Mogolllon Rim is littered with amazing views. One can pull over just about anywhere and be awestruck by the spectacular scenery.
It’s a special place for us, and we enjoy sharing it with friends.
Sunset / Sunrise are often difficult, as the Rim has a southern exposure. Unless one gets a spectacular sunset or sunrise that wraps around the sky, the color is either to the West or East. If you’re lucky, the clouds are with you, and great views follow.
I love Fall. The colors are stunning. Though I do find it difficult to capture.
This season, I decided to challenge myself and shoot ‘out of the box’. It appears experts are always looking for something new and different. It doesn’t even matter what the field. Something edgy that hasn’t been done before often ‘wins’ over tried-and-true.
I’m happy to learn techniques, composition, and style that I can apply and repeat. But I suppose that one could argue that such a philosophy can yield predictability and common-place results.
I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. That’s for the eye of the beholder… and the end user to decide.
We had already scheduled a trip to check out how fall colors were coming along when we got 6″ of fresh heavy snow. The cold snap helped the colors along, bringing out brilliant reds in the maples, and golden yellows among the oaks.
The ground was covered with a blanket of fallen color on the fresh white snow. It was a thing of beauty to walk among nature and all her glory.
We even found these fresh bear tracks leading through the forest, who surely must have been enjoying the cool weather and the awesome environment we were witnessing.
We have been trying to take advantage of the moody skies, fog, and rain to capture the aftermath of the Tinder Fire. Only yesterday, this ‘water hole’ was dry. But with a recent rain storm, and lack of vegetation destroyed by the fire, the water ran down the hill and formed this instant lake, crippled by ash scum coating the top.
It’s one of the many features and stories told by the aftermath of the Tinder Fire that I want to capture for posterity, having lived through it.
If only these signs of the fire could talk and tell the story for themselves of the fear and danger approaching. The charcoal and cinder, soot and burn left in it’s wake as testament to the flames that rolled through.
It’s a new day post – Tinder Fire, and may we all remember the horror and effect of forest fires and the camaraderie of others during difficult times.
Now if that doesn’t describe where we live, I don’t know what does!
We live in the most amazing place, with the most amazing people, and the most amazing animals. It is truly somewhere where it’s quiet. Somewhere between the Mogollon Rim and Moqui Draw, surrounded by Potato Lake, Knoll Lake, and Blue Ridge Reservoir, and littered with elk, deer, bobcat, mountain lions, fox, and coyote. This is what we call our home.
And this is what it looked like BEFORE the fire. My photo of Moqui Draw, now scarred by the Tinder Fire.
“At sunset, fog shrouds a ponderosa pine forest at Moqui Draw, along East Clear Creek in the Coconino National Forest. This spot is about a mile southeast of State Route 87 and northeast of Potato Lake.” Photograph by Kathy Ritter, published in the June 2018 Arizona Highways Magazine, just after the Tinder Fire devastated this very same area.
We go to the Mogollon Rim often just to look for animals. Our elk have been very elusive lately. On our most recent trip we saw a large herd of probably 100 elk.
But with all our multiple sightings, they were very camera shy and spooky… and by spooky I don’t mean scary, I mean scared. They ran at the mere sound of us, and just wouldn’t stay still for a shutter release.
I keep telling ’em… I’ll make you famous :). But they don’t listen.
While the East coast is getting hit with repeated snow storms, Arizona is getting left out of the action. Now I know most people don’t think of AZ as getting snow… but for Northern Arizona it is part of our seasons, and one we count on to get precipitation to keep our trees healthy and our forests free from wildfires. For a normal winter (October – March, or so) we would expect to see maybe 6′ – 10′ of snow. While that may not be a lot for some Eastern states, it’s about right for us. Thus far this winter, we have seen none.
That is until this past weekend. I’m happy to report we finally got some snow! Woohoo. We probably got about 8″ at our home. Having been house bound, we opted to go to the rim to check out their snow and maybe get some pix.
The rim probably got around a foot of snow. It was beautiful.
There is something special about new fallen fresh snow, clinging to the trees and their trunks. It is a magical sight. I never used to like snow – too cold. But I have developed an appreciation for it’s beauty.
… and it always tends to bring out the animals. We were lucky to see a number of elk – all of whom where quite surprised to see our Jeep slogging through the deep snow.
When we moved up north, I think we had seen a grand total of 2 bears in our entire life time in the wild… and those were pretty fleeting and far away (except that one in Alaska – OMG, but never mind that!).
Since we’ve moved here we have seen 5 bears on the rim alone, including that one we found getting into our bird feeder on our front deck as we looked out our dining room window while having dinner! But this one, we saw yesterday on the rim, was the biggest and best yet. He stood on a log and looked right at me, as the light lit up his side.