Photography: As Shot – Fall Colors


Fall colors of leaves - Oak Creek Canyon, AZ

This is the time of the year when certain areas are transitioning between fall and winter and much of the fall color is now gone. In the desert we don’t have a dramatic change of season. When we want to get a sense of fall, we head north to one of our other favorite areas.

The picture above was taken at the West Fork of Oak Creek, just north of Sedona, AZ. While the post on Instagram doesn’t show the entire frame nor the degree of detail, I thought this was a season-worthy photograph to share with the additional clarity and explanation.

File Name: DSCF0045.RAF
Capture time: 12:01:07 PM
Capture date: November 9 2015
Exposure: 1/80 sec @ f/6.5
Focal Length: 215m
ISO: 100
Camera: Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Lens: 4.3-215mm
Edited in Lightroom

  • Read more about hiking the West Fork Trail, HERE
  • Read more photography posts HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017 – JBRish.com



Hiking: Bootleggers Trail, Scottsdale, Arizona

  • Address: 31402 N. 136th St., Scottsdale, AZ
  • Hours: Sunrise to sunset daily
  • Amenities: Passenger vehicle and horse trailer parking. NO RESTROOMS OR WATER

A couple of days ago I wrote about capturing my first “decent” photograph of a Phainopepla while hiking along the Bootlegger Trail off of the Granite Mountain Trailhead which is part of the McDowell Mountain Preserve in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Kudos to the citizens of Scottsdale for fostering efforts to support the acquisition of desert lands to be kept in their natural desert form. As you may imagine the population growth in the southwest is booming and native desert is disappearing fast. Land put aside to remain undeveloped is a treasure that can be enjoyed by everyone.

We have hiked other areas of the McDowell Mountain Presserve, but this was the first time at this particular location and we were not disappointed. Below is the view just a few yards away from the parking area.


View from the parking area

What helps to make this area somewhat unique and interesting are the boulders and boulder formations that populate the trail.


Numerous boulders along the trail

As we began to head west, the distant hills loomed large before us.


Granite hills rise up in the distance as we begin the hike.

The essence of the area really cannot be captured in individual photos so I hope the panorama below provides a sense of the expansive, hilly terrain.


A panorama reveals the full scope of the vista


To see a larger version of the panorama, click HERE

This was just one of the many boulder formations we studied as we hiked along the trail.


Interesting boulder formation

Boulder fields with rocks piled on top of each other often surrounded the trail.


Boulder fields with piles of rocks

As we hiked, I spotted a bird atop the granite hill far in the distance. Unfortunately my telephoto lens was not long enough to acquire a very detailed photo, but my guess is that it was a Harris’s Hawk (see the second image).


A distant bird; I think a Harris's Hawk


Closer view of the hawk

This is a description of the Harris’s Hawk from All About Birds – Cornell Lab of Ornithology:

“A handsome hawk of the arid Southwest, Harris’s Hawk is a standout with bold markings of dark brown, chestnut red, and white, long yellow legs, and yellow markings on its face. The most social of North American raptors, these birds are often found in groups, cooperatively attending nests and hunting together as a team. When hunting, a group of hawks surround their prey, flush it for another to catch, or take turns chasing it. This hawk’s social nature and relative ease with humans has made it popular among falconers and in education programs. “

While this trail is listed as moderate, we are inclined to label it more appropriately as easy. There were some inclines and the path does lead up to the distant hills, but we didn’t find any sections that we felt were strenuous.


Picture of the saguaros in the foreground of the mountains


More pretty boulders with the mountains in the background

The desert is a very harsh environment and death is often in evidence. Once stately saguaros often succumb to damage or drought. Even in death, they grace the area and give evidence to the beauty that is the desert.


Dead saguaro still graces the desert

This was a lovely area with the saguaro straight ahead and the boulder formation off to the right in the shade. There was a small “window” in the bottom, middle portion of the rock formation which enabled us to get a peek of the upcoming distant vista.


A bend in the path with a saguaro and boulder formation

As desert gardeners and proponents of native vegetation we always enjoy seeing clusters of greenery in areas that receive scant rainfall.


Green desert plants contrast with all the brown rocks and land.

At the start of the trail and then again as hikers make their way back toward the parking area, there are distant views of desert mountains and nearby housing developments.


Another set of mountains can be seen off to the south-southeast

We plan to return to the Granite Mountain Trailhead to take other hikes that lead to different areas of this interesting region.

  • Length: 2.9 miles
  • Elevation change: 175 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Use: hiking, biking and horseback riding

 

Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

© Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017 – JBRish.com



Vide-Ohs: HS Dance Magic via the Wizard of OZ

To think that this performance was executed by high school students is astounding! This would be impressive if it were performed professionally on Broadway or at a Las Vegas venue. Everyone involved with this production should be saluted.

The choreography, dancing, scenery, etc. is wonderful and very well done. You will soon forget this was a hs gymnasium and I can guarantee that if you enjoy dancing and music, you will savor this masterpiece.

