Gray skies build character

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When we lived in Phoenix I just don’t recall those gorgeous sunsets and amazing skies.  Surely we had them, but with the backdrop of asphalt and buildings, it just wasn’t the same.  A forest, craggy trees, moldy rocks, and deep canyons make for great foregrounds for those cool skies.

Storms bring entire new meaning up north where we get rains from July to September (if we’re lucky) that bring rain and stormy clouds, fog, lightening, and fantastic character.  Bring ’em on!

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Milk Ranch Road

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Last I blogged, I spoke about the Mogollon Rim and it’s many faces.  We continue to explore it’s personalities and strive to find new places to capture it’s essence.  This week’s trip took us to Milk Ranch Rd, which is kinda on-the-rim-off-the-rim.  You still get those great views, but not the great winds (if you’ve been to Mogollon Rim you know what I mean, it’s always windy).

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We found a great spot and stayed overnight to get sunset and sunrise shots.    The sun casts shadows across the canyons creating dark lines, making it ever challenging to capture.  But I’m up for the continued challenge.

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Unfortunately, on this particularly trip I forgot my tripod.  Pretty humorous that was an issue for me, as I have never been a tripod shooter.  It always seemed such a pain.  Now that I have embraced it, I can’t live without it.  I can set up the tripod and take those low light photographs (sunrise, sunset, stars) while maximizing my aperture to let lots of light in but still keeping my ISO low to avoid noise.  Star photos were a bit dicey though taken on a sweatshirt.  The glow of our fire cast a orange hue on the pine trees above.

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Rim Pix

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We have been trying to capture the Mogollon Rim.  While it is a drop dead gorgeous landscape, it is so vast it is hard to capture.  But we’re determined to build a collection of photos that do it justice.  So be prepared… this is not the first, nor will it be the last post on this topic.

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spirecPSi.JPGIt has so very many faces, both in terms of blue blue skies… and storm clouds on the horizon.  It’s got gnarly trees and craggy ridge lines.  It has endless personalities with tons of character.

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For us, it’s our all time FAVORITE place to have dinner.  I don’t know what it is, but we’ll pack up a dinner and head out to the rim… and the food always tastes better.  The scenery is surreal and of course, the company always fantastic.

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And when we’re lucky… we even get visitors (of the furry kind).  Last week we saw a bear.  Too far away to photo, but a bear nonetheless.  For us… that was a thrill.

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Spring comes early

We’ve only lived in the mountains with the snow for a few years (4 years this year).  So we are still trying to figure out the weather patterns and such.  I have no idea how you know when the snow is over, and Spring is on the way.  But then neither do the weather forecasters.

We got our last snow just last week, on Groundhog Day of all things.

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But since that snow, the animals have been coming out of hiding.  We have seen deer and elk in the community, in the forest, and on the roads.

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As I type this, I’m watching this little bunny hopping around our front yard looking for food.  The chipmunks and squirrels are active… and the birds are coming back.  The ground is alive with blue jays and the occasional yellow bird even.

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Yesterday we saw several wasps and bees make their first appearance.

We may have another dusting of snow still this winter… but it sure seems like the animals know something the rest of us don’t… Spring is coming.

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February Snow

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We got a nice snowfall last week.  It came down heavy most of the day.  Not a good day to be on the road…. but we had business in Phx, so we made the trek.  We took the big truck and trudged through the blizzardy snow coming down side ways.

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It took us 3-1/2 hours to take a trip that should have taken us 2 hours, as we drove slow through the heavy snowfall… stopping along the way to pull out a couple desperate cars stuck in snow drifts.

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Despite being a little harrowing, it was a beautiful drive… very scenic with the new fallen snow… a great opportunity to get some nice new snow pix.

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Check out my Ice Whiskers post: kritterspaw.com