You get what you pay for, they say. Today I collected a fortune, with interest, because I paid attention. Continue reading
Granite Dells and the Lakes—Central to Arizona
In Arizona, a state noted for natural wonders, Yavapai County stands out. Prescott’s physical environment—pine forests, chaparral, pinyon-juniper woodlands, grasslands, dramatic rock formations, and wetlands—is one of the reasons it is called “Everybody’s Hometown.” Watson and Willow Lakes in the Granite Dells dominate this landscape.
For the entire month of June, the Prescott Public Library Viewerie will display more than thirty large (some up to six feet in length) photographs in professional gallery mounts of Granite Dells and the Lakes (Watson & Willow) that stand as the centerpiece of the Tri-city area of Prescott, Prescott Valley, and Chino Valley in Yavapai County, Arizona. They represent the work of Walt Anderson, acclaimed nature photographer, and Joe Phillips, master printer. A reception open to the public is set for Wednesday, June 6, from 5:30-7:30 pm at the library.
This site presents an expanded tour of the content and images, with bonus photos and text added, but it cannot replace the impact of seeing the images in live time. Please try to visit the exhibition. Images are for sale from the photographer (email@example.com or 928-445-7470), and other images and sizes, individually and lovingly printed by Joe, can be created for your needs. Here is the price list with images.
This exhibit celebrates our natural heritage and urges all citizens, including decision-makers, to prioritize protection and wise stewardship of our great natural assets. Right here, right now, in the heart of this watershed, we must act to keep what we love. Continue reading
No, I am not going to pontificate on the NCAA basketball tournament in progress, though the testosterone-driven excitement around the games certainly parallels the changes that I see in the hummingbirds in my yard. Anna’s Hummingbirds have been chasing each other around like ballistic missiles with hyperdrive all month. When a surprising snowstorm raged through Arizona in the final two days before the vernal equinox, it was shocking to see zipping flashes of hot pink though the snowflakes. When I would replace a feeder of frozen nectar with fresh liquid, the feisty little birds buzzed my head as if annoyed that I was not out there at the crack of dawn with sugary elixir. Patience is not a hummingbird virtue. Continue reading
Dining has its dangers. And I don’t mean indigestion or choking on a bone. I’m talking hazards for the local seed-eating birds—the doves, quail, sparrows, juncos, and finches that check out the seeds that I scatter on the ground each morning.
Winter’s icy chill has descended on this part of Arizona, and recent snow has frozen into a crunchy crust. Little soil is exposed, and even the shrubs continue to bear heavy blobs of snow. These are lean times for seed-eating birds; there is no dietary margin for error. Find enough to eat or die. Continue reading
Monsoon season in Arizona is a time of waiting and watching. Waiting for rain is like playing the lottery. Your odds improve after the 4th of July, but it’s still a roller coaster of optimism and disappointment.
This morning dawns with haze and humidity, and by 8 am, the sun’s direct rays drill into my shoulders like a laser beam. Decisions—do I water the outside plants or not? For days, the thunderheads have played with us, marching toward Granite Dells like an invading army, rumbling ominously and trailing sheets of rain, only to dissipate upon arrival. They act as if it was all bluster, threat, intimidation, then shrug a rounded shoulder, “Just kidding!” . . . It’s hard not to take it personally. Continue reading