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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SWF-Camdeboo National Park sunset in South Africa

We rushed up to the overlook for a highly recommended Camdeboo National Park sunset over the Valley of Desolation but had to be out of the gate before it barely began.

Sunset over Valley of Desolation Camdeboo National Park Eastern Cape Graaff-Reinet South Africa

Such a shame we couldn’t have watched more of the sunset from the overlook.

Sunset Camdeboo National Park Eastern Cape Graaff-Reinet South Africa

Because it was glorious.

Sunset Camdeboo National Park Eastern Cape Graaff-Reinet South Africa

But that didn’t stop me from shooting as Joan drove back down towards camp.

Sunset Camdeboo National Park Eastern Cape Graaff-Reinet South Africa

Even made a few stops along the way.

Sunset Camdeboo National Park Eastern Cape Graaff-Reinet South Africa

And made it out the gate just in time.

Sunset Camdeboo National Park Eastern Cape Graaff-Reinet South Africa

Still enjoying the colors.

Sunset and moon Camdeboo National Park Eastern Cape Graaff-Reinet South Africa

Then the crescent moon showed to say goodnight.

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SWF–Rise of the full moon over Grand Canyon

Last week marked the rise of the full moon and the first Supermoon of the year.  I knew just where I wanted to go for photos of the moon rise over Grand Canyon.

View from Cape Royal trail NR GRCA NP AZ

So I got an nice early start and drove out to Cape Royal.  The sky was a typical Arizona blue when I first arrived.

View from Cape Royal NR GRCA NP AZ

I set up the tripod and focused in on the spot where the moon would rise.  Even brought a compass along.

View from Cape Royal NR GRCA NP AZ

Played with the camera settings a bit.

Wotans Throne from Cape Royal NR GRCA NP AZ

Plus took a moment to capture the brilliant light reflecting off Wotans Throne.

Full moon rise over Cedar Mt from Cape Royal NR GRCA NP AZ

Moonrise was to occur at 7:15pm, and I was ready.  But had to wait a few minutes more because of the height of Cedar Mountain.

Full moon over Cedar Mt from Cape Royal NR GRCA NP AZ

I wasn’t disappointed when that golden moon shone down.

Sunset from Cape Royal NR GRCA NP AZ

And the bonus was a colorful sunset as well.

Full moon from Cape Royal NR GRCA NP AZ

That big full moon smiled down on me.

Moon shadows at Cape Royal NR GRCA NP AZ

And was so bright as to cast almost daylight shadows.

To view more skies from around the world visit Sky Watch Friday.

Things I’ve learned from Mom

Mom wasn’t perfect but did the best she could.  She taught me the usual things like please and thank you, showing respect to others and not lying. The last I learned the hard way.  Actually, I learned a lot of things the hard way.

June & Gail Olmsted June 1956

We didn’t really get along since childhood and even as an adult she treated me like a child.  Until one visit in my early 50s when I put my foot down and wouldn’t allow that any more.

June, Francis & Helen Loomis 1935

I’ve always wondered what her Mother was like when she was growing up.  Probably very different than the Grandma I knew.

I grew up thinking there were way too many rules but now I know that children need boundaries.

As a child I learned not to make waves around the family.  My brother was very good at causing trouble and I didn’t want to be like him. So instead I learned from my mostly emotionless family to stuff it.  Thank goodness I went to therapy later as a young woman and relearned that emotions are OK, that I have the choice how to react emotionally.

Mom’s emotional reactions always seemed to include anger.  I lived like that also for a while and my brother still does.  But I decided to move away from anger and embrace happiness, love and a passion for life.

June Loomis High School gradution 1940s

Mom always seemed like an unhappy person and I tried for years to figure out why.  Ultimately, I will never know for sure but suspect she never realized her own personal dreams.  That’s enough to make anybody unhappy.  So in reverse, I learned to follow my dreams.

I didn’t grow up with encouragement to follow my heart but I guess she didn’t really know how to do that herself.  I was born in the 50s, when little girls were still expected to just get married and raise children.  And although I did eventually marry and become a step-Mom that wasn’t my dream.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I had those opportunities to learn and love and share.  Yet I’m sure I’d be a better Mom in my 50s than I was in my 20s.  Not that I want to start over.

June in car Padre Island TX

Only in the last of Mom’s life did I understand that she considered herself a slave.  And maybe by her earlier actions I learned not to be a slave to anyone, including myself.

I may have learned more from my Mom since she passed away simply by reflecting.  Most of the time I didn’t like my mother for the seemingly mean and angry personality she demonstrated.  But I love her, and I thank her every day for the lessons she taught me.

June 1970s

June Francis Loomis Olmsted 1927 – 2011

Happy Mother’s Day!

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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Our World: Back at Grand Canyon

My winter of play is over but that’s not so bad because I’m back at Grand Canyon where I work for the summer.

Closed gate at entrance station NR GRCA NP AZ

The North Rim doesn’t open until May 15th so the park is very quiet.  A wonderful time to revisit old haunts without the crowds.  So Saturday I went for a ride on the Scenic road.

Meriams turkey NR GRCA NP AZ

Saw this wild Tom turkey and wondered if he was hiding in the park as it’s turkey hunting season in the adjacent Kaibab National Forest.

From Vista Encantada overlook NR GRCA NP AZ

I’d never noticed this little window in the rocks below the Vista Encantada overlook.

Balancing rock & Wotons Throne from Scenic Rd NR GRCA NP AZ

No traffic meant stopping in the middle of the road for otherwise impossible to take photos.

Flowering currants along Cape Royal trail NR GRCA NP AZ

The currants are already in bloom along with a few other flowers near the rim.  Seems just a little too early for spring at 8200 feet.

Walhalla Plateau from Pt Imperial NR GRCA NP AZ

Only a little snow left in the shadows.

White-faced Ibis NR GRCA NP AZ

But still a few pools of water on the meadows where I saw this lifer bird, a white-faced ibis.

Freya's Castle & Vishnu temple from Cape Royal NR GRCA NP AZ

It’s so nice to be back at Grand Canyon for the season.  Hope you’ll come for a visit.

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Our World-Moving on Earth Day

Celebrate Earth Day, every day!

5th-wheel RV

I feel a little guilty as I’m on the road today, burning fossil fuel to tow my RV-home back to Grand Canyon.

Abert Squirrel

Abert squirrel KOA Flagstaff

I’ll stop in Flagstaff for a couple nights along the way.

Mt Humphreys

Then continue north past Mount Humphreys.

Painted Desert AZ

And through the Painted Desert.

Navajo Bridge & Vermilion Cliffs SR89A N AZ

Cross the Colorado River.

Kaibab Plateau

And up onto the Kaibab Plateau.

Entrance station

The North Rim opens to the public May 15th.

Grand Canyon

Hope you’ll come visit Grand Canyon National Park.

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