Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Scrub, Brush, and Boulders

No, I'm not referring to a scrub-brush. I took this shot of the scrub, brush and boulders at Pinnacle Peak in sunny Arizona, where we spent last week with my family, for the holidays. Strangely, it was unseasonably cold. One year we seemed to have brought a monsoon with us, and this year, it seems we brought a cold snap. It was only about 30 degrees each morning, and the super dry Arizona air made it feel colder, I thought.

It always amazes me how our Earth pours forth all its bounty and diversity, in so many ways. So many climates and terrains, each with its own unique set of flora and fauna. Before my first trip to Arizona about ten years ago, I anticipated only a desolation of sand and gravel in the desert, punctuated by the occasional Saguaro cactus, seen early in my life in the same cowboy movies that you might have enjoyed when you were a child.

Nothing could be further from the truth. From the winding, groping Palo Verde tree to the pungent Mesquite, to all sorts of scrub grasses and sizes and shapes of cacti, to the havalena (wild pig) munching quietly in the wash and hungry wild ponies stomping the grass inside the wire fence of the Salt River Reservation, there is much to see. Gigantic and imposing rock monuments seem to call forth a spiritual energy and connection to the Earth that Native Americans feel so deeply. Snow covered mountain peaks gleam in the distance, at the same time that delicate flowering bushes release their pollen and fragrance everywhere. Glossy-crowned palms imported from California and Florida, and fruit-laden lemon, orange, and grapefruit trees, shimmer in the golden sunlight.

Check out the colors in this Prickly Pear cactus. I have only adjsted the contrast and exposure in this shot, but I haven't added or saturated the color. All these hues were there, glistening like a rainbow in the afternoon light.

Here are some guys who are taking turns scaling a huge rock. Glad it wasn't me up there--all the guide lines and gear in the world couldn't get me to scale that boulder! I love to explore nature and all kinds of landscapes, but heights send me over the edge (the pun is accidental).

And this is The King of the Hill. Presumably...

And here's The Lone Stranger walking in Tonto National Forest. Actually, it's our daughter, but I kind of liked this for a title, LOL...

And here are the Four Peaks again, seen from the desert and covered in snow. I have to admit I like seeing snow from a distance whenever possible. Especially as it's now bitter cold in the northeast USA.

And finally, a scene right out of "Bonanza," which was one of my favorite shows when I was in the fourth grade....

Thanks for sharing my little photo tour of some of my favorite places in the scenic state of Arizona. Being out there with family, I had no opportunity to post and comment last week. But I want to thank all my fellow bloggers for sharing their interests, knowledge, and passions with me over the past few months, and for visiting this blog.

I have a solo show of paintings coming up in a month, and I still have a lot to do to get ready for it. So if you don't see me posting or making the rounds as much, don't think I've disappeared or forgotten you. I'll be here as time permits, and I'll be back full-throttle in a few weeks. Happy New Year to all of you, and thanks for making my world a warmer and more interesting place!

All photos and text c Lynda Lehmann. All rights reserved. Please visit me at if you want to see more of my work!

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  1. Nice photos. They make me homesick. I am from Arizona and miss the diversity of the landscape. :)

  2. oh these photos are wonderful Lynda..
    great to hear that you had a such a wonderful holiday with all of your family...
    haha of my favourites too !!!....and a terrific shot....
    the scale is amazing and the figures look so tiny compared to the larger than life elements in your photos....
    wishing you all the best with your up and coming exhibition....
    I know how you feel time wise as I am out of action with my shoulder for a while....
    hopefully I will squeeze one in by the 31st January for the 2008 Moran Portrait Prize :)
    hugs Kim

  3. Hi Lynda,

    wow, what a great pictures! I particularly like the one with the cactus (that's a first ;-)), the colors are amazing!!

    A very Happy and peaceful New Year too, thank you for your wonderful comments, and brightening up my days with your wonderful images!!

    Wishing you all the best with your upcoming show,


  4. Blessed i am to take this awesome tour of visions of insight...
    Gratitude and love to my beloved tour guide, Lynda...
    Wishing you greater moments of awareness in the years

  5. Thanks for sharing those desert pictures. I was born and lived in Tucson until after college. These photos are great reminders of home for me. I will always love the desert.

    I agree that for some reason it seems colder than the temp would normally indicate.

    Happy New Year!

  6. beth ellen, i can understand that, as it's a very beautiful and enchanting place!

    i actually miss the trees and forests of the northeast when we're visiting in AZ, but it looks bleak when we return home, and then i have to get used to it again. i guess every place has its charms.

    hope you get to visit AZ soon, or move back there some day. :)

  7. Kim, I'm really sorry to hear that your shoulder is still bothering you. Did you tear something or pop a bursa?

    I hope you feel better so you don't miss that contest opportunity. Your work is so well done, and POWERFUL, as well.

    Hugs to you, too! Let me know of any great news, which I EXPECT of you! :)

  8. Ellen, thank you! You brighten my day too! Who'ha thunk we'd have such bright and interesting blog-pals from all over the world???

    I guess this modern age has a number of benefits along with its dangers....

    Thanks for coming by, and for your wishes for my show. I'll be here sporadically. My best to you and yours!

    -Lynda :)

  9. merging point, i appreciate your very kind words. we all increase each other's awareness with this blogging business, and hopefully, our humanity, too! i'm looking forward to my increased awareness and humanity, lol...

    i'll see you a bit here and there for the next month or so, but not as often as i'd like.

    xxx lynda

  10. Michael,

    I guess EVERYONE in the states is from either New York or Arizona, lol...

    Yes, we went to sunny AZ and froze our ______ off! We wore winter clothes and had the heat on in the house, the entire time.

