I once lived near a gully that served as a major byway for wildlife. Through it came bobcats who liked to sit on the big rocks and sun themselves, rattlesnakes who would park themselves underneath my bird feeders and wait for dinner, and these guys. If there is one thing that javelina like better than prickly pear cactus, it has to be peaches!
Originally I thought they had these little calendars marked with when the peaches would be ready to eat, but then I found out it is their remarkable memories of where the good stuff is, and their amazing sense of smell.
They know, even before me and the green beetles, when the fruit is ripe and ready to eat.
We are like islands in the sea,
separate on the surface, but connected in the deep. ~William James~
since you’ve had a friend
wind you up in a swing
and then let go
and you spin so fast
that suddenly you are staying in one spot
but the world is spinning
in a widening circle around you
and you are breathless with delight?
The swings are still there.
It is the greatest shot of adrenaline to be doing
what you’ve wanted to do so badly.
You almost feel like you could
fly without the plane. ~Charles Lindberg~
Some of you have asked me if the places I describe in the Pegasus Quincy mystery series exist. Yes, many of them do. For example, Peg’s grandfather HT lives in the actual house in Mingus–which is close to Jerome, Arizona 😉 –that used to be a boarding house for miners. It featured a prominent outside staircase, so that the miners didn’t have to bother the family who owned the house.
And what about the church in BLOOD IN TAVASCI MARSH where the funeral for Cal Nettle was held? You will recall that the entire family attended: the estranged brother, the sister trying to outlive tragedy, the grieving widow, and the very pregnant mistress.
That location, too, was based on an actual building located high on a hill in Cottonwood, Arizona and here it is. At the time I took this picture, it was, I believe, a decommissioned Catholic church.
What struck me when I took this picture was how this barrier fencing effectively barred anyone from entering. Especially a family divided against itself, like the warring Nettle clan.
One afternoon I looked up to see two very different clouds. One was brilliant in the sunshine, each layer clearly marked with almost luminous attention. I reveled in its beauty. The second, almost directly overhead was dark, threatening, ominous.
And then I stopped for a moment to reconsider. If I were under that bright cloud, perhaps it would be the threatening one, while the one I’m standing under now would be the bright one.
What view we take of life depends on our perspective!
It is not what you look at that matters.
It’s what you see. ~Henry David Thoreau~
One of the fun things of being a photographer is that you get to go out in the elements when saner folks are at home, staying warm and dry on a stormy day.
I did take an umbrella on this rainy afternoon, but gave up when I found it impossible to balance both bumbershoot and camera in order to get just the picture I wanted. As a a result, the picture of this massive leaf of the giant agave was taken with rain dripping off my nose. Plant and person mirrored each other!
What I liked was the paradox of wet and dry. Here was this desert plant, designed with thick leaves to minimize the loss of moisture, brimming with water.
Hard to imagine, but we CAN embrace opposites if we just try.
If we all did the things we are capable of doing,
we would literally astound ourselves. ~Thomas Alva Edison~
As an aficionado of texture, when I came upon this old shack, I was in seventh heaven. Consider that great rusty barrel, the rain-stained wood, the stovepipe hanging at an angle, that old window missing one pane, the tattered, rusting side-panels. It was perfect!
And then I discovered why is was perfect. It’s not real. This sheep herder’s cabin, nestled among a grove of eucalyptus trees, is a carefully constructed movie set. All that rust is man-made, as was the angle of the stovepipe and the metal patches about to fall to the ground. All were built with an eye toward illusion.
I decided I liked it anyway. How could I not admire an artist with an eye for rust!
And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been. ~Rainer Maria Rilke~
I was attracted to this spot by a smell that took me back to childhood, the wonderful aroma of grape Kool-Aid. This is a Texas Mountain Laurel, or Mescal Bean plant, native to the southwest.
And then when I got there, I discovered this amazingly beautiful butterfly, a black Pipevine Swallowtail.
One gives pleasure to the eye; the other to the nose.
AND, both are highly poisonous!
The mescal bean has seed pods that make both people and animals sick. Even the coyotes won’t touch them. And the Pipevine Swallowtail is so toxic that other butterflies imitate those beautiful orange spots so they won’t be eaten, either.
You can’t always believe what you see…or what you smell!
If it is true, if it is beautiful,
if it is honorable, if it is right,
then claim it. ~Rob Bell~
I found a whole wall at a hiking store filled with DIY dispensers for trail mix. My hat is off to the creators of the mixes, who must have had fun thinking up as many flavors as Jelly Belly jelly beans.
The hike may be tough, but if you gotta do it, go in style!
that of those
who contact the habit of eating,
very few survive. ~Wallace Irwin~