Arizona’s monsoon rains in the mountains produce a summer crop of mushrooms, toadstools, slime molds and other delights. Here are a few that have appeared already this 2014 season. I don’t know enough about fungi to attempt to identify them for you. Experts can determine if any are safe to eat, but many are deadly poison. Squirrels seem to eat some of them but I don’t know that is an indicator of human tolerance.I think they are fascinating to find.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Just looking at the picture makes you feel an allergic response coming on? Never fear, it’s not the Goldenrod that people are actually allergic to! At the same time that Goldenrod blooms so conspicuously, the Ragweed often found in the same area is the usual culprit. Ragweed has tiny green flowers that go almost unnoticed, but create huge clouds of very irritating pollen. So enjoy this golden beauty.