Category Archives: Arizona

First color

This is the first color I’ve seen at sunset since my return to Yarnell almost two weeks ago.  That’s because the wonderful fall skies have been a typical cloudless brilliant blue so sunset has been uneventful.

Crazy clouds over Weaver Mts Yarnell Arizona

But I knew when these crazy bunch of clouds began to glow as the sun retreated below the ridge that a show was forthcoming.

Sunset over Weaver Mts Yarnell Arizona

Then the first color was rather subdued although nicely accenting the gossamer clouds.

Sunset over Weaver Mts Yarnell Arizona

Yet the lower sun bounced off the building clouds highlighting their bubbly shapes.

Sunset over Weaver Mts Yarnell Arizona

Followed by, low and behold, an eruption of rays.

Sunset over Weaver Mts Yarnell Arizona

And a golden dance upon the ridge top that bid the day adieu.

Sunset over Weaver Mts Yarnell Arizona

The clouds, a sign that winter approaches.

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Beginning of the season at the North Rim Grand Canyon National Park

It’s been almost a month since the beginning of the season at the North Rim Grand Canyon which opened May 15th.

Park Ranger greets visitors at entrance station North Rim Grand Canyon National Park Arizona

What little snow there was is gone, the forest is very dry, the temperatures feel like summer and the visitors have arrived.

Ralph the ranger dog in Visitor Center North Rim Grand Canyon National Park Arizona

Ralph the Ranger Dog

All the Ranger programs are running and Junior Rangers are earning their badges.

Northern Flicker Cliff Spring trail North Rim Grand Canyon National Park Arizona

Northern Flicker

The birds are out and about…

Rock squirrel North Rim Grand Canyon National Park Arizona

Rock squirrel

…along with the squirrels.

Claretcup Hedgehog cactus Cliff Spring trail North Rim Grand Canyon National Park Arizona

Claretcup Hedgehog cactus

Flowers bloom.

Cliff Spring trail North Rim Grand Canyon National Park Arizona

Cliff Spring trail

A wonderful time to go for a hike.

Sunset from Grand Lodge North Rim Grand Canyon National Park Arizona

Watch sunset from the Grand Lodge.

Late light on temples from Grand Lodge North Rim Grand Canyon National Park Arizona

Hope you’ll come for a visit.

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Our World: Tentative Spring in Northern Arizona

All four seasons can and will happen in one day during the attempt towards a tentative Spring in Northern Arizona.

Morning came with a tentative sun between the clouds.  Yet rain came on the way off the Kaibab Plateau heading to St. George in Southern Utah.  No photos as I was driving a work truck with spider-web cracks across the windshield taking it in to be replaced.  Had a couple hours to walk around so my co-worker and I had a nice lunch at Olive Garden.  Although the clouds threatened rain all around us we wore only a light jacket which was almost too warm when the sun shone.

Rain clouds over S UT

On the way home he drove, first through intermittent heavy rain.

Storm clouds over Kaibab Plateau AZ

As we headed towards the Kaibab Plateau obvious precipitation of some kind awaited and threw at us more rain, hail, sleet and even some snow.  But the sun did peak out once or twice and I searched for a non existent rainbow.

Mule deer on meadows Kaibab NF AZ

Instead we saw this small herd of mule deer browsing on the meadows near a shrinking pool of snow melt.

We need this rain and more.  The forest floor is dry.  Hopefully the tentative Spring brings more moisture to Northern Arizona.

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Thinking Organic garden

All these GMO food issues has me wanting to grow my own organic garden, which starts with organic seeds.

organic tomatoes, cilantro & lettuce

Has to be small, maybe 3-4 containers.  Cherry tomatoes, mixed greens and cilantro would be perfect.  Having a fresh salad nightly when you live 85 miles from the nearest grocery store would be a delight.

table, mesh and grow

Yet because I live summers at Grand Canyon National Park I have to enclose my garden both so the critters don’t eat it and so as not to spread non-indigenous seeds.  I can easily make a table.  Thinking bent wire over the top and connected to boards that can be C-clamped to the table.  Plus easy to roll up when I need to move in the spring and fall.  And the containers will stack together. Please feel free to give this brown-thumbed gardener suggestions.

