A world of friends

I have to say, with all that is going on in the world, and our lives right now we have felt very alone. I know we are not the only ones. Having not seen or talked to so many friends we have (or had) during all this isolation seems so sad. Will it be different when the world opens back up? Or will they be gone forever? That I can not answer, but suspect it is a combination of the two.

So, without getting too sappy or melancholy, today I feel thankful for the my many friends and supporters of my photography. It’s times like these that we should immerse ourselves in those things that make us feel joy and happiness when all the rest is falling by the wayside. I have had many folks who have asked to see pix of the snow. So it is with that encouragement, that we braved the storm and trudged out every day to get what pix we could.

Snow photos can be difficult to get. First off, the snow itself is white and blindingly bright. Having no ‘color’ it is hard to take photos of and exposures can be tricky. The snow storms bring bleh clouds and gray skies, drab and not very photogenic. Here on the mountain, most of our roads are closed. Snow plows have created berms along the main roads making pulling off the road impossible.

Animals are scarce, as foraging through the snow can be difficult for them. See my post here… https://kritterspaw.com/2021/01/27/snow-foraging/ . But with the encouragement of friends, we were persistent and somewhat successful in our quest to find some decent photos.

We went North toward Winslow looking for snow and animals. We went out into the forest behind our home to see if we could find some snow views. We headed toward Flagstaff to see if we could catch some animals. We ventured toward Pine to see what that might yield. See post here … https://kritterspix.com/2021/01/27/we-got-snow/

We ran into road closures, icy slick roads, dead animals, stupid drivers, impassable areas, ugly skies and bright harsh light. But we also found bull elk standing in a meadow blanketed with snow staring back at us wondering what we were doing there. We saw trees caked with snow on the windward side majestic and satisfied with new found water. Ponds and waterholes previously dry were filled with fresh fallen snow, thirsty grass poking through the hill surrounding her.

There is beauty when we look for it, both in the environment around us and those in it. Be thankful for what you have and who you have to share it with, as we are today and everyday.

We Got Snow

Storm brewing on the horizon over Moqui Draw
Snow coats trees over Moqui Draw

After a long dry monsoon season and cold barren winter our forecast seemed bleak. We were desperate for some precipitation and moisture for our thirsty forest. The weather guys swore we were really in for it… Monday, no Tuesday, wait maybe Thursday, or Friday. Nothing. For sure Saturday. It seemed everyone else started getting it, but we were passed by. Flagstaff was getting pounded we heard. Hmmm. We got maybe 4″, and were waiting for this monster storm.

Snow clings to trees in the forest outside of Flagstaff after January snowstorm.
Elk grazes in Northern AZ

Finally, Monday the storm hit. Over the course of Monday and Tuesday, we finally got some much needed snow. It came and came, yay! We figure we got around 24″ all together. It’s hard to say exactly, as the winds were blowing so hard, drifts were high, and actual measures were difficult to estimate.

Snow collects in depression outside of Flagstaff, AZ
Elk roots around into fresh fallen snow

No matter. We are happy to have it. I guess good things come to those who wait.

Snowy road outside of Mogollon Rim.
Snow coats the trees after a Northern AZ winter storm.
Snow falls over previous burn area.

See my other posts, here… https://kritterspix.com/2021/01/29/a-world-of-friends/ and here… https://kritterspaw.com/2021/01/27/snow-foraging/.

Snow Critters

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This last storm met the predictions of the weathermen who projected 2′ of snow.

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With it, brought animals looking for food.

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It was great fun to see this little baby deer enjoying it’s first snow.  It reminded me of Journey when we get snow, as she runs around and loves to ‘snorkel’ in it.

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There is something so pristine and beautiful about the new fallen snow… apparently the animals think so too.

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I suppose the cold white stuff is a novelty for them, something they don’t see often… so it’s new, fun, and refreshing as they walk through the cool stuff.  Like a new toy, it’s invigorating and exciting.  Whatever it is… it’s a pleasure to see happiness at any time or place.  Bring it on.

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Bob

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Sometimes, even when you’re not looking, you encounter the unexpected.

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Such was the case when we stumbled across this scrawny bobcat wandering through the woods after a morning snowstorm, looking for supper.

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He reminded me of a friend who recently lost her beloved cat, Lucky.  He was curious, intent, and full of life.

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I watched him hunt through the lens of my camera edging up to him ever so cautiously, trying to get as close as I dared.  He was much more interested in catching supper, than he was in me.

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I hope he finds peace, tranquility, and a fabulous supper.

Bob Lake_IR.jpgWe felt lucky to cross paths.

Snow Elk

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We got quite the winter storm this week…. and I don’t know what it is, but storms always seem to bring the animals.

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Of course, we are always delighted to see them.  I always tell them… ‘I’ll make you famous’… if only they knew!

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These poor little guys were hunkered down looking for warmth and food.

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Even the dry twigs seemed like tasty food for these guys who were rummaging through the snow looking for something to eat.

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Of course, kids will be kids, and all they cared about was playing in the snow!  Typical! : )

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You can check out more snow pix here…  https://kritterspaw.com/2019/02/23/snow/

 

Happy Snow

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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.

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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.

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The rim probably got around a foot of snow.  It was beautiful.

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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.

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… 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.

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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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