Tuesday, February 13, 2018

February 2018

Here we are in February, the month of valentines, chocolates, Presidential birthdays, and Ground Hog Day.  Other silly holidays include Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day, Stuffed Mushroom Day, Thank a Mailman Day,  and Bubblegum Day to name a few. This year Ash Wednesday falls in February. Fat Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, and is also known as Shrove Tuesday. It is a day when people eat all they want of everything and anything they want as the following day is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of a long fasting period for Christians.  February is also Black history month, and Superbowl Sunday falls in there too.  That ought to be enough to keep everyone busy for the shortest month of the year.

I am still featuring Colorado pictures this month.  The destination of desire for this trip was the Maroon Bells. The Maroon Bells are two peaks in the Elk Mountains, Maroon Peak and North Maroon Peak, and both are fourteeners.  Maroon Peak, at 14,163 feet (4317.0 m), is the 27th highest peak in Colorado. North Maroon Peak, at 14,019 feet (4273.0 m), is the 50th highest. Unlike other mountains in the Rockies that are composed of granite and limestone, the Bells are composed of metamorphic sedimentary mudstone that has hardened into rock over millions of years. Mudstone is weak and fractures readily, giving rise to dangerously loose rock along almost any route. The mudstone is responsible for the Bells' distinctive maroon color.

It was cloudy and rained the first day we went to the Bells, but the reflection in Maroon Lake wasn’t bad.  The second day we went was clear but breezy, so the water was rippled as was the reflection. It is still one of the most beautiful areas in Colorado, and the nearby Sievers Mountain presents an alternate of jagged red rock which is captivating.  Sievers consists of contorted Triassic redbeds which form the north wall of Maroon Creek Canyon between Crater & Maroon Lakes.   

The Featured Series this month is three views of Sievers Mountain.  Our Photo of the Month is one of the Maroon Bells. I have placed some other views in the Trips & Travels-Colorado section, so check it out.  I may feature a few more of the Bells next time because they are so fascinating, and still retained large patches of snow in August. But what else would you expect from mountains higher than 14,000 feet?

Peace from the Desert… Karen

Saturday, January 20, 2018

January 2018
Happy New Year! Here's wishing you a bountiful, safe and healthy New Year. Don't make any New Year's resolutions because you won't keep them anyway. I bet you have already broken the ones you solemnly vowed to keep on New Year's Eve! For the new year: Keep a smile on your face; be forward looking and don't look back at past mistakes, learn from them and move on; be considerate to those in need, and lend a helping hand when you can. Be wise in your investments; be careful how you spend, and save for the future when you can. Take care of your health, that is most important.

For January I am continuing my views of Colorado taken in August 2017. I am taking you along Rt. 133 to Marble, Colorado. The old mill site in Marble is a National Historic Site. A lot of marble was mined here and such historic monuments as the columns of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier are made from marble taken from this area. The mine was closed for quite awhile, but recently was reopened and they are mining marble from Colorado once again. What's left of the town of Marble is quaint, and a few who actually mine the marble live there. You can visit the old mill site, and the featured series this month shows some of the some of the images I took there. We will continue to show a few more views of Marble next month. The Photo of the Month is of Mt. Sopris showing the recent snow. It was taken on a rather cloudy, ready-to-rain day, but still shows the majesty of this mountain.

Be sure to visit the Wyoming Mountains link under the Mountains, Canyons & Caverns tab. That particular link offers some of the magic and mystery of Yellowstone National Park, with its steaming springs and geysers. What a place Mother Nature has wrought.

Peace from the desert . . . Karen

Greetings of the Season! Hope your December is finding you joyfully busy with shopping and planning for your holiday! Merry Christmas and best wishes for a bountiful New Year!

I am still presenting images from the Colorado trip we took this summer. I have so many beautiful scenes that it is hard for me to switch gears and offer something more winter-like. There was, however, snow on Mt. Sopris which had fallen just a day before we arrived, and that was in August. It was delightfully cool compared to Arizona's heat. We came over McClure Pass which is positively beautiful at any time of the year. North of Lizard Head (featured last month) and south of Carbondale is some of the most gorgeous scenery in the world. I am featuring three different mountain peaks enhanced by rich greenery, the last of which shows the southern side of Mt. Sopris with snow. I hope you enjoy visiting Colorado with me.

