We took an early morning hike at Red Rock State Park this AM. I find it still hot in Sedona so we try to finish our hiking by 10 AM. There were still some beautiful yellow cottonwood trees down by the Oak Creek, but my eye was caught by some especially large prickly pear cacti, some ancient junipers, and some sycamores which have lost most of their leaves so you can see the structure of their limbs.
We are fortunate to enjoy Fall weather and colors from September well into November by travelling from Canada to Arizona. My last blog was a month ago in Acadia National Park where the maples were rosy red. Here in AZ, everything is colorful now from willows to cottonwoods even to maples. Most people think it is just a desert here, but we have lots of familiar deciduous trees at well. Below is a kaleidoscope done from a photo taken today on the Chuckwagon Trail in Sedona:
Yesterday we took a walk on a trail we have always called the "landing pad" since a helicopter could easily land there, but which now has been named by the Forest Service as the "Secret Slick Rock" trail. It has everything that I love about the the Southwest: beautiful rocks, interesting vegetation, distant views, sunny skies, and absolute quiet. Here is my "landing pad" kaleidoscope tribute:
If you are from a Northern climate, the Sedona area is just becoming nice with temperatures declining from the 80's during the day only to the 50's in the coldest time. Winter hiking and painting are ideal. By March, it is becoming way to hot for me, but we tough it out until early April since most of Michael's students seem to like the heat. If you enjoy 50 and 60 degree sunny and warm weather, come to Sedona in December, January or February and take a http://paintsedona.com/ workshop with Michael Chesley Johnson.