With The Noise Of It

When the green woods laugh
With the voice of joy,
And the dimpling stream
Runs laughing by;
When the air does laugh
With our merry wit,
And the green hill laughs
With the noise of it.
William Blake

Being near cold flowing water, with an overhang of trees  is where I feel most whole and in grace. These strips of riparian paradise exist Worldwide, each unique and mesmerizing. No matter where we wander, there is a familiarity, recognition, and welcome in the rivers, streams, and creeks.   Especially when shared, the truly best kind of days. Perhaps a past or future as fish. This stretch of Beaver Creek has been a favorite for twenty five and some years, and I am happy to provide you a look about with these photos as my submission for  WordPress Photo Challenge theme of Place In The World.

 Inspiration for this weeks Challenge – Erica V 

For this week’s photo challenge, explore what it means to find your place in the world. Where’s your safe space? Where do you go when you need to feel inspired or cheered up? Let loose and give us a glimpse of who you are in the grand scheme of things.

All my best to Each and Everyone.

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Music: Pete Seegar Sail Up & Down The River

One Against Another

There are no lines in nature,
Only areas of color,
One against another.

Definitely an Oriole, perhaps a Scott’s or a Bullock’s, or the elusive Sweet Toothed Blonde Big Mouth.  A loud brash vocal arrival and flash of brilliant yellow.  A hint of gold. Scolding me from his perch in the trees, to the roof, then the hedge, wanting both the hummingbirds and me to go. He wants the garden and the sugared water to himself. Behavior of a youthful starling, all brass and daring. I admire his energy, determination, and persistence. At stalemate, he decides to scatter the hummingbirds and ignore me.  Very soon Peregrine will arrive to hunt the afternoon shadows in the garden. Oriole does not know that, and once establishing himself at the bar, his sugar high binge drinking begins in earnest.

In response to the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Lines-  In the Oriole’s coming for your face photo above, the camera caught the flared movement of the wings blurring the detail of the feather’s colors, creating accentuating lines along the wings. In the slideshow below I included the same photo with a black and white filter which made the lines of flight even more dominate. This was a Happy Dance capture with the camera moment for me. The second time the Nikon Coolpix L830 pushed beyond  her limits and caught bird flight succinctly.

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Wishing Each and Every One of You a safe, joyful, prosperous, and peace filled Month of May.

 

I Would Venture To Guess

“I would venture to guess
That Anon,
Who wrote so many poems
Without signing them,
Was often a woman.”
Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

Wood Duck  may well be the most beautiful bird whose acquaintance I’ve made. Close to the edge of magic. From the riverbank I witnessed the rising sun engage each feather of Wood Duck individually, collectively, colors high and vibrant. Wondering if that rustle in the still brittle reeds is a mate nesting.

Equally amazing and always surprised is that every once in awhile photograph, that pleases me immensely…..this captured Wood Duck’s image is just such a photo. I am pleased to share all of my photos today, but especially Wood Duck with you.

Enjoying the Jail Trail located in Old Town Cottonwood Arizona. Visiting frequently to observe and photograph the unfolding of Spring and ending the morning back at the Trail head where the sidewalk leads quickly  to latte and pastery, or lunch if we have lingered.  Sidewalk cafes and restaurants abound , where locals and visitors mingle over second and third cups of coffee.

 

The Jail Trail: A riparian oasis of sorts, running with the Verde River, Dog walkers, birders, families, lovers, photographers, joggers, fisherman, a science class, an artists doing watercolors, or those pausing while just passing through. It’s a well loved and used area , and yes,  worn in places. Welcoming to the eye and spirit is this greening up towards lush ribbon of riparian respite.  Going green anyway,  in this Spring of dry weather, no rain, no wildflowers, High Sonoran desert. A morning haven with birdsong, river music, and the sound of a million bees enjoying the flowering of the ancient cottonwoods.  The old trees give  the sense of permanence and peace to this very special place.

Earth Day- April 22- The global theme is to reduce plastic pollution.

The Verde Valley Birding and Nature Festival is April 26-29 2018.

Peace and Blessings to Each and Everyone of You.

In Response to this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge – Awakening 

 

Your Sunrise and The Wind

What is the good
Of your stars and trees
Your sunrise and the wind,
If they do not enter
Into our daily lives?
E. M. Forster

Belhaven North Carolina Sunrise

Belhaven North Carolina Sunset

In response to this Week’s WordPress Photo Challenge- Rise /Set

May joy fill Your hearts, may You travel Your days in Safety and Confidence, and may Peace rise with You in the Morning, and rest within You at dusk.

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News/Music- Handel’s Messiah – Sir Colin Davis- London Symphony

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

A Grand Gift Of Silence

“You have a grand gift for silence, Watson.
It makes you quite invaluable as a companion.”
Sherlock Holmes via Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

A recent day of shared silence… hiking the  Little-Horse Trail #61 to Chicken Point in Sedona Arizona. A hike which I now share silently with you in Photographs:

In response to WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Silence

New Oxford American Dictionary-
Origins: Middle English: from Old French, from Latin silentium, from silere be silent.                                                                                                                            
silence–  | ˈsīləns | noun complete absence of sound: sirens pierce the silence of the night | an eerie silence descended over the house.                                         the fact or state of abstaining from speech: Karen had withdrawn into sullen silence | she was reduced to silence for a moment.                                                    the avoidance of mentioning or discussing something: politicians keep their silence on the big questions. •                                                                                       the state of standing still and not speaking as a sign of respect for someone deceased or in an opportunity for prayer: a moment of silence presided over by a local minister.

verb [with object] cause to become silent; prohibit or prevent from speaking: the team’s performance silenced their critics | freedom of the press cannot be silenced by tanks. (usually as adjective silenced) fit (a gun or other loud mechanism) with a silencer: a silenced .22 rifle.

PHRASES in silence without speech or other sound: we finished our meal in silence.

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A Safe and Peace-filled weekend to each and everyone.

 

News/Music: Simon & Garfunkel- Sounds of Silence