 

From the YouTube page notes:

The PAC dance team at homecoming Assembly-Wizard of Oz theme Walden Grove High School, Sahuarita Arizona Coach:

Kristi Lopez Assistant Coach: Kathya Quihuiz Choreography: Kristi Lopez ft. Cori Anderson, Quincy Harmon, and Malina DeSouza Props: Kristi Lopez, Kathya Quihuiz, and Carlos Quihuiz

 

More Vide – Ohs

To See additional Interesting Videos, click HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017 – JBRish.com



Enchanted Pumpkin Garden – 2017 – Part 2


The information below appeared on yesterday’s post so if you read that, feel free to skip to the pictures below. If, however, you didn’t read it, you can find it HERE.

This time of the year fosters much fun and merriment related to Halloween and Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Carefree, AZ offers a display of pumpkin carvings and pumpkin-based dioramas. Ray Villafane and his crew are carving magicians and once again this year their skill is on display.

There is more background information in last year’s posts. You can find them HERE.

As you will see below, this year’s dioramas are entertaining with their ingenoius scenes and situations. A few are a bit macabre, but overall the display and event are very family friendly. Here are some photographs from the Enchanted Pumpkin Garden, 2017 – Part 2


Ray Villafane continued to work on this carving of the day
As guests stroll through the garden Ray Villafane (pumpkin carver extraordinaire) continued to work on this carving of the day.


Keep an eye our as there are pumpkins at nearly every turn
Keep an eye our as there are pumpkins at nearly every turn!


With all the pumpkins in town, sometimes  medical care may be needed
With all the pumpkins in town, sometimes medical care may be needed.


Unfortunate pumpkin has an injured leg
Unfortunate pumpkin has an injured leg.


This individudal had a run in with a Cholla cactus
This individudal had a run in with a Cholla cactus!


There were some who wanted to relax around a campfire
There were some who just wanted to relax around a campfire.


The ol' swimmin' hole was popular this evening
The ol’ swimmin’ hole was popular this evening.


Hard to tell if this pumpkin is having fun or not
Hard to tell if this pumpkin is having fun or not.


Having trouble lifting weights at the gym
Having trouble lifting weights at the gym.


A boxing match was held on the other side of the gym
A boxing match was held on the other side of the gym and…


The fellow on the left is knocked off his feet
The fellow on the left is knocked off his feet.


Pumpkins needed to watch out for the mean pumpkin catcher!
Pumpkins needed to watch out for the mean pumpkin catcher!.


The three witches were working on a brew
The three witches were working on a brew.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

 
See previous posts about life in the desert HERE.


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017 – JBRish.com



Enchanted Pumpkin Garden – 2017 – Part 1


This time of the year fosters much fun and merriment related to Halloween and Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Carefree, AZ offers a display of pumpkin carvings and pumpkin-based dioramas. Ray Villafane and his crew are carving magicians and once again this year their skill is on display.

There is more background information in last year’s posts. You can find it HERE.

As you will see below, this year’s dioramas are entertaining with their ingenious scenes and exhibits. A few are a bit macabre, but overall the displays and event are very family friendly. Here are some photographs from the Enchanted Pumpkin Garden, 2017 – Part 1


Enchanted Pumpkin Garden Sign


Ray Villafane wielding his pumpkin carving wizardry
Ray wielding his pumpkin carving wizardry.


Carved pumpkin closeup
Carved pumpkin closeup


This pumpkin appears to be afraid of spiders
This pumpkin appears to be afraid of spiders (dangling in front).


Bad news about pumpkins in the paper
This fellow seems disturbed about the pumpkins making the newspaper headlines.


Pumpkin piano man
Piano man doesn’t seem to be having a good night!


Halloween couple greets visitors on stage
A Halloween couple greets visitors on stage and will eagerly pose for pictures.


Have your picture taken atop hay bales with a pumpkin man
Visitors can have their picture taken atop hay bales with a pumpkin man.


A pumpkin farrier is shoeing a horse
Western themed pumpkin farrier is shoeing a horse.


Diorama chicks made from gourds
Diorama chicks made from gourds


These pumpkin horses are ready to go
These pumpkin horses are ready to go.


Stagecoach driver gets the team ready to move
A stagecoach driver gets the team ready to move.

Watch for Part 2 tomorrow!

 
See previous posts about life in the desert HERE.


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017 – JBRish.com



Pickleball – Coming to Rose Mofford Sports Compled, Phoenix

On the heels of good news that new pickleball courts are being planned for the Paseo Highlands Park, (see Pickleball Expanding in Phoenix we have been made aware that the Rose Mofford Sports Complex will have three pickleball courts available once the the park renovation is completed

Here are some pictures of the signs provided by a member of our pickleball community:


Pickleball Sign at Rose Mofford Sports Complex


Pickleball Sign at Rose Mofford Sports Complex


Pickleball Sign at Rose Mofford Sports Complex

For a larger picture, Click HERE

For those who may not know where the Rose Mofford Sports Complex is, here is a screen shot taken from Google Maps.


