Do Not Tell Fish Stories

Do not tell fish stories where the people know you;
But particularly,
Don’t tell them where they know the fish.
Mark Twain

A simply delightful pause with a walk about, and take away picnic lunch  at Page Spring  Fish Hatchery.

Page Springs Fish Hatchery, named for the Page family that first established the hatchery in the 1930’s, is now managed by the Hatchery Program of the Arizona Fish, Game, and Wildlife, an agency of the State of Arizona’s government. The Hatchery is approximately 190 Acres and includes two parcels of land:  Page Springs Hatchery and Bubbling Ponds Hatchery.  

In 1990-91 the Hatchery was renovated into  a showcase facility featuring raceways, canopies, a visitor center, and a self-guided tour path. The Audubon Society identified habitat at the hatcheries and riparian area along lower Oak Creek as an Important Bird Area (IBA), and it draws thousands of visitors to view the wildlife or like us, a quiet watery respite.

There is a Showpond where visitors are encouraged to feed the fish. Bring quarters, and don’t forget to sign the guestbook. The sound of the flowing water is big in this area and quite wonderful, the pond crystal clear and the fish healthy and enthusiastic. I enjoyed photographing the mural and could not find who had done the work, obviously enjoying themselves in the detail and variety of critters featured.

 

The Visitor Center has an engaging display of area wildlife, including some beauties of bird photography in an exhibit by Audubon, and of course a large volume of information on the Hatchery and fishing in Arizona displayed well and quite interesting.

A few Hatchery Facts:

The Hatchery raises rainbow and brown trout. They grow about an inch per month, take less than a year to reach catch-able size.

Fed high protein diet.

Hatchery does not keep brood fish. They get their fingerlings from Silver Springs Hatchery in Oak Creek Canyon.

The Hatchery stocks around 600 to 700 hundred thousand fish per year, in rivers, streams, and lakes year round throughout the entire state of Arizona. The Hatchery is the largest in the State of Arizona and supplies 60% of the rainbow trout that are raised by State Hatcheries.

There is a short hiking trail, and once you leave the Hatchery you may be interested in one of the many tasting rooms as the area boasts  excellent wineries, the vineyards quite beautiful to behold.

A safe and peaceful June to each and everyone.

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Hid Behind Anonymity

Way before Watergate,
Senior Administration Officials
Hid behind anonymity.
Bob Woodward

 

Over the past few years I have taken many photos of Ravens and Crows. They are common in the Verde Valley, can easily become part of the background of a day. On high tension wires, dark sky appropriate street lighting, strutting the length of the  petro station lot. The  garden wall, the tile roof, or atop the cypress trees beside a remote trail miles away. Ubiquitous.  Anonymous in their resemblance to one another.  Oracles hiding in plain sight, birdfaces in the crowd.  Recalling every word, action, and deed.

What a Rip Roaring Story unfolds when a  Raven steps forward with Deep Throat vocalizations, telling all that was seen heard, and observed.  In response to WordPress Photo Challenge of the Week: Anonymous

 

A safe and peaceful stretch of days to each and every one.

The Best Thing

“Those who have never known the deep intimacy
And the intense companionship
Of happy mutual love
Have missed the best thing
That life has to give.”
Bertrand Russell

With local knowledge‘ is no longer holding, as the usual weather for this time of the year stalls midst Indian Summer and Winter.  Enough to notice, and choose hiking trails differently.

Doe Mountain #60 (which is actually a mesa),  is a favorite Late Spring/Summer  hike as the trail is shaded and cool for the better part of the day. Except here we are in February, getting to the trail-head by paved road, to a busy, heavily info/warning/and restriction signage, filling with vehicles parking area.

Doe Mountain from Mescal Trail

Reminiscing as life long companions do…..about back in the day when the pavement ended miles ago, the road maintenance was a grating once a year, and the dust, Greasy Spoon red mud, flash flooding, long horned steers, rattlesnakes, or sky big wildness of it all, kept just about everyone back on Dry Creek Road but the Tour Guides jeeping tourists out to the Honanki and Palatki Ruins;  or the Bradshaws in the midst of their ranching day. Doe Mountain is a fee service area now, your credit cards welcomed on site for convenience…..

What does remain unchanged is the Red Rock formations and the great good time of hiking and climbing them. Today it is to the top of the Doe for a picnic lunch with a view.

The less than mile climb up Doe Mountain is not difficult, nor is it a long one. I did pack the camera away for most of the way… needing  my hands, feet, and attention choosing wisely together for the series of quick switchbacks  that rise four hundred feet to the top. It is good to pause periodically on firm footing and take a good look around.

From the top you can see a lot of why so many global citizens come to Sedona, or why we have returned this sunny, warm, stark blue sky day to one of our favorite places to just sit in gratitude, lunch, then  sprawl out in lizard pose to embrace it all while the penetrating heat of the sun warm red rocks flows in through bare skin.

