Another shot from about a week ago, but a pulled back perspective. I loved the shapes created by this branch along with its reflection, in the Salt River. The bird – a Black Phoebe, part of the Kingfisher family – kept returning to a couple points on this branch to search for its next prey. The image from this series in my previous post is an uncropped full frame image; that’s how persistent this bird was in returning to the high spot on the branch.
Finding running water around here is getting tougher, but there are some places that always come through. A normal water level here would be covering most of those rocks, and the algae has dried to leave a crusty white cap. I’m learning to make the best of cloudless skies, as that appears to be the trend this winter.
About a half year ago, I suffered a severe leg injury which kept me from being outdoors with my camera. A couple weeks of being mostly bedridden and using crutches to get around eventually gave way to being able to do some work and the start of physical therapy. My physical therapist was hesitant about me hiking at first, so my first couple trails were relatively flat. No backpack filled with tripods or cameras either, just a phone. Earlier this year, I finally made a hike with all the gear on a trail that had more difficulty involved. I could feel the difference of the terrain versus just being in therapy. I can’t imagine how long I would have been out if I wasn’t taking care of myself before this accident, and now that we’re all being asked to stay home, I realize I need to keep moving more than ever.
While many National Parks and other recreational areas have closed, there are some which remain open. These may not be the desired locations which attract social media throngs, but those who’ve seen my work know I don’t really go there anyway. The first location (above) was after some areas had shut down, making this a more crowded parking lot than usual. Despite that, I had very few people on the trail I was on, and getting here requires a scramble, so I enjoyed the place to myself.
That area has since become off limits, as has the next spot, on a hike taken in March. While this area starts on a popular trail, it soon takes off to an old trail, which quickly fades and becomes a scrambling route. Again, social distancing didn’t apply here because there were no other groups.
One of the remaining open trails has plenty of open space to absorb a higher number of hikers keeping distance between them. Leaving the trail and boulder hopping the creek also provides more privacy and the best views.
Higher up, this canyon becomes more rugged and takes on different characteristics. While most would have a different opinion on what constitutes a waterfall, I’m going to state that this is southern Nevada’s largest waterfall. It had been raining earlier, but only a light amount, and had been snowing above. This probably won’t be noticeable at this size, but there are small streams of water coming down on almost all the canyon walls in this scene. While the wall to the left is the most obvious, the water can be seen in many spots when standing here (and on my computer screen in full size). Waterfall or not, I like how this one came out.
Water is the planet’s most precious resource, especially here in the desert. Last month we finally had a day of rain that put an end to a string of 116 days without measurable rain at the official weather gauge in Las Vegas. The previous rainfall was a trace…..enough to wet the pavement, but not enough for the insects or birds to get a drink. Go back another five days to when there were numbers on the rain gauge. That’s 121 days. One third of a year. At a time of year that is supposed to be the wettest. Similar stats have taken place throughout the southwest.
As each month draws to a close, it seems the news people tell us how it was the hottest (January, February, March, etc.) on record, or at least a top five. In 2017, the temperature never dropped below freezing, which has never happened here before. The doubters of global warming will tell you it’s because we are adding more concrete, thus raising temperatures where the official readings are taken. I assure you, no one is building near our airport. Even more remote places are showing elevated average readings.
The photo above is from a previous winter, and is from a lesser-known part of Red Rock Canyon, west of Las Vegas. It’s probably a good thing that there is not a marked trail to get here. This is my contribution to Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness this week. To see what other photographers have contributed, or instructions to join in, please visit Leanne’s website.
A couple months ago, I returned to a favorite hike in Red Rock Canyon. This particular canyon has water year-round, and I spent a fair amount of time around where a small channel of water was flowing ever so slowly across the boulders.
I love hidden treasures – those places you come across that very few people visit or even know about. This is one of those places. It’s on the edge of metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, and so close it may be in the city limits. But, for the millions living there, most have never seen this.
The water flows year round, and it used to be the dogs’ favorite spot for a walk. Just not today. Photography came first. The scents of the river covered my clothing, and I was frantically sniffed upon returning, and given looks that said How could you go there without us? I was soon forgiven because dogs are great at that.
This is my contribution to Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness this week. You can see what other bloggers have added at Leanne’s site.