Five Shots: Buttes, Valleys, and Canyons

Do you like space? Jim, Bear, and I crossed the quadripoint in the Southwestern United States, commonly called the Four Corners (Utah, AZ, Colorado, New Mexico). Its vastness is scary at times and the closest I’ll get to the surface of Mars. It is a holy ground, the center of the Universe to several Native American tribes like the Navajo and Hopi and the Ute. Up to Colorado, here are shots showcasing the space and grandeur of the Southwest.

1. Monument Valley Butte
2. Dwarfed Telephone Poles
3. Mexican Hat Vista
4. Switchback to Mexican Hat
5. Focusing on a Solitary Butte
6. Sunrise at Six
7.  6:30am
8. Java at Seven
9. Lonely tree talks to a Seamonster
10. A Little Canyon
11. Durango to the Rockies

Which one did you like the best?

Here’s a map of our journey heading North from highway 89 to 160 to 145:


Five Shots: Plateau Sunset

1. Campfire at the edge

The plateau at the edge of the Sycamore Canyon, Arizona is a ridge line with a 360 view. The Northeastern view is comprised of the outlying Red Rocks bordering Sedona. Looking Southwest, the sun sets over Mingus Mountain. It has become over recent years a favorite spot for us to relax and star gaze without light pollution or crowds. Last night our family went out on the plateau to catch the meteor shower. We weren’t disappointed. Before the light show, the clouds entertained us. Here are some shots from last night.

2. Sea Horses
3. Rainbow Fingers
4. Big Sky
5. Vista to the Red Rocks
6. Yellow Glow

Which one do you like best?

Five Shots: Waiting for the Milky Way

Plateau Looking NE at the Sycamore Wilderness
Plateau Looking NE at the Sycamore Wilderness

Squeezing in a Friday night escapade, we opted to drive east to the closest plateau which separates the Verde Valley from Sedona. Up on the ridge, the Red Rocks emerge and the sky is free from light pollution. When was the last time I saw the Milky Way? Way too long.

Lighting a fire and waiting for the sun to set.
The Sycamore Wilderness to ourselves
Fall Flowers


Getting ready to roast hot dogs.
There’s wisdom in a beer bottle around a campfire.
Stories told and stars explode.
Burning Embers

I don’t have the equipment to capture the brilliance of the Milky Way as we lay back and pointed out the constellations, but our minds stilled while our eyes drank it all in. It was a perfect evening and way to end the work week.  Which one do you like?

More White Mountains

photographyHere are pictures from last weekend’s getaway to the White Mountains in eastern Arizona where we aimed for water, mountains, and open spaces for camping. At 9,000 feet, the Elk were everywhere. Herds cross the road, and at night, their bugling is a treat. Mountain Goats and Bears are shy but will come out if you are quiet. What I love about camping are the night skies devoid of light pollution. During the full moon, the meadows illuminate herds walking by. If you live in a desert climate, rivers and lakes never sounded lovelier.  The whispers and rustle of the Pines and Aspen trees are a tonic that fill my head with a fragrance that calms me down.

Liquid Rocks
Little Colorado River
Trout in the Little Colorado River
A Future Camp Site in an Elk Grove
Hiking around Lake Luna
The High Trail
yellow bird
Yellow Warbler in the Reeds
Far End of Lake Luna
Far End of Lake Luna
White and Green

Which shot do you like best? 

Here’s the first set from the other day if you missed them.

White Mountains, Arizona

photographyAt the eastern section of Arizona, the White Mountains region is famous for fishing, hiking, camping and just about any four season outdoor activity your heart desires. Big Baldy Mountain at 11,421′ in Apache County looks down on many mountain lakes and campgrounds. Here are seven shots of a meadow surrounding two popular lakes for camping and fishing, Big Lake and Crescent Lake. 

Big Lake
Back End of Big Lake
Back End of Big Lake
The Hike on the Meadow
The Start of a Hike
Meadow Hike Trail
Meadow Hike Trail
Crescent Lake
Crescent Lake
Fishing on the Pier
Fishing on the Pier
Red Cabin, Crescent Lake
Red Cabin, Crescent Lake

In a month, the white grass will be green, but I liked the sparse, pristine setting. It was 65 degrees and sunny all weekend.  AZWHITEMOUNTAINS.NET is the place to go to learn more about this beautiful part of Arizona. Which shot do you like best? 

Five Shots: Sedona Wilderness Campfire

Sedona Wilderness Area
Sedona Wilderness AreaDSC02146

Dusk in the Sedona Wilderness

A fun way to host family and friends is to take them to “our” plateau which overlooks the Sedona Wilderness Area. No tourists. Just space and a large campfire to listen to music and watch the stars multiply. Stare long enough into the embers and images appear. Here are five shots of the campfire: 

1. Cold Pink Flames
Ember Blossom
2. Amber Blossom
Stirred Flames
3. Stirred Flames
4. Into the Light
5. Blistered Knobs

Which shot do you like best? 

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