Thursday, July 29, 2010

Out and about in the desert~Nature Notes 072910

I must confess...I haven't been out and about here in the desert much this summer. First, I'm so busy with my horses that I'm spending my mornings up in the mountains with them. Second, by the time I get home, it is just too hot here to even be outdoors! Finally, it's been so humid here that I haven't wanted to venture outside! But, recently our mornings have been dry and the temps haven't been that bad, so I may head out this morning and get some pics. I took these photos in May (see the saguaro blossoms?). Yes, our snakes are out and about now, especially at dawn and at dusk. The second photo shows a guzzler, which is a cement-filled hole in the ground for the desert animals to get a drink of water. As you know, water in the summer is especially important for animals. I feed many different kinds of birds in my front yard and I daily fill up their water bowls. I have doves, sparrows, and a scrub jay who visit my yard! SOMEDAY maybe I'll be lucky enough to get a photo of the jay! This isn't his territory. He actually should be up in our local mountains, but he has claimed my yard and my neighborhood as his territory and he shows up every morning and every afternoon for his meals! Nature Notes for July 29, 2010.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Cholla~Cactus Monday 072610

Our desert and local mountains are covered with cholla like this. I've been wearing shorts lately because it is so darn hot, but I always wear knee high socks with them. Cacti like this is one reason for that! I mean, who wants to run into this while hiking? Cactus Monday for July 26, 2010.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Afternoon sky at the ranch~SkyWatch Friday 072310

We don't always have clouds in our sky here in the desert southwest, but on the afternoons that they appear, I like to stand and watch them change colors in the late afternoon, like on this day. I was up at the horse ranch working with my horses and I just happened to glance up at the sky. I'm glad I had the opportunity to see the closure to another day! SkyWatch Friday for July 23, 2010.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"A" is for aspen~July 21, 2010 ABC Wednesday

In July, 2009, hubby and I traveled to ARIZONA. These ASPEN are near the Sunset Crater, outside of Flagstaff. It was late AFTERNOON when we arrived and I took these photos. ABC Wednesday for July 21, 2010. For other participants, please visit:

Sunday, July 18, 2010

"Summer" ~ Sunday Stills Challenge 071810

Here in the desert southwest, summer is our monsoon season. That means during the months of July and August, we get tropical moisture from Mexico and the Gulf of California drifting up into our deserts. From that moisture, we get our summer rains. And, yes, sometimes we get so much that the desert has flash floods, so we constantly listen to weather forecasts and keep our eyes on the sky. There was one day just this week that I awoke to a cloudless sky. I went up to work the horses and noticed just a single cloud overhead. By the time I left the ranch that afternoon, there were several HUGE thunderheads developing. I stopped to take photos of them. And, late that afternoon, it was pouring up at the horse ranch! We could see the rain coming down from our desert home. That's a typical monsoon day...clear in the morning and raining by late afternoon or evening. I took these pics during one of our summer visits to Canyon de Chelly. It was late afternoon and a monsoon was out over the horizon. We stayed overnight in Chinle, AZ and there was a tremendous storm that evening which knocked the power out at our hotel! We ventured out the next morning into clear skies and a desert which was awash with all kinds of delicious smells! Sunday Stills Challenge for July 18, 2010.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Framing a photo~Sunday Stills Challenge 070410

First of all, I should tell you...I didn't take this photo, hubby did. Personally, I think it is one of the best he's ever taken. I was off, a few yards away, smooching the Navajo ponies! We had our daughter with us on this trip, which was a few years ago at Monument Valley in Arizona. The wind came up in a big gust and he expertly framed this photo. I've learned from him now how to frame my shots and I try to do so when possible. It isn't always possible, but at this time and place, I like how his shot was done. Sunday Stills Challenge for July 4, 2010. For other framed photos, please visit:

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Morning light~Kalab, UT~SkyWatch Friday 062910

During our trip to Utah this month, we all got up early one morning and headed up the Interstate to the Kalab Canyon, which is actually part of Zion National Park. Our adventure pass was shown and we were allowed to drive through this beautiful section of the park. I pulled over at this turnout just in time to see the rays of the morning sun shine down this canyon. SkyWatch Friday for June 29, 2010.