Shine On, From The Mountains

Arizona mountain sunrise, Yavapai County

And so the perfect month — October — comes to a close. On the calendar, anyway. It’s merely a mark in time. Meanwhile, we live day to day, savoring the glory of life.

Which is why I drove out of town this morning to once again search for photos that might express my joy and wonder at living here in the high, wide open spaces of Yavapai County in the Central Arizona Highlands.

This photo represents a sliver of what I found.

Photo location: Lonesome Valley, north of Prescott, Arizona.

Goodbye, October

Lonesome Valley sunrise colors, Arizona

October 30, only one day left in the month after this. In the perfect month. But the perfect month has almost run out of time.

A cold front had come through, with some clouds to possibly make sunrise colors. I launched myself out at dawn, wanting to roam a bit into the heart of Lonesome Valley.

In the beautiful high country and wide open spaces of the Central Arizona Highlands you can’t lose be being out in nature. Just go out, soak in the view, the fresh air, the friendly waves of people driving the other way on the country roads.

Anyway, I chose to drive east from Chino Valley on Perkinsville Road, because the views are wide open right away. High country grasslands, ranches, a chance to see one of the antelope herds, too.

The clouds above the Lonesome Valley Buttes lit up with the reds of the yet-unseen sun. Land shapes, sky shapes, color. The freezing dawn was warming up with sunrise, and the sun would soon warm the landscape with golden sunlight, too.

Goodbye, October. You’re the perfect month to me. The good news is that the second best month follows. November, when I get to savor the remnants lingering from your glowing light of autumn leaves.

Photo location: Lonesome Valley, Yavapai County, Arizona.

October Dawn Moon

Moonrise at dawn, Yavapai County, Arizona

October 3, a chilly, still, peaceful early autumn dawn.

I had been watching the crescent sliver of the waning moon rise over the Black Hills in the darkness. Waiting for enough light from the far-behind sun to make it a scene worth photographing.

Finally I stepped outside, made some tentative shots, then, eventually, this one. Enough glow on the horizon, while the moon wasn’t yet erased by the bright sunrise.

Deep blue above, barest yellow tint below. Moonrise over mountains. Tomorrow will be the New Moon.

October, the perfect month. A very nice beginning.

Mill That Sunset Wind

Windmill and sunset colors, Chino Valley, Arizona

Windmill and sunset colors, Chino Valley, Arizona

It was a surprising early autumn day here in the central Arizona highlands. The monsoon thunderstorm season had passed, and we were back to low humidity, sunny days, clear nights. Beautiful.

But a few days ago, the morning started like before. Not a cloud in the sky. Sun, blue sky.

At noon, just a few small cumulus clouds. Like, three of them. So what?

Late afternoon: lots of clouds. Oh, if this continues, could be a special sunset.

And on the way home, I veered off on a favorite side road that I knew had this windmill to accent what was coming.

 

Peek-A-Moon

Moonrise over Woodchute Mountain, Arizona

The rise of the Harvest Moon. It had reached 100% illumination just past 4 AM, so it was already slightly on the wane this evening.

Not that one could tell. At least I couldn’t. Didn’t want to. I stood at the east fence, camera on tripod in the sweet September dusk. The Earth’s shadow, with its lovely color gradations, was fading to all dark blue.

Then the orb appeared. Over Woodchute Mountain, beaming brightly. I stood and stood, watching.

Another Touch Of Rainbow

Storm cloud rainbow, Arizona

Early evening, late August. The late rains kiss the highlands. Here, there. Not everywhere. Not all at once.

The white far clouds cling to Woodchute Mountain’s summit. The grasslands below green, finally, with more gray rain hovering above.

I stand in reverence.

Photo location: Yavapai County, Arizona.

Violet Cloud Coals

Violet sunset clouds, Arizona

Yet another sunset episode in the Central Arizona Highlands. A sweeping scene, mountains in the distance, moon rising.

As if I didn’t have enough to do, the clouds overhead were lighting up, too. I tilted my camera on the tripod for this one. The cloud seemed to glow from within, like fireplace coals. Violet shades against the deep blue evening sky.

Then it was over, leaving me with another cluster of photographic recordings of what a privilege it is to be able to live in such a place.

Photo location: Chino Valley, Arizona.

And The Rain Came Down

Arizona monsoon thunderstorm and rainbowAt least it came down in one very localized area, as seen in this photo. So typical of Arizona’s “monsoon” summer thunderstorms. You’re either in one, or not. No in between.

I wasn’t in this one, which afforded me a view of it to the east, as sunset time approached. With a rainbow, no less, courtesy of the low angle of the sun through the rain curtain.

Evening sunlight and shadow splashed across the grasslands of the Central Arizona Highlands between Prescott and Chino Valley. Blue sky and more white and blue clouds in the far distance.

Life at the speed of the moment.

Sunset Vision

Sunset thunderhead, Arizona

Thursday evening, home and showered. The call didn’t come.

I stepped outside for what did come: the sunset colors. Gorgeous thunderhead cloud to the south, lit up in gold. Billowing richness.

The silhouettes of the trees did not go unnoticed. I love trees.

So the call did come. The one that never fails, the call of nature.