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.
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.
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.
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/).
Words just don’t do it justice. Hard to top this trip. Where will we head next?
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.
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.
The cascading waters just added to it’s peaceful serenity. It’s hard to beat scenery like this. Arizona is truly a magical place.
One that we are fortunate enough to call home.
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.
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.
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.
Finally… an outing! We have been ‘home alone’ sort of speak for too long. So we took the truck out and did a quick jaunt to Bull Pen for a simple lunch outing.
Bull Pen is just outside of Camp Verde and has several trails that go down to Clear Creek. There is nothing like sitting outside the babbling of the water rushing across boulders forming their own waterfall. It’s peaceful and relaxing… just what the dr. ordered.
We were surprised how many people were actually there for during the week. We found a nice spot to ourselves and relaxed in this beautiful environment, if only for a few hours.
While our fall with all it’s colorful glory, has come and gone… at lower elevations such as Camp Verde & Cottonwood, fall is in full color.
Just off SR260 along FR708, a LONG washboardy dirt road, is Fossil Creek. The distinctive yellowy orange cottonwood leaves are falling everywhere.
I never tire of the abundant aqua waters cascading over endless rocks and fall trees, making for a sublime serenity.
We sat and had lunch and watched the water go by. What better way to relax and spend the day.
So I bought a 10-stop ND filter for Scott Stulberg’s workshop… but never got a chance to use it. So when we were in Lee’s Ferry and did the waterfall hike, I had to try it out. The 10 stop ND filter is pitch black. You can’t see anything through it when you use it. It’s main purpose is to give waterfalls that silky ‘cotton candy’ motion blur in bright daylight. You focus and compose your photo first, then put the blind filter on the camera (on the tripod), and do a long exposure. Fascinating tool!