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.

Early October By The Lake

Watson Lake, Yavapai County, Arizona

An early October morning by Watson Lake just north of Prescott, Arizona. Typically gorgeous, blue sky, the morning warming up. The vegetation along the lake turning with fall colors.

I had the time. I stopped to appreciate, walking along the north shore. Sunlight dappling on the blue sky reflection of the water’s surface.

So fine.

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.



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.