Will you have a garden this year?  Will it be organic?

Catching up with Chris plus a little birding

Actually, he caught up with me.

Chris & Gaelyn Weaver Mts Yarnell AZ

Sunday I saw a post on Facebook about Chris (from Las Aventuras) and Michael birding at the lakes in Prescott.  I quickly commented that they were only about 30 miles north of where I live.  They were spending the night there so we tentatively planned to meet Monday after a bit more birding.  Lucky Chris also discovered another as yet unmet friend and birder lived a mile away from the lakes.  So they birded in the morning and got to see the elusive Tundra Swans.

Moon above boulders Weaver Mts Yarnell AZ

Then in the afternoon they made it to Yarnell and after hugging like the old blogger friends we are, although we’d never met in real time, I took them for a little walk into the Weaver Mountains.

Western Bluebird Weaver Mts Yarnell AZ

Western Bluebird

Chris attempted to bird while I babbled away as usual. And I’m sure he got more photos, and better, than I did.  But we had a great time.

Two mule deer Yarnell AZ

We also saw these two mule deer plus four more

In way too short a time they had to take off for the rest of their journey home to Tucson.  Next it’s my turn to get south where I’m sure Chris can take me birding.  And I’ll try to shut up.

Our World-Recent visitors to the feeder

House finch Yarnell AZ

Finally got a shot of the House finch

As you may already know, I’ve been spending inordinate amounts of time at the computer where I also watch the birds out my window.

Finches sparrows cardinal Yarnell AZ

I’m used to seeing lots of sparrows and finches, plus the cardinals flit in and out, male, female, male, female.  Taking turns.

Pyrrhuloxia or cardinal on feeder Yarnell AZ

The other day I saw what looked like an immature male cardinal.  Yet when I looked at the photos on the computer am now wondering if it’s not a Pyrrhuloxia, which I’ve never seen here before.  Maybe a better birder than I can confirm.  If it’s the later, it’s a lifer!  And how do you pronounce that word?

Javelina Yarnell AZ

I haven’t seen hardly any javelina around this winter until just recently during the cold snap and since.  They snuffle up bird seed and tip the water bowl.

Javelina Yarnell AZ

This might be “Dolly” who mostly travels solo.  Javelina usually travel in herds.

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Thermometers lie

The thermometer read 35 degrees F inside the RV this morning with two small electric heaters running all night.  Even with heat-tape on the water hose and the cold water dribbling all night a hot water line froze somewhere I can’t get to.  It thawed by noon with a little hair dryer helper.


The dam thermometer lies while being baked in the sun around 1:30pm.  85F!  How I wish.


Not even sure it’s right in the shade. Yes, I braved outside long enough to take this photo and probably didn’t give the thing long enough as it came from inside at maybe 60F.

NOAA Todays temperatures 1-40pm

And then there’s NOAA.

I know I’m whining.  And it’s a lot colder elsewhere.  In fact this seems to be a common thread for many.  It’s not as cold as ice climbing in Colorado, or living in Alaska.  And it’s certainly not as cold as swimming in Antarctica.


But come on, this is Arizona.  My extremities get very cold.  My fingers go numb even wearing gloves.  Yes, I’m talking about inside.

Platboom Beach

Platboom beach Cape Peninsula South Africa

In the meantime, I dream of being south of the equator.  Only 20 more days.

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SWF-From my Imax windows

Sunset Yarnell AZ

I can’t say it often enough, I Love my IMAX windows!

Sunset Yarnell AZ

Especially with a great sunset view.

Sunset Yarnell AZ

I’m not awake for many sunrises although that will change next month while traveling in South Africa.

Sunset Yarnell AZ

And because I don’t like to go out in the cold like recently it’s nice to stay inside, warm and enjoy the changing sky views.

Sunset Yarnell AZ

The perfect time of year for the sun to sink behind my favorite tree.

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