Mount Lemmon

Geology Vista Point Closeup

Geology Vista Point_edited-1Geology Vista Point

Okay, as of right now, beautiful Mount Lemmon in Tucson is now my favorite Arizona destination. There is only an ugly 2 hour drive on I-10 from Phoenix to Tucson and then an annoying drive through Tucson between it and me.

Both Tony and I had been to Mt. Lemmon decades ago, separately, yet neither one of us really remembered it. If I had, it would not have taken so long to go back. It is awesomely beautiful and goes through several life zones before reaching the 9,000+ foot peak by an extremely nice 2 lane highway.

Hoodoo You Love

Hoodoos abound.

Bear Country

Pipevine SwallowtailPipevine Swallowtail

Lake View_edited-1

Neither of us even knew there was a lake up there…Rose Canyon Lake. Small yet gorgeous. Here are a few panoramas. If you want to see them larger, click here: 1, 2, 3.

Rose Canyon Lake Pano 2_edited-1

Rose Canyon Lake Pano 1_edited-1

Rose Canyon Lake 10 Pano_edited-1

Dam

Seriously sublime!

Dragonfly on Log

Red Dragonfly

I got my one and only lifer here.

Yellow-eyed Junco 2

Yellow-eyed JuncoYellow-eyed Junco

We actually saw several. Normally getting only one lifer when I knew so many others had to be there would have saddened me…not up here because it was just so awesome!

Dull Firetip SkipperDull Firetip Skipper

Chipping SparrowChipping Sparrow

Onward and upward we went through a beautiful census designated place (CDP) called Summerhaven, full of beautiful chalet-type summer homes. Yes, I want to live there now.

Bear Crossing

Abert's SquirrelAbert’s Squirrel

Purple Flower

The ski run was closed but this was the view from Ski Valley. This is the southernmost ski resort in the U.S. The temperature up here was a refreshing 75° while it was a toasty 113° in Phoenix.

From Ski Valley

This place was phenomenal!

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Holiday Cheer

OCWA in Snow 2_edited-1“I’m glad I’m wintering in Phoenix!”

Are you in the mood for the holidays? Hmmm, I’m not really (yet, anyway) but here are a few photos of my yard birds beginning to celebrate.

Finch Christmas Tree_edited-1

Thrasher with Present_edited-1“For me? I hope it’s peanuts.”

Hum 12.18

GIWO House_MC-1“I pecked that myself.”

That was an Orange-crowned Warbler (“Tink”), a House Finch, a Curve-billed Thrasher,  an Anna’s Hummingbird, and a Gila Woodpecker.

Google Sweater“Mom, I wish we had a fireplace and I wish I had a Christmas sweater.”

And here are a few from holidays past…beginning with Google in 2009. He still likes the Christmas tree but mostly lays under it instead of in it now.

Goog in Tree sharper

Our Perch 1_edited-1

Robin

Starlings in Cactus with ornament_edited-2

santa-verdin

Christmas Mocks ps

Say's Phoebe Ornament

Bun Antlers

House Sparrows, an American Robin, European Starlings, a Verdin, Northern Mockingbirds, a Say’s Phoebe, and a Desert Cottontail were all hoping for some holiday cheer.

merry-and-bright

Cats x 10_edited-2

Svengali, Kit, Stripey

Jessi, Ivory, Ferguson

Ebony, Google, Edie, Torti

Happy Holidays, Happy Solstice…if you celebrate…

 

Sellah Park

Woody 1

There’s a small park in Tempe that I had never heard of with a little pond. The word got out among the local birders and bird photographers that a male Wood Duck and two females were hanging out there for the winter. Wood Ducks are not real common in the Phoenix area although a few are spotted here and there most winters. I hadn’t seen any in a couple years so I headed out last Sunday and got there shortly before sunset.

Woody 3

Woody 4

Of course, the male was the star of the show but the females are pretty, too.

Woody Girl 2

Woody and Ladies

It was getting dark but I was fortunate to catch a few golden patches of water.

Woody 2

Plus…to make things even better, there was a rare bird there, too, which was part of the draw. This tiny little guy is native to South America so everyone assumed he was an escapee from a zoo or private collection. Apparently, the latter is the case. He belongs to someone who lives a couple of blocks from the park and recently escaped. The owner knows where he is and comes to visit him but has decided he seems happy so is leaving him there. Hope he’ll be okay because he’s pretty tame and much smaller than one would think.

Ringed Teal 1

Ringed Teal 2

Ringed Teal 3Ringed Teal, male

Both these boys were more than happy to pose for the cameras. I have so many photos that I had to try a couple special effects…

Woody Orton and Blur_edited-1Orton Effect

Woody WC Square_edited-1Watercolor

My last Wood Duck experience can be seen here.

thanksgiving-png-1 bckgrnd

Apache Trail

Canyon Lake Pano

Canyon Lake Vista

We went on another new-to-us day trip the other day. We took the Apache Trail (SR 88) from Apache Junction to 6 miles past Tortilla Flat (Milepost 220). I spent hours trying to stitch these 3 photos above into a panorama but could only do two without it getting all bolloxed up. So I opted for using the last 2. Guess I need to experiment more.

Tortilla Flat (pop. 6) is a 115 year old former stagecoach stop that is now a tourist trap with restaurant, saloon, general store, mercantile, and museum, but the drive there is lovely and paved.

Curves

Tortilla CreekTortilla Creek

American SnoutAmerican Snout

Green Ocotillos

Ocotillo Close

It’s rained a lot in our area lately due to 2 tropical storms. I’ve never seen such green Ocotillos; they almost looked plastic.

Rolling Mtns

More Mtns

BridgeBoulder Creek Bridge, built in 1937

It was another cloudy day and there weren’t many birds cooperating. Here are a couple we saw by the lake.

YRWAYellow-rumped Warbler

RWBLRed-winged Blackbird, male

Osprey on Wire

Osprey 2_edited-1Ospreys

We saw a few Ospreys, going in for the dive, but no one came up with anything while we were watching.

Hide 1Someone’s hide and hair; it is the Wild West

Pavement Ends_edited-1

This is where we stopped, not so much because we’re chickens but our SUV is not a 4WD. We might rent a Jeep one day and do the rest of the trip. I’ve heard December is the best time to take the drive because of the fall colors. I think it would be pretty dramatic since I know you see Fish Creek, Apache Lake, the Salt River, and end at Roosevelt Lake.

Vista

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Spooky

trick-or-treat-thrasher_edited-1

This is the only actual Halloween shot I’ve taken this year. I thought the birds would be more responsive to getting a treat by doing a trick for me but…wrong. Just this guy, one time…at least while I was watching and waiting.

So I had to find some older photos that might seem a little spooky or creepy…hope you don’t get too scared.

dsc_1384

dsc_1381ExoSKELETONS

bones-on-ballDem Bones

dsc_0001-cropCreepy Mausoleum

supermoon-2-8-14-and-tv_edited-1

tunnel-and-bldg_edited-1

metal-skull

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dsc_0004_edited-4

dsc_0015-lomo page_1 dsc_0026

dsc_2426Lalo Cota mural

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lalo-cropped-squareLalo Cota painting

ants-dhr_edited-1Emerging from the depths of the earth…

cat-face-metal_lomo

Boo!

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