Beautiful Upper Lake Mary will host the 30th annual Mountain Man Triathlon in August, 2014.
This weekend we took the kayaks to the Narrows of Upper Lake Mary. The lake has maintained boat ramps for motorized and unmotorized boats. The ramp at the narrows is very shallow and most suitable for launching light craft. What started as a day with slight clouds and damp ground from a storm the previous evening, promised to give us enough time for a cruise around the area before the next storm could move in. This is the monsoon season of Arizona, and prone to lightning, thunder and heavy downpours, so we started early.
You can see by the brown tint to the water, there has been substantial run off from storms.
Muddy water and a slight, chilly breeze greeted us.
The wildflowers are now in full bloom along the shore. In addition to the clouds, you could see a haze of smoke from wildfires in the air.
Woolly Mullein grows tall here with grasses, zinnias and sunflowers.
Crows, Blue jays and hawks were active along the shore.
Blue jays looked in the shoreline rocks for delicacies like crawdad pieces.
To the north we could see the summer thunderheads building around the San Francisco Peaks.
As the storm began to close in, we headed back to the ramp.
Turning back I caught sight of a watcher high in an old Ponderosa Pine.
While watching the birds in the woods and yard, I have been learning a lot about their behaviors. Some birds and squirrels feed communally at our feeder while others insist on dining alone. While the Abert Squirrel this morning chased off woodpeckers, jays and other squirrels, he didn’t seem to be bothered by the tiny Nuthatch.
As I watched, the Nuthatch approached, quietly stood shopping for the best nut, picked it up and went off to to find a spot to eat it. Nuthatches are so named for their habit of wedging a large nut into tree bark and then pecking at it to get the shell open, thus “hatching” the nut.
A Nuthatch cautiously makes it’s way down the tree to the feeder.
The squirrel is listening, but he lets the Nuthatch approach.
Shopping for the perfect nut.
Making his get-a-way!
Looking for the best place to wedge the nut in order to peck it open.
After the repeal of US Prohibition in 1933, many brewing companies started operations in Arizona. In the late 1940s the company created a series of seven commercial art works, which have become famous worldwide.
The saloon at Crown King, Arizona has a set of the posters, which I photographed there.
“The Cowboys Dream” was the first such poster. The cowboy sleeps on his saddle. In the sky is a cloud in the form of a horse and lady rider. Not legible in my photo is the A-1 brand on the horse’s flank.
In 1949 “Black Bart” was created. Originally titled ” The Barber and the Bandit.” On the wall behind the scene is a wanted poster featuring the man in the barber’s chair.
In 1950 the “Dude Lady” poster was featured. This poster was not very popular and was thought to be offensive.
Many insects mimic others in their appearance. This bee-like fly is at high elevation near the Arizona Snow Bowl ski area.
You never know what you might find once you start taking macro photos. Sometimes tiny insects pop out in flower photos that surprise you, or the detail on a beetle might be so much more elegant than imagined. Sometimes the play of light inside a delicate flower is amazing, yet unappreciated in the normal view. Here is a selection of recent macro photos from around northern Arizona.
This water skater made an exclusive home in the little red wagon until a hail storm ended his reign.
Spider in flower.
The flowers of the Lupine come in small clusters.
This Crane’s Bill flower plays host to some tiny flying insects.
The Crab Spider is well camouflaged in the white daisy and quickly devoured the smallest insect.
This tiny Thistle bud will grow and eventually bloom with a beautiful purple blossom.