If you’ve been following my blog you’ve noticed I’ve been on a somewhat futile quest to build a collection of photos of obscure lakes around Arizona. It was Blue Ridge Reservoir that started the whole mission.
We did an overnight trip to Blue Ridge and got some cool shots which got me to thinking about those awesome sunset / sunrise reflections in the water.
So we visited a lot of dry water holes… and encountered a bit of smoke from prescribed burns along the way. So why not combine the smoke and the lake photos by a re-visit to Blue Ridge Reservoir.
I love it when a plan comes together!
Thanks to my friend Sue for sharing in this amazing experience. It was a lot of fun!
As I continue to improve my photography, I think about what that means. It’s all about the light – dawn & dusk, we are so often told.
It’s complicated though. Light is bright and shadows are dark, how does one even them out and still add emotion, mood, and interest?
Light is the master of depth. We need light to make our ‘hero’ shine, or our supporting cast fade into the background. In this way we can isolate our subject so we know what (or who) it is.
Fog and smoke provide a fantastic mood factor, allowing us to separate the foreground from the background. While our controlled burns up north can be dreary to look at… they can also make for some very moody exciting pix.
Light rays illuminate and become visible through the smoke or fog in the air, distinguishing different elements of the life in the forest.
The fog creates a diffusion through the harsh light, from which comes clarity.
I wrote about the ‘Late Arrival’ of a small fawn with spots, our first we have seen of the year, back here… https://kritterspaw.com/2019/09/12/late-arrival/
That was month ago. Fast forward to this past week, first week of October, and we were entertained by these fantastic little cuties.
At first, I was delighted to see just one little spotted gem… then, came another; the spots along their back almost identical.
This precious couple laid down beside each other and cuddled and ‘fawned’ over one another like baby new borns.
They rested as their momma grazed, and relished in their environment and their natural surrounds.
It was such a tremendous joy and gift to see this special sight.
What a treat!
Further to my ‘Lake’ collection, we visited a number of blue smears on the map.
Admittedly they had some verbiage that indicated that there was water there… like Mexican Hay Lake and Lee Valley Reservoir, I was quickly reminded that this is Arizona.
The ‘Lakes’ that we made our way to for photos were in fact, nothing by dry holes! So much for that idea! Maybe Spring after snowfall is a better time to do the Lake trek.
The good news was we found water in abundance at Hawley Lake outside of Pinetop-Lakeside. Even better news was that on our loop around looking for actual water in those fictitious lakes was that we did manage to encounter a variety of willing animals to photograph.
Like this blue heron that seemed like he wanted to say something to me. Or the chipmunk that posed for me.
I caught these antelope running through the fields of yellow flowers along the road outside of Greer.
One thing the trip made clear… winter is coming. The overnight lows were chilly. I’m not sure how many more lakes we will be about to get in, as snow will be soon following, along with closed roads.
Hard to imagine.. but Christmas is just around the corner. Get your winter woolies out!
This time a year, when you walk through the forest, the squirrel will ‘hawk’ at you… squawking incessantly. You are in their territory after all. This is their busy time. They are scurrying around ‘squirreling’ away nuts for the winter, filling crevices and holes throughout the forest – stuffed full of pinecones.
It seems every one in the forest is fattening up for the winter, readying themselves for those long cold winter months where food is scarce for these forest animals.
Including these hawks who were looking for those squirrels!
Everybody’s gotta eat!
There is something magical about sunrises and sunsets, and when combined with the soothing comfort of water – it makes for stunning scenery.
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.
The forest and it’s trees come right down to the waters edge at Blue Ridge.
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.
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.
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.
The sun comes up and the moon rises every day regardless of what goes on in our day to day lives.
We should never get so busy as to not take notice of the beauty around us.
You can check out more forest and woods pix here…. https://kritterspaw.com/2019/08/04/relaxing-in-the-woods/
The 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.
I watched this one little guy very quizzically stalk a blue heron.
The young elk was very amused by this strange looking long necked ‘thing’ strutting around in the weeds.
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!
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.
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.
No matter. We’ll take what we can get.
Snow storm over… 70F today here on the mountain. Go figure.
Haven’t seen a lot of animals lately… but did see this curious fox stop by for a quick drink.
It’s always fun seeing such a wide variety of animals. I never tire of it.