Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Winter is on it's way

I spent some time yesterday cleaning up flower beds and creating a pile that will make a Halloween bonfire.

Then this morning we got up to snow scattered around where the cold air kept it frozen. I tried to take some pictures but they did not turn out very well. The snow was not pretty flakes but little lumps like Styrofoam.

The sun came out later in the day.

Then on the way home from Lapeer I stopped and took a few pictures of a soy bean field that I had been wanting to photograph for for a couple of weeks. The trees behind it had been much more colorful a few days ago. But the smooth stretch of tan beans all the same height made an interesting smooth field.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Looking back at summer

I was reading an Airstream forum thread and complimented a contributor on her photos of a trip to the Porcupine Mountains in the UP of Michigan. In return she commented on some of my summer photos. That and the impending snowy weather, made me go back and take another look at summer. I found a group of photos taken after a heavy, early morning hard rain. I had gone out in the mid day sun to see there had been much damage.

The Phlox were lying down with the Day Lilies peeking out from the fragrant white arch of stems.

Some of the Lilly blooms were badly damaged but others were just heavily bejeweled with rain drops glinting in the bright mid morning sun.

More images of raindrops on the garden may be seen at my Picasa album.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Finally - Spring trip west - almost finish.

I have been putting off the diary of the trip we took west way back last spring - yes April and May. My original plan was to post the diary that I wrote on my lap top as I went. If I had been able to access the Internet that would have been dandy. But instead I tried to recreate the diary as if I were writing as I went, and post date the entries. But life is too full of other things to edit what I wrote as we traveled and so my original plan fizzled out after a few days. Now it is five months later and I give up on that.

I have posted my pictures on my Picasa Album.

Here I will try to write one long entry that is a catch up.

The last entry in this blog was dated May 5 and 6 and was about the "secret" birding spot in Southern Arizona.

From there we headed north into the fascinating state of Arizona. I have fallen in love with Arizona. The variety is wonderful. If you get tired of where you are, you can drive for about half an hour and you are in a totally different environment. As we left the mountains where we had spent the last few days we were bound for the Navajo Indian reservation and Canyon De Chelly. On the way we traveled through hillsides covered with cactus of several species, and spring wildflowers.

We camped by a huge lake - Roosevelt Lake which is really a reservoir - in the desert, surrounded by cactus and mesquite bushes.

We stayed there one night and then traveled on north climbing onto the Mogollon Rim where we were in forests of large Ponderosa Pine and the temperature had dropped until the perpetual wind was cold instead of comfortably cooling as it had been on Lake Roosevelt. The road then took us back down to desert, through the Petrified National Forest, where we only went into the headquarters, and on to Canyon De Chelly.

We arrived at Canyon De Chelly National park early in the afternoon and found a camping spot in the very congested campground. The only empty place we found, with a number on it, was what we backed into. We thought it might have been a second host spot but the Host's trailer always had a sign on it "gone for the day, back later", so we could not ask. There was never anyone in the booth at the entrance during the single night and two half days we were there, so we never found out what the fee was supposed to be.

The first afternoon we drove the south rim of the canyon taking pictures. There was a strong police presence everywhere both Federal and Tribal. We had been told at the Petrified Forest National Park headquarters to never walk away from our car or trailer, even ten feet. without locking it. We watched sunset over the canyon and returned to the trailer for the night.

We had also been told to be wary of the "res" dogs. We understood that when we walked around the campground. There were dogs everywhere and though they were a bit wary of us were still clearly begging. The next morning we drove the north rim and then headed for Monument Valley.

If you look at a map of Arizona almost the whole north east quarter of the state is the Navajo Reservation with the Hopi Reservation a small holding completely surrounded by the Navajo. Monument Valley is managed by the Navajo Tribe. We took a shortcut across the reservation on a Tribal blacktop to get to Monument Valley. The pictures in my Picasa album show that road and approach to the Valley. The Geology is interesting. almost all of the formations both approaching and in Monument Valley are a result of water erosion of water deposited red sandstone, leaving mostly red but also some white, gray and pink layers in the buttes. There are however several volcanic plugs that are remains of ancient volcanoes. These stick up out of the flat landscape like giant jagged teeth in shades of black and dark green.

Change of plan - - - I am making a break here and posting this part of the "final" entry. More to come another day.