Every once in awhile you find yourself in a truly special place, experiencing a joyous moment that has you giddy with excitement.
Nature’s beauty, whether it’s wildlife or landscape, often does that for me. We certainly have places we frequent, but are always on the lookout for new places to enjoy and photograph.
And when we might find ourselves in such a state of mind and place, we should slow down take it in and savor every minute.
So it was, that we encountered this gorgeous stream, and spontaneously decided to spend the night, even though we had not planned to.
The next morning, watching the sunrise over this stream, we were rewarded by gorgeous light basking along the shimmering water cascading over mossy rocks. Sometimes it pays to be spontaneous, and seize the moment.
It’s amazing how many times you can go to a place, and how it changes from time to time.
We went back to Carnero Lake hoping to catch osprey fishing, but there were none to be had. Considering the amount of rain we had, we were amazed to see how low the lake actually was. It was barely photogenic. Changing our view looking through the forest toward the lake at sunrise, yielded an entirely new view.
All we saw (in terms of animals) was a juvenile robin and a squirrel collecting pinecones for the winter.
It’s just a reminder to turn around 360 degrees to take in your surroundings, and actually SEE what different vantage points can present themselves if you take the time to take it in.
We’ve seen so few big animals, I’ve had to resort to taking pix of the birds! We’ve driven to the rim and seen very few elk or deer. With all the fires, smoke, and lack of water, maybe they’ve taken up residence someplace else.
No matter. We always have all sort of birds to divert my attention.
Living in Northern AZ we get quite the assortment of forest birds. I’ve never been much of a bird watcher, but I may have to take it up!
We love to explore the back roads and take in the fabulous views we find along the way. We have traveled the Schnebly Hill Road on numerous occasions over the years.
The 12-mile road cuts between Flagstaff and Sedona. If one didn’t know better, they might think it a short cut. In reality, all the wind and lack of rain has continuously deteriorated the road.
You may know the road – it’s that really rough road the Pink Jeep Tours drives through out of Sedona. The bumpy road from Sedona to Schnebly Vista traverses over rugged rock shelf terrain. It takes around an hour to go just 6 miles, dependent on how much one wants to beat up your lifted truck or Jeep. It is not suited for passenger cars.
We love fresh seafood… and the water. Living in AZ, that means if we want to get our ‘fix’ we have to go East Coast or West Coast. West Coast is closer and a fairly easy drive, so we made the trek to Oregon to get our ‘fix’.
We had a lot of blue sky, windy days, but enjoyed the scenic drive down the coast, stopping along the way. Many of the shops and restaurants are closed (permanently or temporarily), and others only open at 25% capacity. So we mostly enjoyed buying fresh caught seafood from the local fishermen, supporting their trade and enjoying fresh fish while camping out.
The winds made the seas pretty rough and walking on the beach quite blustery, but we did manage to get in some scenic views, wooded walks, and take in some local wildlife.
Maybe next time we’ll do the East Coast, and plan a longer visit, perhaps once things settle down.
It’s not very often we see big horn sheep. But this past week we went out to take pix of the snow and ran into a herd of big horn sheep, including 7 babies. Woohoo!
I can probably count how many times I have seen big horn sheep on 1 hand. They are one of the less common big animal encounters. We were lucky enough to not only see big horn sheep, but babies… and in snow on top of that. It was like a 3-fer.
It made my day, if not my year! I was very happy to have a positive jolt of goodness in what has been a difficult time for us personally. You take joy where you can get it.
After a long dry monsoon season and cold barren winter our forecast seemed bleak. We were desperate for some precipitation and moisture for our thirsty forest. The weather guys swore we were really in for it… Monday, no Tuesday, wait maybe Thursday, or Friday. Nothing. For sure Saturday. It seemed everyone else started getting it, but we were passed by. Flagstaff was getting pounded we heard. Hmmm. We got maybe 4″, and were waiting for this monster storm.
Finally, Monday the storm hit. Over the course of Monday and Tuesday, we finally got some much needed snow. It came and came, yay! We figure we got around 24″ all together. It’s hard to say exactly, as the winds were blowing so hard, drifts were high, and actual measures were difficult to estimate.
No matter. We are happy to have it. I guess good things come to those who wait.
We were lucky enough to see this beautiful herd of big horn sheep as we left Alstrom Point. We saw the herd in the distance, so drove ahead of them, and I walked out behind a rock to see if I could sneak up on them. I’m not sure who was more surprised when we saw each other as I crotched down from behind a ridge – me or them. It was a fantastic moment.
Admittedly, I am not a big fan of coyote. They are scavengers and corral & hunt my precious deer and elk. So I’m just as happy not to see any. But I did this year, and got a decent photo that makes the cut.
We don’t see many fox, so I was thrilled when we saw this pup this year. So cool!
All babies are cute, especially the 4 legged animal variety!
Speaking of babies… it was super cute to get so see this affectionate family of javelina with new born babe.
And elk baby, or calf.
The next best thing to new animals (at least for us), or baby animals, are those big boys… elk bulls
The cuter and better expression, the better!
I got a ton of chipmunk pix this year, they were just too darn cute.
Deer Doe and fawn
And finally, pretty much any animal in the snow. Just wish we had more of it!