An easy  hike about the top mesa  shows views of  Bear, Maroon, and Wilson mountains, Loy, Boynton, and Secret Canyons, Chimney Rock, and the Cockscomb.  Sedona is visible to the east and off to the south, Munds Mountain and Sycamore Pass, with heart  teasing  views of the Valley floor below.

An excellent choice for locals and visitors alike, for it’s easy access paved from town clear to the trail-head , excellent views and photo opportunities, a just high enough change in altitude to get an expanded look and new perspective of where you are, and with deep tissue warming rocks included at no additional fee.

Length: 0.7 miles to the top of the mesa, 1.3 miles around the edge.

If your go:
Let someone who is not hiking with you know where you are going.
Choose  sturdy already broken in foot-gear, avoid girly sandals or bare-feet, and remember a low center of gravity is your friend. Black clothing absorbs the sun-rays, you can overheat over a poor wardrobe choice.
A couple bottles of water per person.
A dandy take away from one of the many local eateries.
Turn your cell phone off.

And you are looking at the opportunity to enjoy a the Perfect Sedona Day.

Do you want or need a Tour Guide? That’s a question only individuals can ask and answer for themselves. And for me to use to promote  Krista Stevens idea for this  Weeks WordPress Photo Challenge: Tour Guide.

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Peace and Blessings to each and everyone. Have an excellent weekend.

News/Music

What You Have Tamed

“Men have forgotten this truth,” said the fox.
“But you must not forget it.
You become responsible, forever,
For what you have tamed.”

Antoine de Saint Exupery

Gray Fox arrived to the walled garden as a delicious secret. Appearing unexpected and for the first time at the townhouse,  for cover the sparseness of the desert willow saplings.  More prancing movement than form-along the  late afternoon shadow-for the  length of hedge. Through the cover of the willows again. In a  quick graceful leap Gray Fox is atop the vine sheltered corner where garden walls meet,  takes a good look about and then curls up nicely in repose. She has a full view  of the garden,  and a quick vanish option by simply slipping over to the other side and gone. She has a full view of me.

An estimate would be that Gray Fox is about two feet in length with a tail to match that two full feet, fifteen pounds,  and appears to me a young adult. A full healthy coat of thick fur which runs from gray to rust to white with black accents and trim. Golden eyes that stare deep.

Gray Fox will mate,  somewhere between January and April  in the Southwestern United States, often birthing a half dozen pups.  Her mate and her stay together for the romance through the rearing of the pups, with shared responsibilities. Pups are weaned at three months, taught and able to hunt on their own at four months, and leave their parents in the autumn of the year. Gray Fox and her mate may or not seek out and choose each other to mate and rear offspring again,  their  average lifespan being six to eight years.  Gray Fox’s extended family is scattered far and near, not a red alert threat for extinction, but there are often serious concerns due to habitat loss, poor quality habitat, food sources, disease, parasites. Some diseases and parasites being contagious to other species.  Being caught out and killed by humans, bobcats, golden eagles, great horned owls is possible for Gray Fox.

Gray Fox eats rodents, insects, fruits, vegetables, and birds. Rabbits are a favorite as are  grasshoppers and crickets currently bountiful. It’s important not to habituate them to humans by feeding, they are wild things best left wild.

Gray Fox is secretive, nocturnal, moves about mainly at dawn and dusk, avoids confrontation, is excellent at camouflage, tree climbing, and if forced capable of a good winning fight.

Gray Fox has showed up throughout my life, observed and gone dozens of times and places. On a Cottage Roof along Pamlico River, high above  in a Pine in deep Oregon woods,  a chicken coop in New Jersey, Heart Island as a child.  Never tame or taming, the periodic and fleeting visits always honored as a gift. A pattern and portent of coming change and transformation observed.

In 1997 my dear friend Bonnie gifted me with the book , Animal Speak by     Ted Andrews. Ted Andrews wrote in seductive and beautiful words  of  the mythological, metaphysical, mystical, historical, shaman, and spiritual realm connection of critters. Basically the belief is that  species appear to individuals  with signs and messages.  By observing their behavior and attributes, and the careful consideration of circumstances in life when they show up, they are designated as an individual’s totem. Having Gray Fox as a totem is overflowing with mystery and magic. Who wouldn’t want to embrace the fun of  life charged up on Feminine Magic, Shape-shifting, Cunning,  Big Transition, Supernatural Power, Freeing of the Creative Force, and the ability to dwell ‘Between Worlds’ – ‘Mix this Sedona Speak with my  preexisting science background, and lifetime wanderlust it can surely  make for a fairly exhilarating day.  I do believe I choose  Shape-shifting, Feminine Strength,  and Camouflage as my choice of  prancing through this season of holidays with calm, safety, and joy.

Over the years I have been told and read many stories about Gray Fox. Of the Choctaw Tribe who believe Gray Fox is the protector of the family, the Apache story of Gray Fox stealing the fire from the sun and gifting it to humans.

