Lipan Point on Grand Canyon’s South Rim has sweeping views, including being able to see a portion of the Colorado River far below. At sunset time the canyon bottom is in shadow, while the cliffs called the Palisades of the Desert are still lit up by the low sun.
Photo location: Lipan Point, South Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona.
A perfect May afternoon in the Central Arizona Highlands of Yavapai County: not just the trademark Arizona blue sky, but also featuring perfect cumulus clouds for an added, slowly changing treat.
I pulled over at one my my favorite spots at the north end of Lonesome Valley. Time to kick back, drink some water, eat a snack, watch the afternoon go peacefully by. Savor and savor some more until the sunset hour arrived.
I was reading Ellsworth Kolb’s Through the Grand Canyon From Wyoming to Mexico, the first person account of he and his brother Emery’s famous river expedition that captured the first motion pictures of running the wild river, way back in 1911-12. Being professional photographers, their equipment was their life, especially on that hazardous trip.
Meanwhile, here I was about a hundred years later, with my jewel of a digital camera to photograph with on a lazy spring Saturday, about 80 miles south of Grand Canyon. I was in such a perfect spot that I actually took some of my photos from the cab of my pickup truck, while reading the book. Not exactly an expedition. Just incredibly satisfying.
Then I got the idea of shooting a panoramic image from inside the truck, using it as the frame to the scenery I was reveling in. Even a clip of video. To document my mobile reading room.
The Kolb brothers would have appreciated it, I’m sure. Get the shot, no matter how hard, or how easy.
The aroma of rain comes suddenly and deliciously in dry country.
It’s been a dry spring here in the central Arizona highlands of Yavapai County. So yesterday afternoon when I could suddenly smell the rain, I immediately looked outside. There it was, wetting the dusty ground. I’d eagerly watched the clouds all morning. Hoping for rain. In the afternoon I was rewarded not only with some mud on my shoes as I took a break outdoors, but a nice partial rainbow.
Near sunset time, the evening Golden Hour, I could see a rain shower in the distance, east toward the Black Hills. Even a bolt of silent lightning, too far away to hear the thunder. The escaping sun lit up the cloud tops. The Earth continues to slowly green here. It’s a great spring.
Photo location: Lonesome Valley and Little Chino Valley, north of Prescott in Yavapai County, Arizona.
On the way home yesterday morning, I once again passed by the Highway 89 overlook to Watson Lake. Another gorgeous spring morning in the Central Arizona Highlands. Time to pull over and get out and walk along the lake in the sunlight.
Before I even got down to the shore, I could smell the fresh water. In a dry country such aromas become very apparent. Lovely. Add a blue sky-reflecting lake, new green leaves on the trees, a gentle breeze on the water creating endless mesmerizing sun dapples as the tiny swells roll toward you.
Down to the floating boat dock. Some people getting boats ready to go out on the lake. One lady just returning from her morning paddle.
I want to go boatin’!
Photo Location: Watson Lake, Prescott, Arizona.
Yucca light: I positioned myself so that the afternoon sunlight was behind the solitary cluster-plant growing alongside the ranch road. The dense cluster of vertical dark green blades bounced the light, illuminating shaded areas with a soft glow, the more direct rays setting gently curving edges alight.
Then there were the wispy, curly fibers. Spiraling, wandering fiber optics of white threads. Tangled? No, just wandering. Decorative? Why would they be? A more useful purpose would be to help capture moisture. Rain, dew, snow: direct it downward toward the roots instead of letting it drift on by. Desert adaptation. Smart.
A world of wonder merely by sticking my face in close for a look around in its world.
Photo location: Lonesome Valley, Yavapai County, Arizona.