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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