Saturday, May 5, 2018

Morning, Daytime, and Night Lights Across the Southwest

Morning from motel room window, Flagstaff, AZ
Painted Desert - our second visit

Then into the Petrified Forest for our first time.
It's like another planet...

Still, residents somehow make a living.
Holbrook, AZ, world capital of petrified wood!
Spectacular scenery continues along expressway...

Then we reach a watershed point in the trip...
and after a while run out of natural light.
Coming into Albuquerque after dark...
looked like coming down to an airfield!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Desert Farewell Gift

In 2015, on our last night in Dos Cabezas, we went for an evening drive east toward Chiricahua. We had to make our way slowly and carefully down the driveway, because the yard was absolutely full of cows and calves, more than had ever before visited us at once. It was as if the cattle had come to bid us farewell, performing the rite on behalf of the spirits of the ghost town, and we were properly grateful.

This year, on the last morning before our day of departure, I looked down in the wash behind the cabin and saw, finally, a group of mule deer. I've been wanting to see mule deer for a long time, and here they were, practically at our doorstep, grazing on scanty ground vegetation and reaching up for tender new leaves of netleaf hackberry, guarded over by the mountain to our north.

Nothing could have pleased me more than to make the acquaintance at last of these black-tailed wild neighbors with their enormous ears. Once again, the ghost town has come through with a perfect, unexpected moment.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Fall in Love -- It's Easy to Do

It was time for the state competition: Arizona High School Rodeo Association. Cowboys, cowgirls, and horses all over the place!

I always enjoy the "backstage" area, and since we arrived during lunch break on Saturday we had plenty of time to walk around and soak in the scene. And of course we went back Sunday, too....

Grand Entry on Saturday afternoon was SPECTACULAR --

Color guard, state h.s. rodeo officers, candidates for next year's offices -- look at that gorgeous lineup. Ah, but you should see my video footage of everyone riding in and circling and lining up and thundering out again in a cloud of swirling dust after the national anthem and the prayer for the rodeo. That was the really fantastic sight!

Naturally, there was plenty of action. Here is just a sample. 

Three images below are the boys' high school roping champions for this year in Arizona.

I took a couple breathers backstage during events -- and I do mean breathers. Walking around downwind of so many horses, I was in a heaven-sent world of scent.

But the little calves are darn cute, too, and don't seem a bit hurt by being thrown and roped. They pop right up again, ready for more.

Dogs were not rodeo participants, but they were very much part of the larger scene. 

I also loved watching the younger children, some of them clearly looking forward to their own future high school rodeo futures.

I could go on and on with this, so if you want more just let me know. (I have lots more photos of high school rodeo competition.) In closing today, I'll show you my souvenir of the weekend, something that turned up in the dust right at my feet on Sunday afternoon. "Will it bring you luck?" the artist asked. "Of course!" How could it possibly fail? Really, I had my good luck on Saturday and Sunday, getting to the rodeo and being there almost all day Saturday and most of Sunday.