That “Four Peaks” ridge in the distance is literally at least sixty miles from where I made this image along the Northern Parkway just east of the Loop 303, in the west valley of Metropolitan Phoenix. At ten minutes before 6:00 am on this Saturday past, the air was full of desert dust, vehicle emissions, and whatever other crap builds-up in the lower atmosphere between the parched land and the morning sky. This photo-making spot is along the route that I take to work every morning and I had been admiring the silhouette of the mountains in the distance for some time now. The quieter and less-busy morning seemed like a perfect time to stop and make some photos. Those sixty miles ‘twixt here and there are chock-full of western civilization’s offerings, as some five or six cities, two Native American Indian Communities, thousands of miles of city streets and freeways, multiple hundreds of acres of agricultural endeavors, and the exhaust of tens of thousands of vehicles and hundreds of thousands of people can be and are found in between.
I haven’t been hiking in the Four Peaks Wilderness Area, but might make it out there later this year or in early Spring of next year. It’s not something that you do in the summer months unless you camp nearby overnight and then launch up and back down from the peaks a couple of hours before noon.
Not like in the war for heroic deeds performed on the battlefield when risking one’s own life to save others’, but as in making something that could be considered plain or even unattractive, pretty, glittery, sparkly, refreshing to look at, and many other etceteras and etceteras….
I found myself downtown with over three hours of free and available time, yesterday morning, before having to report to work for a particular outreach event, so I intentionally brought my camera with me and visited what has been christened the “Grand Avenue Arts District” and found more than a couple of things to photograph.
In addition to the dozens of photos I snapped of local street art and murals, I found this row of decorated Aloe Vera and could not resist spending a few minutes’ time making a handful of images.
The morning’s sun was still gentle at 7:45, but the day had already started to heat up and another scorcher was underway.
There are occasions, when traveling in Arizona, that it feels like one is journeying through time as well as distance.
iPhone image made on 4/11/2018 just south of Wickenburg, 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….?
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….
…fields of them….
….rows of them….
….rows(es) and rows(es) of roses….
“….red and yellow, (pink) and white….they are precious in (my) sight….”
A wrong turn last Sunday brought me to this bit of sweet serendipity….the northeast corner of Reems and Olive for any local readers….
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.
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.
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….
…but I left with over 100 photos….
….and managed to whittle the prizes down to these few….
As always….thank you for visiting….
Just south of the Glen Canyon Dam in Page, Arizona, there is a scenic overlook that permits visitors to have a fantastic view of the river below, as it has carved its way through the red/peach sandstone that used to be an ocean floor in eons past. One can step past the protective guard rail and approach the literal edge of the earth, cliff-wise, and peer out and into the river’s chasm that is several hundred feet below.
The lines of the handrails and the ridges and scoops of the sandstone caught my eye when I turned to look back…a curious placement of such a thing when viewed out of context, but knowing where and why brings its meaning. For those who are used to walking on uneven terrain, the walk down and back is not difficult, but for others, the railing is…there if you need it.
The high for the day was supposed to be below 90 degrees…and there was a 50-60% chance of rain in the area starting around 11:00. The image is from two minutes shy of noon and I had yet to feel a drop of rain…and I wouldn’t for the next hour that it took me to make it back to the truck…but it was beautiful in its potential. Sometimes that has to be good enough….
approaching the end of a long day on the road, i saw clouds over the mountains and foothills and cinder-cones north of flagstaff, it appeared as though it might rain and i even thought i smelled it on the air as i came nearer to the mountain town, looking south and west at what was north and west of the settlement, i didn’t notice a wind, but maybe that is water falling aslant from the darker sky, above a fence-line dividing the earth in someone’s imagination
It doesn’t do it justice, of course, but this is a tiny representation of the almost six-hundred images that I made during my six hours in the canyon about a month ago. Following the pictures in their presentation, we’re essentially going from the beginning to the end…and anyone who’s taken a four to five mile hike in one direction, knows that things can often look so different on the way back to the starting place…lighting, moisture in the morning air, and even the tiredness and level of attention paid by the hiker/photographer can determine how and what things are seen. I also made several photos of the multitude of wildflowers that I encountered on the trail, but will include them in yet another post of the area.
Please remember that you can click on any photo in the gallery to be taken to a slide show that presents each image in a larger format.
The last eleven miles of the trip to Sycamore Canyon were on a dirt road that started out good and ended up bad…clouds of dust rolled up behind me in the morning light, making a hazy contrail that faded and ran in the rear-view mirror…eight miles to go and I almost didn’t stop….seven miles to go and I couldn’t not-stop. They stretched that far, first thin and then full. I got out of the truck and was surprised at the coolness of the air…and the light perfume that rode on its tiniest breezes. There was a fresh sweetness everywhere…literally surrounding me on this high-desert plain.