Pickleball Sign at Rose Mofford Sports Complex

Rose Mofford Sports Complex
9833 N 25th Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85021

The grapevine has it that construction was planned to start after July 5, 2017 although the sign indicates late spring.

As always, we would like to thank and acknowledge the City of Phoenix and the Parks and Recreation Department for their efforts on behalf of the Phoenix Area pickleball players.

Pickleball Videos

To See additional Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

Check out Additional Pickleball Info and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017


Hiking the Peralta Trail, Gold Canyon, AZ – 20160701

The Finale of the Peralta Trail Photo Essay

NOTE – Keep in mind that we took this hike and these pictures represent the trail as we saw it in December, 2009. The trail may have changed a bit since them and some of the flora may no longer be exactly where we are reporting, but this is a good representation of things you may find along the way. Perhaps you will find even more intriguing highlights.

Of course the large rock formations and mountains will remain largely unchanged.


Long shadows, time to head backk
Toward Sunset

After spending some time at the Fremont Saddle and having a snack, we wanted to head back to the trailhead. As you can note from the picture, the shadows were getting longer and with that the cool, soon to be followed by cold, December chill would be setting in.

Even the decaying plants add a beauty to the desert if we take time to notice and appreciate them. Desert life is hard and any plant or animal that can survive gains my immediate and ever-lasting respect.

This is the final post about our experience along the Peralta Trail, Gold Canyon, Arizona. If you like moderate hiking and a walk in a very different and beautiful landscape, I recommend it. Just be prepared, heed all warning signs and read about the hike before you commit.

Read more about the Peralta Trail HERE.

Previous posts and photographs in the Peralta Trail series in chronological order:


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All content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.


©Jeffrey B. Ross


Hiking the Peralta Trail, Gold Canyon, AZ – 20160630

Hiking the Peralta Trail, Gold Canyon, AZ – 20160630

NOTE – Keep in mind that we took this hike and these pictures represent the trail as we saw it in December, 2009. The trail may have changed a bit since them and some of the flora may no longer be exactly where we are reporting, but this is a good representation of things you may find along the way. Perhaps you will find even more intriguing highlights.

Of course the large rock formations and mountains will remain largely unchanged.


Spent desert flower stalk
Spent desert flower stalk

As I pointed out in one of the first posts about the Peralata Trail, there is an abundance of desert flora along the trail as far as the eye can see. There is beauty all around during the spring as cacti and desert trees bloom freely.

Once the bloom is over, some of the plants continue to provide aesthetic interest with their dry stalks, etc. I so appreciated this willowy structure highlighted against the dark, shadowy background in the picture above. It was truly striking! The lower group of plants sporting their colors of yellow and orange were supporting cast members.

Read more about the Peralta Trail HERE.

Previous posts and photographs in the Peralta Trail series in chronological order:


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JBRish.com originally published this post
*All photographs Copyright by Jeffrey B. Ross with all rights reserved.

Hiking the Peralta Trail, Gold Canyon, AZ – 20160629

NOTE – Keep in mind that we took this hike and these pictures represent the trail as we saw it in December, 2009. The trail may have changed a bit since them and some of the flora may no longer be exactly where we are reporting, but this is a good representation of things you may find along the way. Perhaps you will find even more intriguing highlights.

Of course the large rock formations and mountains will remain largely unchanged.


Weavers Needle from the Fremont Saddle - one last shot!
Weavers Needle – one last picture

Once we made it to the saddle and took in the view of Weavers Needle, we realized that it was time to head back down the trail. We started the hike later in the day and we were satisfied to have reached the saddle.

Before we started our journey back to the trailhead, I couldn’t resist taking one last picture of the needle and I am glad I did!

Read more about the Peralta Trail HERE.

Previous posts and photographs in the Peralta Trail series in chronological order:


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JBRish.com originally published this post
*All photographs Copyright by Jeffrey B. Ross with all rights reserved.

Hiking the Peralta Trail, Gold Canyon, AZ – 20160628

NOTE – Keep in mind that we took this hike and these pictures represent the trail as we saw it in December, 2009. The trail may have changed a bit since them and some of the flora may no longer be exactly where we are reporting, but this is a good representation of things you may find along the way. Perhaps you will find even more intriguing highlights.

Of course the large rock formations and mountains will remain largely unchanged.


Weavers Needle close up
Weavers Needle close up

A closer view of Weavers Needle from the Fremont Saddle on the Peralta Trail. Read more about this particular formation in the post of June 27, 2017 linked at the bottom of this entry.

Read more about the Peralta Trail HERE.

Previous posts and photographs in the Peralta Trail series in chronological order:


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JBRish.com originally published this post
*All photographs Copyright by Jeffrey B. Ross with all rights reserved.