Reflections of Blue Ridge Reservoir

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There is something magical about sunrises and sunsets, and when combined with the soothing comfort of water – it makes for stunning scenery.

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It was a full moon the other day, so we decided to get some pix of Blue Ridge Reservoir at night… and in the morning.  The light cast by the full moon lit up the daisies growing through the patchwork rock that lines the ridges above the lake.

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The forest and it’s trees come right down to the waters edge at Blue Ridge.

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A brisk calm morning greeted us with gorgeous clouds and fantastic reflections in her still waters.  It doesn’t get any more relaxing than waking up to gorgeous scenery and the serenity of a calm sea and her comforting embrace of the beauty that surrounds her.

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The One that Got Away

As everyone of us knows, we all have moments that we might have done differently, if we had the chance.  Perhaps in the way we reacted to something, or something we should have done – but didn’t.  You know, that ‘if only’ kind of time.

In terms of our passions or hobbies, and in my case (and this blog), I am referring to a photographic moment.  That shot I wish I had gotten.  Maybe because I neglected to change my setting, or wasn’t quick enough to get the shot.  I have been known to get excited and go off taking pix, and forget to change the aperture, or ISO.  Sometimes I shoot into the sun – but sometimes that’s where the action is, and no way around it.  One can guess how those shots come out… but not always.

There was this time… I wrote about it here https://kritterspaw.com/2019/01/01/a-whoosh-and-a-tale/,  when I saw my first mountain lion.  it was crazy… and quick, 1/100th of a second quick.   My camera was set on a tripod and was taking a photo of this sweet deer, in portrait format.. when all of a sudden, out of nowhere…..

And I got this shot!  Note the tail of the deer in the front left… and yes, that’s the mountain lion leaping into action from behind… or at least half a mountain lion.

I lie awake nights wishing I had moved the camera to the right… if only.

If only I had been in landscape format instead of portrait format.

It happened so quick it was over before it started.  It would have been that National Geographic kinda shot… or at least AZ Highways!  If only…

Arggghhh!  If only…

 

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A Walk in the Woods

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Sometimes life gets busy.  These days, that seems like all the time!

It’s at those times it is more important than ever, to get out and smell the roses, or in our case, the pine trees, wander through the woods, and take in the nature that abounds around us.

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For us, that means getting out to the Rim.  We took the time to indulge in a relaxing afternoon awestruck by the beauty of nature which brings abundant ferns back to an area that still shows signs of a charred earth.

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We should never get so busy as to not take notice of the beauty around us.

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You can check out more forest and woods pix here…. https://kritterspaw.com/2019/08/04/relaxing-in-the-woods/

 

Morman Lake Elk

morman lake elk pool_IR.jpgThe herds of elk come mingle about in Morman Lake every year.  One can see them from Forest Road 3 on the way to Flagstaff.  The new borns play in the grass, and the moms laze around in the soggy dirt.

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I watched this one little guy very quizzically stalk a blue heron.

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The young elk was very amused by this strange looking long necked ‘thing’ strutting around in the weeds.

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The blue heron, on the other hand, didn’t think the curiosity or affection was quite as amusing.  I watched the elk follow that blue heron around the pools at Mormon Lake, and the other elk soaking up the water.  Nature at it’s finest!

 

 

 

Road Trip – New Mexico

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Just got back from a road trip to New Mexico.  We saw lots of old and new.  The shops along Canyon Road in Santa Fe are fun to walk around with great conversation fodor, and potential new project ideas for us at home.

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Of course the eats are always terrific with great New Mexican green chile and green chile cheeseburgers like the one at The Shed.

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We visited Red River for the first time.  At 8600′ the weather was still cool if not a bit chilly.

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We stayed at the Junebug Campground and loved the babbling brook behind our camp.

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Outside of Las Vegas, NM we visited the Dwan Light Sanctuary on the United World College  campus for the first time.

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The Light Sanctuary was conceptualized by Virginia Dwan (funder), Charles Ross (solar spectrum artist) and Laban Wingert (planner – architect) and opened in 1996.  It is intended as a place of peace and spiritual refuge.  We found the play on the light through the many prisms cast onto the walls of this circular building 36′ in diameter by 23′ high, to be fascinating.

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Following our brief visit at the Sanctuary we did an overnight at the newly re-opened  Harvey house, Castaneda Hotel, in Las Vegas, New Mexico.

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Th Castaneda was originally opened by Fred Harvey in 1898 in the heyday of railroad hotel hospitality.  The hotel has been closed since 1948 and only just re-opened in April 2019.  It was refurbished by the same folks that re-opened the La Posada Hotel in Winslow, AZ, not far from our own home.  They did a fabulous job keeping true to the heritage, architecture, and furnishings of the period.  It was an enjoyable step into the past.

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From there we stepped even further into the past when we briefly visited Chaco Canyon near the border of NM / AZ.

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Chaco Canyon is quite the impressive complex of ruins built by the Puebloan culture over a period of 300 years between 800 AD and 1100 AD.

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The vast community spreads over miles with multiple story buildings, whole civilizations, ceremonial grounds, and shrines.

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To see the architecture, windows, doors, rooms, walls, and vastness from a culture so long ago was truly awe inspiring.

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Photos cannot do it justice.

Unfortunately, by late May it was already terribly hot (86F), and with Journey not allowed on the trails, we were unable to stay long.  If you find yourself in the area (and it is a long way off the beaten path), it is certainly worth a visit.

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From there we overnighted at Navajo National Monument.

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Which, at it’s higher elevation was cooler for Journey.

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Our campsite offered terrific views of the canyons at sunset and sunrise.

It was a quick tour of a lot of fascinating historical sites… but made for a great get away.  Next time, we’ll have to go earlier in the year (or later) when it is cooler and more comfortable for a pet not allowed on National Park trails.

We missed you Dave….

 

Late May Snow

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If you are from AZ, you no doubt heard about our late May snow.  Just as we were preparing our gardens for the Spring / Summer season, we got predictions of 5″ of snow.  This is the West coast, not the East coast, we’re not supposed to get these late snow storms… nonetheless, here it is.

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While we didn’t get 5″, we did get 2 separate snow storms over several days that amounted to maybe 2″.  It was unexpected, but always welcome and provided us a blanket of white on the ground and over the trees.

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No matter.  We’ll take what we can get.

Snow storm over… 70F today here on the mountain.  Go figure.

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