Monday, January 4, 2016

Upsetting Tree Graffiti in Red Rock Country

I am actually standing in front of this ancient cottonwood tree and don't even reach area the branches split
We have spent quite a few years as seasonal residents of Red Rock Country and the Verde Valley where we enjoy a mild winter and beautiful natural areas. However, the past few years have seen an upsetting increased amount of jeeps, air traffic like helicopters, fast out of control mountain bikers, and ATV's in our national forest making it much more difficult to enjoy as hikers.

Yesterday we treated ourselves to an expensive hike in Red Rock State Park. It now costs $14 to enter each time for 2 people($7 per person as of January 1, 2016). This is supposed to be the "environmental park" in the area for wildlife and no dogs or motorized vehicles are allowed past the environmental center.

From the web site it states that "The mission of the park is to preserve the riparian habitat associated with Oak Creek; to serve as an environmental education facility; and to provide limited passive recreational opportunities, including birdwatching...." We were totally horrified to see what had happened to the park in the past year. There were quite a few places where people had definitely been making their own trails and there was horrible graffiti on some of the most beautiful sycamore trees done with a knife or in one case a pencil. The graffiti was dated '15 just to make sure we knew it was done this past year.... It made me sick and I wondered who would come into a park and deface trees like that. Is this part of the selfie generation's need to make their mark on everything...? Couldn't they just take a picture of the tree and do virtual graffiti using photoshop rather than wreck the tree forever for everyone else.

Thankfully the cottonwood trees seem to be unscathed since they have bark that does not yield to graffiti as easily.

Graffiti done by "bark beetle"?

kaleidoscopes done of above image

Some kaleidoscopes of unscathed sycamore bark...

original bark image below with its amazing colors

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Snow in Sedona Spectacular

Two weeks ago I published a blog based upon the Fall Colors and then winter descended!

Sedona has lots of green vegetation, red rocks and blue skies, but when it snows and white is added it become truly magical.  We are having a cold snap and the snow will stay for a little while so I went out to capture the beauty today.

Prickly Pear Star

Prickly Snow

Red Rocks in Snow

Snow in Sedona

Snow Patterns

Red Rock Lace

Mystical Stormy Sedona

Mystical Stormy Sedona with Face

Ice Crystal Pattern

Designs in Snow

Friday, November 27, 2015

Fall Continues Southwest Style

One of the best things about living in 2 different countries and climates is the extra long spring and fall seasons that we enjoy,  We begin Fall in September and October in the Canadian Maritimes and continue to enjoy Fall until at least mid-December in Sedona.  In some respects you could argue, we actually enjoy Fall until Spring begins in February here in the Southwest.

However, the deciduous trees like the mulberry, cottonwood, sycamores, maples and others do lose their leaves for 3-4 months so I guess that is winter even if the daytime temps are a comfy 55 degrees.  Of course, the nighttime temps are in the 20's now...  In fact, the leaves have been changing here for a couple of weeks and the grasses have resumed their winter colors, but there were particularly nice on Thanksgiving Day when Michael Chesley Johnson and I had a chance to take a walk on the Turkey Creek Trail.

bright sycamore leaves 8 x 8 framed $50

grasses in red rock country  8 x 8 framed $50
sycamores, red rocks, yucca oh my.. 8 x 8 framed $50

the happy hikers  8 x 8 framed $50

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Color Changes, mosses, bogs, and Campobello cobbles

We are beginning seasonal color change here in the Canadian Maritimes.  The first place it become very evident is in Eagle Hill Bog which has lots of color now.  We visited on a foggy day which makes the colors glow and the tamaracks (larches) which are deciduous conifers which seems like an oxymoron.  They provided a wonderful backdrop to the scene as they were just beginning to lose their green color.  I went to take pictures of spider webs with moisture drops, but was rewarded with so much more subject matter.

Campobello Island Cobbles
one image can give 1000's of different kaleidoscopes

Grew lots of sunflowers this summer and the bees are appreciated them now!
This will be my last blog entry before the cross country trip begins.  I have house painting and landscaping chores to complete now!  Our houses in Lubec, Maine (128,000) and Campobello Island, NB (199,000) did not find their new owners this year, but 2016 will hopefully be the year of changes for us.  We will be moving next door on Campobello Island into the BARN once the houses are sold...! If you are looking for your next great place, contact me for details...

Friday, September 11, 2015

End of summer flowers poppies and sunflowers

My Dad this year said he wanted to decrease the size of his vegetable garden so we decided to grow a few rows of sunflowers.  Grow they did to over 8 feet tall before they began to flower!  Finally they have flowered as are the poppies we grew from seed sewn in early June.  The dahlias, white and purple asters and phlox are also very beautiful, but many of the other flowers seem to have past their prime as we begin to head into Fall here in the Maritimes and Downeast Maine.

As we have reached the end of our season for both Galleries, I took the opportunity to vacation in place and toured the West Quoddy Light House and also took a whale watch on the Tarquin on Labor Day.

Ironwork on stairs in the West Quoddy Lighthouse

West Quoddy Windows

West Quoddy Light

West Quoddy Light Ceiling Ironwork

West Quoddy Gargoyles

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Fireweed, smokebush, blue hydrangea, hostas, dahlias, day lillies, and oval windows!

Daylilly Pentagram
Flowers have been amazing in this dry summer so I have been snapping pictures like crazy so I have lots of material for future kaleidoscopes.
So here are my latest creations:

Fireweed Extravanganza
Fireweed and spruce

Blue Hydrangea  with no enhancement of color ever in my kaleidoscopes, just as nature created them!
Fireweed Pentagram

Dahlia at Roosevelt Campobello International Park

Dahlia at Roosevelt Campobello International Park



Oval Window at Hubbard Cottage at Roosevelt Campobello International Park

Hosta Flowers...yes we do not have any or many deer on the Island so we have many hostas in our yard...

Smokebush Pentagram

Smokebush Pentagram