Friday, October 31, 2008

Stunning Rocks, Saguaro Cacti, Roosevelt Lake & Other Views from Tonto Forest


My husband and I are still visiting with family in Arizona, and we've taken a day or two to travel to our favorite places. I haven't had the opportunity to post, but today I'm finally taking the time to do so. I hope you enjoy these photos of scenic Arizona. This state is full of breathtaking landscapes and natural wonders. These are views from our airplane as we flew in, approaching Roosevelt Lake from the east. It was a spectacular scene, even from the smudged window of our plane!



A few days later, we drove north into the Tonto Basin and spent an afternoon looking at the sights. Below is a view of Roosevelt Lake from the west, taken on the path that runs up to the Tonto National Monument, which consists of ruins from the Salado people who inhabited the Tonto Basin in central Arizona between 1150 and 1450 A.D. The Salado culture was named for the Salt River (Rio Salado) that was so important to their way of life.



The rocks along the path were as beautiful as the larger panoramas of the lake. Naturally, I had to shoot a lot of them in spite of the bees that were flitting too close to my face, even buzzing near my ear, on this too-hot autumn day. Imagine, 95 degrees for the entire last two weeks of October! Thankfully the weather was dry, making the heat a bit more bearable. The rocks were full of copper, another hiker told me, but I really have no idea what the composition of the mountain was. I saw layers of red rock and shards in what seemed like a million colors and configurations. One day I'll have to do some research on this.


Here's a view of the huge Saguaro cacti from the path leading down from the ruins. I've heard that each arm of the cactus represents almost a hundred years of growth! (I didn't go into the ruins on this trip, because the bees and yellow wasps were still so active. I've been told that they often nest in the "caves.")



It's hard to believe how fertile and alive the desert is. Far from barren or lifeless, the diversity of plants and animals is stunning.



Here are some flowers blooming along a garden wall in Phoenix, where the flora and fauna are more manicured!


We drove north to Sedona a few days later, and the scenery there was just as majestic and inspiring. If I have time to post again this week, I'll share some of those shots with you.

I hope you enjoyed these. I've missed you all, although I've enjoyed the time away from sitting at my desk and computer!

Just a reminder to my blogging friends in the USA: Let's all get out there and VOTE on Election Day! Our democracy depends on our participation!

All images are copyright 2008 Lynda Lehmann.

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