Sheep’s Crossing

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Arizona is a treasure trove of history and interesting stories.  If only the landscape could speak.  In this case… it does.  Sheep’s Crossing is one of those special historic places that few know about.

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It’s just north of Phoenix outside of Bloody Basin, down a long 3-hour rough dirt road.  There are multiple ways to get there, and all long and arduous.   At the end of the road though, one is rewarded with this historic moment of time.

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The Flagstaff Sheep Company used to graze sheep in this area around Verde River under a permit from the Forest Service as far back as 1926.  As sheep herders would move sheep during summer and winter months, they would invariably lose sheep down the swift river.

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During WWII, in 1943, they built a bridge across the Verde.  The bridge is 3′ wide and spans nearly 500′.  Using salvaged materials and erected with hand tools and a few mule, it is one of the last remaining suspension bridges in AZ.

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It was entered into the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and was used from 1944 through 1979.  Some 11,000 sheep would be moved across this bridge twice a year.

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In 1988 the bridge was disassembled due to years of use, floods, and weathered over time.  It was re-built in 1989 as a testament to the pioneering sheepmen and ranching that existed in old Arizona.

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Fossil Creek

You may have seen my post here… https://kritterspix.com/2019/11/08/fossil-creek-nd/ regarding Fossil Creek.  I was pleased with the photos I got during that visit, so we decided to make the trek to do it again.

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After the long drive along the bumpy dirt road to get to the creek, there are several ‘entry’ points for one to ramble down the hill to walk along the creek.  We have been a number of times over the years, and enjoy the serenity of the water gushing over the rocks.

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It makes a wonderful place for a picnic to relax and let your troubles wash away.    (I know, I know, if only it were that simple.)  It does though provide a peaceful respite from our hectic lives.

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We did notice that Fossil Creek has become very overgrown and ‘scrubby’.  In taking photographs, I had a hard time cutting the clutter out of my pix.  You may notice that all these photos are tight knit to the horizon with no sky.  That’s because the horizon above the water was tangled and busy.

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Sometimes you just have to cut the clutter from our vantage point.

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My Best Landscape Photos of 2019

Every year, I like to take pause to reflect on my year past, both in terms of what we have done, where we have gone, and what we have accomplished – but also in terms of my best shots.  Reflecting on what I have done, helps me to see where I came from, to help me consider where I want to go.  I will keep these to Top 10 to force me to choose those I most liked.  Feel free to weigh in…

So without further ado, in no particular order:

  1.  Runoff outside of Workman’s Creek, AZ_40A9287_IR.jpg

2.  Mogollon Rim, through the fog_MG_0013_IR.jpg

3. Milk Ranch Road, Sunburst_40A1550_IR.jpg

4.  Blue Ridge Reservoir sunriseWaters Edge Hort_IR.jpg

5. Hawley Lake sunrise_40A4341_IR-2.jpg

6. Smoke Burst, Mogollon RimTreeBurst Vert_IR.jpg

7.  Blue Ridge Reservoir, FallBlue Ridge Fall Sun_IR.jpg

8.   West Fork Trail, SedonaRedRoot_IR.jpg

9.  Fossil Creek, Fall falls_40A0077_IR.jpg

10.  Fossil creek_40A0044-HDR_IR.jpg

That’s it.  I’m comforted knowing that I left out some additional good shots to pare it down to these 10.  Life’s about choices, and these are mine, and I’m sticking to it.

Check out my best wildlife photos of the year here….https://kritterspaw.com/2020/01/09/my-best-wildlife-photos-of-2019/

 

From Sun to Snow

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Hard to believe a week ago we were enjoying the coast of CA… and now we are enjoying snow at home in AZ.

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We’re happy to get whatever nature gives us.  The snow is good for our forest and our trees.  Besides, it was nice to have a white Christmas.

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We got about 12″ out of our two storms.  Let’s hope there is more to come.  : )

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Big Horn Herd

A funny thing happened to us on the way home from Vegas… we ran into a herd of big horn sheep!

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There must have been 2 – 3 dozen of them, walking down from the hills to graze in the grass.

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They were beautiful to watch as they grazed and played.

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I spent hours trying to catch their activities.  They didn’t seem to mind that I was there, and posed for me… though it was hard to get their attention, as they were keen on the lush grass they came for.

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A ewe after my own heart – it’s all about the food!  :)

Check out more pix from our trip here… https://kritterspaw.com/2019/12/22/sea-critters/

 

Photography Genre

When I started getting serious about photography I kept reading that one should pick a ‘genre’.  I was like, ‘what the heck is that’?  Why can’t I take any kind of photo I want?

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As I read more and photographed more, it made sense.  A wedding photographer needs certain skills and tools to take beautiful wedding portraits, just as a sport photographer, and they are each different.

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So, I thought – I want to be a landscape photographer.

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So, I was surprised when the first photograph I got published was wildlife.

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I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.  We just got back from a trip to the beach from AZ, and these are the pix I brought back – all wildlife.

Do what you’re good at… and what you enjoy, and you’ll be good at it.

 

Snow Critters

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This last storm met the predictions of the weathermen who projected 2′ of snow.

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With it, brought animals looking for food.

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It was great fun to see this little baby deer enjoying it’s first snow.  It reminded me of Journey when we get snow, as she runs around and loves to ‘snorkel’ in it.

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There is something so pristine and beautiful about the new fallen snow… apparently the animals think so too.

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I suppose the cold white stuff is a novelty for them, something they don’t see often… so it’s new, fun, and refreshing as they walk through the cool stuff.  Like a new toy, it’s invigorating and exciting.  Whatever it is… it’s a pleasure to see happiness at any time or place.  Bring it on.

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