Our Photo of the Month takes a slightly different twist. Along Rt. 133 near Redstone is an old grave which caught my eye. I just had to investigate it. Turned out, it was the grave of John McKee, an old prospector. (Isn't there a folk tune about him?) The sign over the gravesite reads: "John C. McKee, Prospector. Became ill and friends attempted to get him to doctor. Died enroute and was buried here July 7, 1883." You never know what you will find along the way.

We are also adding an entirely new section entitled "Wyoming Mountains" under the Mountains, Canyons & Caverns tab. Be sure to check it out.

Enjoy your holiday, whichever one you celebrate! See you in the New Year.

Peace from the desert . . . Karen

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Lizard Head Mountain

Indian Summer Greetings! We are having a balmy fall here in Arizona, which means it is actually too hot with the temperatures hovering around 90 degrees. This week the weather forecasters have been predicting cooler temperatures, and all we can say is "they'd better be!"

I said in October that I would continue featuring photos from my trip to Colorado. As we were winding our way northward we passed some beautiful country while following the Dolores River (when viewing the photo of the horses along the river, note the one almost hidden by the brush nearer the river). We headed up to Lizard Head Mountain which stands at 13, 113 ft. (featured), and on through the Delta Divide to Ridgeway State Park. Then we traversed breathtaking McClure Pass and went into mining country. The weather was mostly cooperative; some showers every afternoon, but only one day were plans rained out. That's a story for next month.

Meanwhile enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday. Just in case you are celebrating another holiday besides Thanksgiving, here are a few to consider: November 3rd- Sadie Hawkins Day (the first Saturday in November); November 6th-National Saxophone Day (I can relate to that one); one we should all try to do is November 13th- World Kindness Day; November 15th- Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day - maybe we should postpone that till after Thanksgiving. November 28th is RedPlanet Day, and November 29th is National Square Dance Day. Honest! I don't make these up! Whatever you do, have a great November! (Christmas shopping anyone?)

Peace from the desert . . . Karen

Friday, October 27, 2017

Our recent trip to the old mining towns of Colorado resulted in many beautiful pictures. I am going to start at the beginning of the trip and offer some selections from the red rocks of New Mexico. The Photo of the Month was taken in the middle of the desert, rising up from sand, and showing in brilliant red against the cloudy sky. The Featured Series photos were taken nearer the New Mexico-Arizona border, and show the weathering of the red sandstone producing caves deep into the rock. I found them interesting and beautiful. As we crossed the Navajo Reservation in northern Arizona, we stopped to allow a small herd of wild horses cross the highway. I have featured a photo of three of them entitled "We Three" on our Animals page. They are strikingly beautiful and healthy. (The third one is hidden between the other two!)   Another find, later in Colorado, was a red day lily, which I have added under the Beautiful Blossoms. It is extraordinarily different from others I have photographed.

I will continue with other photos from the trip to Colorado mining towns as we progress into 2017 and then 2018. Meanwhile, I wish you a joyous and beautiful fall, full of calmer days, decreasing temperatures, and fun celebrations. Happy Halloween!

Peace from the desert . . . Karen

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Last month, I promised I would bring more views of flowers that grow in a ball shape. This month the Photo of the Month is the Allium, which you may know is a member of the onion family. Onions, shallots and garlic are members of the Allium family that belong in the vegetable garden. But there are many ornamental alliums that deserve a hearty welcome in your perennial gardens. In addition to that, our Featured Series (see website www.obscureobservations.com) offers the Snowball bush (often mistaken for the Hydrangea), Queen Anne's Lace (which my grandmother really did grow in her garden), and a group of blue Hydrangea. Each is spectacular in its own right and beautiful to behold.

I am offering a new Grunge selection. (see website under Grunge tab under Mixed Myriad)  This is a photo of a gorgeous Orange Calla Lily. I turned it into black and white, and restored the color of the lily itself, and then added layers of vectors and abstracts to bring it to its present status. For those of you who do not appreciate the Grunge effects, the Orange Calla Lily is offered in its original state under "Beautiful Blossoms", and again in the "Neons and Special Effects" section where I offer the black & white version with painted lily. Check out other additions in the "Beautiful Blossoms" section featuring some grass selections.

As we venture slowly into fall, get out and enjoy Nature as much as possible before the weather cools down. Here in Arizona, that won't happen until late October, but for the rest of the states, you should begin to enjoy some wonderful temperate days.

Peace from the desert . . . Karen

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

I have been working on some more Grunge photos and thought I'd post this one even though it won't be on the website till September.  This was a photo of a beautiful orange calla lily, which then endured four steps to bring it to this composite.   It will be offered as a 12x12" photo.

Peace from the Desert... Karen