more of the surroundings.

Yes, this is Arizona…just north of Cottonwood…which is north and east of Prescott…and a bit south and west of Sedona…if you’re familiar with those places.

Toward Frary Peak on Antelope Island – Part Last

It’s been about six months since I posted the previous installment, so it’s probably been long enough now that the images won’t be overwhelmingly familiar…and so that our experience in viewing them won’t be with an almost blindness to the manifest beauty that’s out there because our palate had become over-saturated with it.

It’s approaching a year since I was out there walking the trails that you can see in the above and subsequent two photos…almost a year since I felt that Utah summer sun on my shoulders and face as I turned so many times to look around me, since I shielded my eyes so I could view the distant spread of gray earth to the shimmering water…

…and beyond to the islands and mountains that formed the various views of the horizon.

Yes, almost a year since I viewed them with my literal eyes, but it’s not been so long since I had images of those islands, mountains, and horizons reflecting in my mind’s eye…or looking up at me from the computer where they remain in this present form.

I can recall the stretch in my calves as I climbed up the trail to this point and how my heart beat in the moments when my legs rested so I could catch my wind…how I stared at the hillsides and took-in the skeletal remains of the trees that had succumbed to old fires, and how I watched strings of bison plod from the north to the south side of the island in their ant-like following of their leaders…or obeyed the urge to go and be with their intimates when they saw them walking away….

I recall those things now looking at these images…looking northeast in the above photo…

…and southeast in these, above and below.

Wasatch Mountains trailing north in the below photo…

…and Fremont Island off to the northwest in the below….

I’ve run out of words and superlatives…

…and you already know what’s in my heart for this place…

…so I’ll just thank you for joining me here again…and hope you’ve enjoyed the visit.

Fire on the desert morning mountains….

On the first morning of summer, 6-21-2020, at 0439 hours…a glow on the horizon that didn’t belong there.

I was heading north to go hiking in something like a desert riparian paradise…nine minutes into the trip, following the freeway north and then east…rounded the curve and saw the above view from afar…probably a couple dozen miles…

…smoke in the draw between the ridges…

…north of New River…north of North Phoenix…

…wild…

…and disconcertingly beautiful…

Referred to as the Central Fire in local media…burning since the previous day.

City Paint Phoenix 23 – “No More Stolen Sisters”

It’s been a while since I shared any street art findings from Phoenix….

Wednesday morning before work…driving up and down Roosevelt Row and the many feeder streets that lead to and from the artsy neighborhood and its surround…quiet and COVID-near-empty streets.

It had been a while since I had driven this particular alleyway…who knew…at The Churchill in Phoenix.

It’s not just a painting…click on the below links to read more….

Amnesty International – No More Stolen Sisters

Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women

The Guardian – No More Stolen Sisters

Equal Means Equal – No More Stolen Sisters

To read more about the artist, La Morena, click on this link.