Hawley Lake

_40A4236_IR-2.jpg

Further to my ‘Lake’ collection, we visited a number of blue smears on the map.

_40A4277_IR-2.jpg

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.

_40A4245_IR-2.jpg

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.

_40A4346-HDR_IR.jpg

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.

IMG_0227_IR.jpg

Like this blue heron that seemed like he wanted to say something to me.  Or the chipmunk that posed for me.

IMG_0377_IR.jpg

IMG_0276_IR.jpg

I caught these antelope running through the fields of yellow flowers along the road outside of Greer.

IMG_0408_IR.jpg

IMG_0455_IR.jpg

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.

_40A4324-HDR_IR.jpg

_40A4404-HDR_IR.jpg

Hard to imagine.. but Christmas is just around the corner.  Get your winter woolies out!

IMG_0558_IR.jpg

 

 

Advertisements

Reflections of Blue Ridge Reservoir

BlueRidgeSunrise_IR.jpg

There is something magical about sunrises and sunsets, and when combined with the soothing comfort of water – it makes for stunning scenery.

Moonlit_IR.jpg

moonrise_IR.jpg

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.

Waters Edge Hort_IR.jpg

The forest and it’s trees come right down to the waters edge at Blue Ridge.

Tied off_IR.jpg

BlueRidge Reflection_IR.jpg

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.

FlowerRocks_IR.jpg

Rock step reflection_IR.jpg

 

Blue Ridge

brr sky_IR.jpg

Crazy!  Last year I wrote about Blue Ridge Reservoid  (https://kritterspaw.com/2018/08/14/blue-ridge-reservoid/), as it had no water in the Blue Ridge Reservoir.

With all the snow we had this year… it’s now overflowing.

brr logs_IR.jpg

Fallen logs litter the waterway from all the downed trees, and the water rises above the boat ramp.

brr bend_IR.jpg

I look forward to the spring flowers, lunch outings, and camping amongst her many tall pines, soaring eagles, and nesting blue heron.  Nature does work in mysterious ways.

Bull Pen

_40A1751_IR.jpg

While I have come to appreciate our brisk winters and beautiful snowfalls, sometimes it’s just pleasant to get ‘off the mountain’ and get a change of scenery.   I suppose it’s true for anyone… even those who already live in a place other people come to vacation.  One needs to get away and feel the buzz, new inputs, and varied vantage points.

Screen Shot 2019-01-21 at 8.34.20 AM.png

Ours came this week via dropping off the mountain just north of Camp Verde to Bull Pen Recreational Area.  Arizona is certainly full of hikes and trails, streams and waterways.  We could have gone out to a restaurant for lunch, or shopping for things we don’t need… but instead we opted for a picnic with a view.

_40A1819_IR.jpg

We live on the ridges above Clear Creek making for excellent views of both East Clear Creek and West Clear Creek all along the lengthy traversing creek.  While most places requires quite a hike down hill (and back uphill) to view the creek, Bull Pen is easily accessible by dirt road.  And an excellent spot for a brief getaway picnic.

_40A1828_IR.jpg

 

Sedona, AZ

_40A1534-HDR_IR.jpg

We did an overnight in Sedona and enjoyed this amazing overlook from our campsite.

We ooh’d and aah’d along oak creek (https://kritterspix.com/2018/10/30/oak-creek-sedona-az/)  and saw our first ring tail cat in the wild (see post ….https://kritterspaw.com/2018/10/30/ring-tale/).

_40A0877_IR.jpg

rapies_IR.jpg

_40A1448-HDR_IR.jpg

Words just don’t do it justice.  Hard to top this trip.  Where will we head next?

 

Oak Creek, Sedona AZ

FallRock_IR.jpg

Aspenleaffall_IR.jpg

It’s fall in Northern AZ.  With all the snow (all 10″ between 2 storms) and wind we have had, most of the leaves have fallen to the ground on the Rim… so time to explore fall colors in other parts.

Sedonalitter_IR.jpg

Sedonastream_IR.jpg

Sedona along Oak Creek makes for a fine diversion.  The aspens were in full yellows and the ferns varying shades of reddish brown.  It was the kind of scenery that gives you pause as it takes your breath away.

OakCreekflow_IR.jpg

Oakcrkfall_IR.jpg

The cascading waters just added to it’s peaceful serenity.  It’s hard to beat scenery like this.  Arizona is truly a magical place.

Pebblerd_IR.jpg

rokstak_IR.jpg

One that we are fortunate enough to call home.

 

Mind the Shade

maplestream_IR-2.jpg

There are so many things to remember when trying to make a good photograph.  I recently talked about Keep It Clean, and reducing clutter in a photo.  Another important consideration is Shade and Light.

shade_IR.jpg

In the photo above, it’s easy to see the large disparity between exposures – intense shade and shadows in the water, and blown highlights in the sky and trees.  To make the photo successful, I could have done an HDR to take multiple photos with the proper exposure for each separate condition (Shadow & Highlights), and them merged them later.

shadecut_IR.jpg

Or, using the light that I had, I could cut out the blown highlights in camera, and turned my attention to where the light was more even and exposed for the shadows just by looking down.  Cutting out the highlights yielded a more interesting and focused composition.

Remember… mind the Shade & Light, when composing that pic.