The intensity of an Arizona sunset
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The intensity of an Arizona sunset

The quality of light in Arizona is intense, and never more so than at sunset during monsoon season. For two summer months, the afternoon clouds build, fierce thunderstorms crash and threaten. Then it is over. Or is it? As a photographer, I’ve learned to be patient. If I wait out the storm, and stick around…

Summer green afternoon
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Summer green afternoon

As you drive through Oak Creek Canyon, you’ll see a sign for Ensinoso Park. There, if you stop your car and walk down the hill you’ll find this secret place. I’ve visited when it is dressed in winter white and fall gold, but nothing is so startling as the passionate green of summer, when the…

Barreling along
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Barreling along

This is a commercially planted group of golden barrel cactus, also known as mother-in-law cushions. I know this because no self-respecting barrel would choose to grow this close to another, just like a wise mother-in-law (without the thorns)! Barrels have a single blossom in the spring. You can see the remains here. What I like…

Having new eyes
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Having new eyes

In the hot Arizona summer, any point of shade is welcome. Here, the barred shadows represent a wooden arbor overhead, providing more an illusion of shade than actual shade itself. But instead of looking for relief from the sun, perhaps I can appreciate the beauty of the precise latticework echoes and the way they transform…

Always looking for more
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Always looking for more

If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough. ~ Oprah Winfrey These young skunk cabbage were flourishing on a trail near the Museum of Northern Arizona one morning and I was struck by their vitality. There…

Nothing is fixed in life’s changing pattern
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Nothing is fixed in life’s changing pattern

Life at its best is a flowing, changing process in which nothing is fixed. ~ Carl Rogers The San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff, Arizona were formed from the jagged edges of a volcano that exploded many thousands of years ago. The Peaks rise to an elevation of over twelve thousand feet and are large enough…

Book Review: Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout by Philip Connors
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Book Review: Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout by Philip Connors

Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout by Philip Connors My rating: 5 of 5 stars When I was 19, I spent a summer as a forest fire lookout. It changed my life indelibly, and for that reason, I was interested in Philip Connors’ book. He does not disappoint. Phillip, for the past 8…

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Writer’s Block

  I’d been having a miserable writer’s block. Nothing seemed to help. I sang, I danced, I walked around the block, I called my sister. Nada. Then I set the alarm for 4:45 am and changed where I wrote. Instead of at my regular desk I cleaned out a vacant studio and set up a…

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Water Moods

            I¬†often visit Oak Creek Canyon in the summer to dip my feet in the creek at Ensinoso¬†Falls. Because Oak Creek is spring fed, its waters are always breath-stoppingly cold, a welcome refreshment on a summer’s day! This year because of the Slide Fire, all of Oak Creek Canyon is…