Back to reality

DSC_2935 DSC_2944 DSC_2957 DSC_2965 DSC_2967 DSC_2971

Our vacation in Arizona was over and it was time to head back to Phoenix to catch our afternoon flight home to Florida. We took I-17 straight down from Flagstaff. The drive was amazing (I’m comparing it to our years of driving between Atlanta and Tampa).  I kept taking pictures through the window while Brett was driving.  Long winding road with very few billboards. My favorite sign was the picture of the elk crossing but I was disappointed. We didn’t see a single one.

DSC_2988 DSC_2991 DSC_2993

As we got closer to Phoenix, the Saguaro cactus were all along the road.

IMG_3742

IMG_3738

IMG_3737

On the plane, I saw several areas with these big circles. I’m assuming they have something to do with agriculture. Anyone have any ideas?

We made it back to reality and the hot steamy city of Tampa. I already miss northern Arizona. Some day we’ll get back there.

Skywatch Friday

Across the country for red leaves

DSC_2712 DSC_2738 DSC_2751 DSC_2834 DSC_2855 DSC_2875 DSC_2899 DSC_2901 DSC_2912 DSC_2911

I had to go all the way across the county to get some fall colors. These were taken in late September in Flagstaff. It’s now the first day of November and there is still no sign of fall yet here in central Florida. Still in the 80’s which is us normal for us.

DSC_2796

DSC_2778

These were taken at the Flagstaff Arboretum. We were there in a transition period.  Not a lot of flowers since spring and summer were over but the leaves were changing and it was beautiful out. We took the long trail through the woods around the park and at one point, this is the view.  If you crop the picture you would think you were all alone out in the forest.  But then you see the solar panels. Brings you back to reality. I keep saying that I could live here, well, except for the 100 inches of snowfall a year in the winter.

3 new birds at Picture Canyon

DSC_2356 DSC_2362 DSC_2371

White breasted nuthatch hanging upside down.

DSC_2378

Northern Flicker posing on a branch.

DSC_2397

My first Mountain Chickadee.  The Carolina and Black Capped chickadees don’t have the white stripe over their eyes.

DSC_2411

My first acorn woodpecker.

DSC_2442

DSC_2447

My first white crowned sparrow. Easy to spot with those two black stripes on his head. I’m not sure what the one above it is. Some other type of sparrow.

DSC_2403

One of the views of the canyon as we started to notice the dark clouds heading our way.

One of my favorite places in Flagstaff was the little know Picture Canyon trail. I had read about it on some of the Arizona birding sites. It was free and we only saw one other person on the Tuesday we were there. Half way through the canyon we started to hear the thunder and did not want to be caught on the cliff so we moved pretty quickly back to the car. We got back just as it started to rain. I got 3 new birds from this canyon. I had also read there are some rare Lewis woodpeckers there but we could not find them.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing

Plants in a canyon

DSC_1875 DSC_1907 DSC_2006 DSC_2013 DSC_2016 DSC_2027 DSC_2033 DSC_2050 DSC_2076 DSC_1959

Some of the plants we saw on our hike down Walnut Canyon in Flagstaff. I loved the way the dead trees looked so creepy. All twisted up, they were all along the trail. The last picture is a Steller’s Jay. We saw them at all of the parks we went to but they were so skittish. Not like our blue jays here that will get close and yell at you for not feeding them.

If you go up, you must come down.

DSC_2128 DSC_2139 DSC_2141 DSC_2173 DSC_2235 DSC_2237 DSC_2257 DSC_2271 DSC_2282 DSC_2292 DSC_2298

This was my first time on a chair lift (the sky buckets at Disney World don’t count). My husband has been on them many times but this was his first time on one without snow underneath. We took the lift up to the top and walked around for a while. It was more fun going down than up since you only see the side of the mountain going up.  Going down, you slowly see all of the area around Flagstaff. Although, it got cloudy while we were at the top so it was cold and windy going back down.

Skywatch Friday

Living on a cliff

DSC_1911DSC_1915DSC_1918DSC_1933DSC_1935DSC_1938DSC_1943DSC_1964DSC_2023

Besides the fact that Walnut Canyon is fun to hike around, there are old historic dwellings that were built by the Sinagua Indians that you can view. We were able to go inside some of them and tried to imagine what it was like living there so long ago. You would have to be sure-footed since most were sitting on a cliff. The view was beautiful and I guess you didn’t have to worry about cleaning the floors so that’s a good thing. The bad thing would have been no windows and no central heating.  And where’s the elevator?? They must have stayed in great shape to be climbing those cliffs all the time. If you ever get to Walnut Canyon, I would recommend taking the longer hike so you can get up close.