Wednesday, April 4, 2018

April 2018 Orations
Spring has sprung!  My garden is blooming. Iris are always among the first to come up and bloom.  They flourish so beautifully and in a variety of colors.  Not only am I going to feature them as my Photo of the Month and in my Featured series, but I am going to start a whole new page in the Flowers and Foliage section featuring only iris.  For our Photo of the Month I have chosen a brilliant white iris which I took in black & white. The Featured Series will be an array of purple iris.  Not all purples are the same when it comes to iris.  I have chosen macros or close-ups of these particular blooms to show the beard on the petals, hence giving them the name bearded iris. Others will be featured on the new Iris page, showing a garden with rows of purple iris and individual iris in an assortment of colors.

I hope that you enjoyed Holy Week leading up to April 1st, and Easter or Passover which ever you celebrate.  Lilies are the flower most closely associated with Easter, and I have featured them in prior years; this year I was drawn to the iris. 

Think Spring!  Think [be] Cool-Do Good. Help our less fortunate and provide a smile or a hug if you cannot provide anything else.

Peace from the Desert… Karen

Monday, March 26, 2018

March 2018 Orations

March, the windy month; and still wintry in many places.  It features the beginning of spring on the 20th of the month this year, and we begin to look for flowers popping up their heads, crocus blooming, birds chirping and warmer days.   Just for fun here are some of the weird and serious holidays for March:  March 1st is National Pig Day as well as Peanut Better Lovers’ Day.  March 2nd is World Day of Prayer, as well as National Salesperson Day.  March 14th is National Potato Chip Day, as well as National Pi Day. Why Pi Day – because the March fourteenth is 3.14 the value of Pi.  Whether Irish or not, we all celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th, and it is [of course] Corned Beef and Cabbage Day. March 24th is National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day. Palm Sunday falls on March 25th this year as well as the Feast of the Assumption, Pecan Day and Waffle Day.  Good Friday is on March 30th, and Passover begins at sundown.
I am featuring one last look at the Maroon Bells area of Colorado.  The Photo of the Month is of the Maroon Bells with a reflection in Maroon Lake.  The Featured Series consists of three views of Maroon Creek, from its calm exit from Maroon Lake to the roaring stream it becomes.  I hope you have enjoyed our journey through part of Colorado over the last few months.  Be sure to check out the links to other sections and see our exciting collection of fine art photographs.

Peace from the Desert…Karen

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