Friday, February 12, 2010

Northern Arizona, Happy Jack, Poor Farms

Arizona rim country. I love it, as does everyone who grew up or lived in the valley for a summer or more.

 It's where us "desert rats" escape the searing dry heat of the Valley of the Sun summers.  All one has to do is watch the traffic headed north out of the Phoenix metro area on any Friday when the weather starts to warm  all the way thru the fall.

Since we moved to the Tucson area we haven't had much opportunity to spend much time up there. We did manage a long weekend of turkey hunting  last September. The only thing we managed to snag is what was on my camera.

Everyone set for another adventure? Lets go...

 It was raining as we started up the Rim, from the dry desert elevation to to the ponderosa pines and cool air. Thank goodness the rain had moved on by the time we arrived to our destination because we were "roughing it", which means we're sleeping in the open back of our truck. Air mattress, a couple sleeping bags and a small ice chest.. you know, basic stuff. We took the road behind Clints Well, a little store and gas station on the highway. It was pretty muddy and the farther back into the woods we went.. the slicker the tires got.

The next morning as the sun starts to warm the forest things begin to steam.. so cool!  I managed to capture these shots.. but kick myself in the rear for not taking any captures when I first noticed.

Ahhhh cool mountain air, the smell of pines and ... muddy footprints to check out!
 Look Ma... no cactus!!  Anyone surprised to see pine trees here?
Leftover moisture from last nights rain will soon evaporate, leaving the forest dry again.

 This little guy had quite an attitude. Beautiful little range bull... he is destined to make it to
my drawing board this year.
Evening is approaching and the clouds are starting to billow up on the horizon.
I really don't want any rain! lol.
 A quiet evening spent with my hubby, the chirping of crickets, cool breeze, the warm fire crackling so...
of course I have to take some pictures! lol.

The next morning we sit in the blind, next to the waterhole that has been created long ago to hold
rainwater run off for livestock and wildlife to use.
 How surprised was I to find this little guy sleeping right outside the blind on the waters edge. Not sure when he snuck in there, because we climbed inside the blind before dawn.... 
What a difference a crop makes.

 This is a Western Bluebird.. and what a flashy little guy it was. Beautiful.. and fast.

 The stellar jay below was one of two that announced their arrival loudly and constantly... I thought crows were noisy! They obviously have some competition.
I know this is a goofy picture.. but I have no idea why the bluebird needed a bathing attendant. Do you?? 
 Lastly... sitting in a blind all day watching the birds come and go, along with a couple deer and a random squirrel or two just makes me want to grab the camera and go crazy with it. It was hard to refrain.. but Hubby claims my shutter release is "noisy". Even a DSLR makes some noise. My Nikon definitely has a clack with the shutter release, and I've heard some Cannons make high pitch whirring noises...I'm not sure whats the quietest. Anyway.. this little guy landed right in my line of vision...noise or not, I had to do it! lol.
Not sure what kind of little bird this is yet, but I love this shot.
Well thats it for our trip to the pines... wonder what could be next on our journey?


Beth said...

OMG...beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! You already know I love your photography. I could never do the 'roughing it' part of this journey
! But it looks like it was so worth it! Thanks for sharing Toni!

Toni James, Toni, Tj, pencils4me said...

LOL Thanks Beth! This was the same trip the infamous uh..flashing the rancher episode happened at. hahaaaa... Your welcome, stay tuned, your not done yet. :D