Acknowledging the message from Gray Fox of possible big upcoming transformation,  I encourage Gray Fox take  a quick exit back to Coconino National Forest that borders this Planned Unit Development where humans may not see magic transformation in progress  in sighting that  big  bushy tail.

In response to WordPress Photo Challenge: Transformation

A safe and joyful holiday season to each and everyone. I send a heart filled with gratitude for your kind words, support, insightful smart websites, shared lives, and feeling  of community  that we have shared throughout the year.

Music: Like A Hurricane- Neil Young.

Gray Fox : Order: Carnivora Family: Canidae
Genus: Urocyon

More Carefully Examined

“See now the power of truth;
The same experiment
Which at first glance
Seemed to show one thing,
When more carefully examined,
Assures us of the contrary.”
Galileo Galilei,

Raptor: Super B&W- Photo: JoHanna Massey Autumn 2017

Have photographed the raptors several more times since  ‘Unless We Go Alittle Crazy.‘ Photographing them is simply bliss, chunks of time fall away and by return home to peruse the newest images, I’m surprised to find the morning vanished too.

Enjoying the focus on editing several sets of the same subjects, each unique, experimenting with all the variations and editing options, often for the first time. The  focus and attention to details grows.  Today I am experimenting with the Black & White features of the tools.

In response to Krista Steven’s choice for subject in this week’s  WordPress Photo Challenge: Experimental

Galileo Galilei, Quote FromDiscorsi E Dimostrazioni Matematiche: Intorno a Due Nuoue Scienze, Attenenti Alla Mecanica & I Movimenti Locali

News/Music: Jeff Sessions, Puerto Rico/Cole Porter

Wishing each and everyone their  best and highest outcomes.

Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus

Experimental: adjective1 the experimental stage: exploratory, investigational, trial, test, pilot; speculative, conjectural, hypothetical, tentative, preliminary, untested, untried.2 experimental music: innovative, innovatory, new, original, radical, avant-garde, cutting-edge, alternative, unorthodox, unconventional; informal way-out.REFLECTIONS Stephin MerrittexperimentalStrictly, experimental music is a style of composition in which the actual sound produced is beside the point. Historically, it was a genre lasting from August 29, 1952, the day of the premiere of John Cage’s 4’33” (the ‘silent’ piece), until the 1974 publication of Michael Nyman’s book Experimental Music: Cage and Beyond, which negated the genre by defining its limits.

As I Go Ramblin Round

Ramblin’ around your city
Ramblin’ around your town
I never see a friend I know
As I go ramblin’ ’round, boys
As I go ramblin’ ’round-

There are many visitors rambling around the Verde Valley right now. People from all over our shared round planet.  I wonder how many will, amid their busy holiday schedule,  pause along Oak Creek, and catch a glimpse of this meditating Water Cairn, quite mysterious, rounded,  and reassuring.

Joining this weeks WordPress Photo Challenge : Rounded , headed up by  Many just excellent entries to view. Or better yet join in.

A safe and peaceful day to one and all.

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New Oxford American: Rounded-rounded |ˈroundəd|                                   adjective: 1 having a smooth, curved surface: rounded gray hills.having a spherical shape: its rounded, almost bulbous head.forming circular or elliptical shapes: his writing was firm and rounded.

Phonetics (of a vowel): pronounced with the lips pursed. 2 well developed in all aspects; complete and balanced: we should educate children to become rounded human beings.

On a Cosmic Scale

On a cosmic scale,
Our life is insignificant,
Yet this brief period
When we appear in the world
Is the time
In which all meaningful questions arise.

In all my years of climbing up and about on the red rocks I never embraced repelling off of them with a  rebels yell.  It’s soft sedimentary trickster rock for the most part, goes loose without warning,  hand holds bust unannounced, …it’s a long way down to ugly hurtful brush, unforgiving hard rock.

Dangling  off the sides of rock  formations by ropes/slings, unless bolts, pins, anchors were newly set and doubled up and it was absolutely work related necessary, with a lot of trust for my workmate,  was never enjoyable for me.

In the last few years I’ve observed  an increase in young folks scaling/repelling the red beauties in Sedona, often without so much as a helmet.  It’s high tourist season here . I’m hoping that those considering this sport while visiting Sedona will get a local Professional Guide who can assist in equipment/water you will need, know  the area, supervise, guide you.

A safe and excellent day to each and everyone.

In response to WordPress Photo Challenge : Scale

New Oxford American Dictionary

verb [with object] 1 climb up or over (something high and steep): thieves scaled an 8-foot fence.2 represent in proportional dimensions; reduce or increase in size according to a common scale: (as adjective scaled) : scaled plans of the house.[no object] (of a quantity or property) be variable according to a particular scale.3 North American estimate the amount of timber that will be produced from (a log or uncut tree).

PHRASESoff the scale of or to a degree or level that is far in excess of what is normal or notionally measurable: meteorologists warned that conditions would be brutal, with soaring temperatures and humidity off the scale | viewing figures are likely to go off the scale because of all the hype.