    I love it there too, and we may retire there some day, partly to be closer to my family. I'm fascinated by the drama, changes and variety in the landscape. A photographer's paradise....

    Happy new year to you, and many blessings!

    Lynda :)

  11. Hi Lynda,
    What a great set of photos, It's just as I imagined it to be,really like the close up of the prickly pear.
    I was expecting Horse to wonder through at any minute.
    Good luck with youe exhibition.
    Cheers Mark

  12. Welcome back Lynda!!!

    Happy New Year!

    I can see that you had a really nice time with your family :D. Arizona is a nice place after all; although it seems a bit desertish...
    Lovely pictures you took, but I must confess that my favourite is the cactus (Prickly pear): gorgeous!!! Nature is absolutely beautiful: its colours are overwhelmingly pretty; and you capture them really well: congratulations!

    I don't like climbing rocks myself! I like looking at them, but I just keep away from them lol...

    I also like the photo where your daughter is: it felt like swimming in that water (what is it: a lake or a river?).

    Good luck for your solo paintings show :D!


  13. Mark, any animal passing through is a welcome sight. Oh, er, uhm, we'll just leave the bobcats and rattlesnakes out of that statement.

    It really was exciting to see a band of wild horses only a few feet away, with just a barbed wire fence separating us. Sadly, they were quite skinny. I don't know if that's due to vanishing habitat or drought, or if wild horses are inherently thin.

    Happy New Year, Mark! :)

  14. Max, hi and thanks for your welcome! I agree, nature is full of wonderful forms and colors, and many surprises. The sunlight playing on that cactus was SOOO luminous and beautiful!

    My daughter is walking by a place called "Butcher Joe's" something-or-other, I can't remember, but it's in the Tonto National Forest. I think this must have been a spring-fed pond, as I don't remember any rivers running in that area.

    Cheers to you, too, and I wish you many blessings. I'm working on my show, but will get online to visit other blogs whenever I can. Soon my show will be over and I can paint and blog without all these other concerns. Looking forward to it...

    Keep on blogging, Woman!

  15. It's nice to look at some big rocks for a change. I'm in Florida, where the only rock we have is limestone, which isn't really a rock in my opinion. I love climbing boulders and hiking trails. Maybe I'll move to the mountains someday.

    Good luck with the show.

  16. Pete, I actually love to hike and climb, just as long as I don't have to get near any EDGES! Any cliff with a steep drop will cause me to back away. (I wasn't much good on the high dive, for this I don't think I could even CRAWL out there, now!)

    I love mountains, though. Their majesty just makes me feel good!

    Hope you get to move within sight of high peaks, someday! :)

  17. So inspiring and lovely, Lynda. What a wonderful place to start the New Year! I'm so glad you shared your lovely photographs.

    Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

  18. Thanks, Cindy! Since you live in neighboring CA, it wouldn't be too hard to get to Arizona for your next series of hikes! It's great hiking country, except in the HOT HOT HOT summer!

    I have to catch up on your recent posts!



  19. Oh Lynda you have reminded me the trip we took to Las Vegas. We drove from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon, however, what I saw was a bit what you have on the photos, but mostly flat land and skinny skinny cows on the side of the road. Speaking of cactus, I think I saw one standing in the middle of the field. However, the trip was enjoyable, a bit scary when coming back in the dark for 5 hours. Well little adventure is good.

    You said: 'The Lone Stranger walking in Tonto National Forest' - I like the title too even it is your daughter. Glad you had fun with your family.

    BTW thank you so much for visiting Will, it is appreciated.

    Anna :)

  20. Lynda I forgot to tell you - beautiful photography. Anna :)

  21. Hey, good shots, great post.
    Love the shot with ice cap on mountain top. ^^

  22. Anna, driving in empty or desolate places IS a bit scary. I feel that way when we go to Maine--many of the roads are virtually empty, even at midday! And it seems as if, except for the interstate and coastal highways, no one is on the road at night!

    I guess you saw the Grand Canyon from the North Rim? I saw it only briefly, and from the south side. I haven't hiked it yet, in any way, or had much time to shoot photos there. I want to go back one day, and spend some time.

    It was my pleasure to visit Will's site! :)

  23. kris, i bet you would love to travel all over arizona with your canera!

    there is SO much to see, and so much variety! you could never see all of it! :)

  24. Great picture tour, Lynda! The pear cactus is beautiful, I like plants that are purple or contain purple - when the sunlight shines on them, it is really pretty.

  25. Oh Lynda , just beautiful, if there is anything I like more then sunsets it's catus, beautiful shots, I always have a little catus in my house, just love em. I have this show in HD I recorded off PBS called Utah: The National Parks, just excellent, the Bonanza picture is so like that show, very awesome.

  26. Thanks for sharing these photos and the perspective from which they are taken..

  27. Thank you, Deborah! Happy New Year to you!

    I have to stop blogging and do other things that are waiting for me, but i can never resist working on photos of beautiful places and posting them.

    How is your mother doing now?

  28. Bob, I had a bunch of small cacti too, and one that grew from about four inches to five feet, over the years! It almost touched the "ceiling" of the bay window in my living room!

    But I had to give my plants to our daughter, as we go away in the summer and it got to be too much, carting all those plants to Maine each year! Along with everything else we have to take....

  29. Jaxon S, thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you enjoyed my AZ photos!

  30. Great work Lynda. Thanks for the sharing!

    Your photos are really superb! I love photos from the nature.

    Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.

  31. Sam, thank you! And thanks for stopping by to look at my blog.

    I love nature too, and taking lots of photos helps me hang on to that!

    Have a wonderful week! :)

  32. The third picture of the cactus is my favourite - love the colour and light.
    I also enjoyed Bonanza


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