30 November 2011

Autumn Walks

Magnificent Sycamore
My Mom has been here visiting for the past week.  We've taken many lovely autumn walks as my sister and I have shared some of our favorite spots with her!  I always love visiting Montezuma Well, especially the path down to the outlet.  It's a beautiful, peaceful oasis in the midst of a dry desert landscape that never fails to move me.  When we went this week, there was a new sign that said "Warning! Falling Prickly Pear".  This was the view when I looked up to see what they were talking about!  Sure enough, there is a precariously perched prickly pear cactus hanging over the edge of the rocks above, but what really got our attention was the magnificence of the centuries old Arizona Sycamore tree clothed in autumn glory!

Sycamore Leaves
We continued our walk at Montezuma Castle.  Once again the Arizona Sycamore trees were in full glory.  The russet tones of the leaves glowed against the clear blue sky!

Sycamore at Montezuma Castle NM
The white bark of the Sycamore is always stunning, but never more so than right now!

Lonely Dell Ranch - Autumn
Another day, my Mom and I took a drive north to Lee's Ferry on the Colorado River.  Here we enjoyed a walk around the Lonely Dell Ranch.   The old orchard trees still carry an assortment of green to golden leaves and the ground underneath is a tapestry of golden tones.  Just beautiful.

Vermillion Cliffs
Our drive continued on to the Vermillion Cliffs, where we stopped to watch the California Condors.  They were soaring too high to get a picture, though they were easily spotted with binoculars.  The ornithologist was there, tracking 15 of them!  It's always amazing to see them!

Woodland Path
Our last outing before my Mom headed home was to Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona, where we spent a good part of the afternoon at Red Rock Crossing State Park.  We loved the wide leaf covered path through the woods.

Autumn stream
Oak Creek runs just over the right berm in this photo.  This small tributary is really an irrigation ditch that supplies farms downstream, but it has to be one of the loveliest irrigation ditches I've seen!

Sycamore at Red Rock Crossing
There were grand arching Sycamore trees here too.  We stopped and watched the birds along the way.  My Mom is a master birder and with her along on these walks, I was able to learn to identify several birds that were new to me ~ Bridled Titmice, Swenson's Thrushes, and Bewick's Wren among others.

Red Rock Crossing view
The views at Red Rock Crossing are stunning!

Cottonwood at Red Rock Crossing
The golden leaves of this large cottonwood near the parking area just glowed in the afternoon light!  This has been a gorgeous lingering autumn here in Arizona.  Winter is due to arrive in full force in Flagstaff in a couple of days, so I'm extra glad to have had this lovely week of golden days!

6 comments:

Thuis Thuis said...

I love your pictures, the colours are so bright!
Love Annette
Thuis Thuis

devonaz said...

Beautiful,,I keep forgetting how northern Az is so different from the valley where I lived for 14 years,,thank you for sharing and so glad you and your mom had a very nice visit..

Cathy K said...

What a lovely post of such gorgeous pictures and descriptions. It makes me feel as though I have been out walking with you, which would be quite fun, actually! Let`s do it sometime! It’s nice that you were able to have such a nice visit with your mom. Life is good, isn’t it? Hugs, Cathy

Anonymous said...

My favorite is the path you show at Oak Creek Canyon although every picture is beautiful and so interesting. Keep enjoying all those wonderful spots you have close to your home. Mary

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the lovely walk back in time! Remembering slide rock and Oak Creek Canyon was wonderful!

Susan Elliott said...

Oh Wow. I'm SO glad you looked up. That first pic is worth a million to me. Thanks for sharing your walk and your mom...

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