Category Archives: Photos-Flowers

~Trying to establish a winter travel routine…

Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Cottonwood, AZ, October, 2017

Dead Horse Ranch got its peculiar name in the late 1940’s from its previous owners, the Ireys family from Minnesota. They were looking to buy a ranch and on their tour they discovered a large dead horse lying by the road outside of the property. After two days of viewing ranches, Mr. Ireys asked the kids which ranch they liked the best, and they all agreed “the one with the dead horse, dad!”. Acquired in 1973 by AZ State Parks, the Ireys family made it a condition of the sale that the park retain the name Dead Horse Ranch.

We traveled from the Grand Canyon to Cottonwood, AZ staying one week at Dead Horse Ranch State Park. We have been here many times, but it has been several years since our last visit. We throughly enjoy our stay.

Hiking, mountain biking, fishing, horseback riding are just some of the activities one can enjoy at DHRSP.

After an arduous time getting ready to leave home, and our tourist mode adventure at the Grand Canyon,  we were ready to settle into a more relaxing routine.

Howard worked on a few coach maintenance items, setup an antenna and operated his ham radio, and he even got to jog a few times. I enjoyed hiking, birding and photographing this lovely area.

~Mornings:

`Hiking around the Lagoons…

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Still Waters

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Looking through the reeds.

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Relaxing on a log.

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A leisurely swim.

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Sunlight through the reeds.

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A Cloud Sulphur

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`Walking a rocky trail…

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Miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.

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The Verde River

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A birder along the trail.

~In between – Touring and Eating:

Old Town Cottonwood seems like it has come back to life since our last visit. Many of the old buildings have been renovated and are now occupied by beer and wine tastings shops, antiques stores, galleries and more.

There are also several new restaurants. We ate at the Tavern Grill, enjoyed sitting outside on the covered patio, and the food was very good!

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One of those Micro Brews was mine!
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Outside Patio at the Tavern Grill

If you like Mexican, you should try Pepe’s Cafe. I haven’t had Mexican food this good in a long time. It was Great!

One of our favorite places to eat in Cottonwood is Randall’s; they have been there a long time and the food is very good. Friday we enjoyed Fish Friday – our fav Catfish!

 

~Evenings:

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Waxing Moon

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Rambling Rose at Sunset, Site 76 (notice Howard’s ham antenna)

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The Gambel’s quail (Callipepla gambelii) is a small ground-dwelling bird in the New World quail family. It inhabits the desert regions of Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Texas, and Sonora; also New Mexico-border Chihuahua and the Colorado River region of Baja California.

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Female Gambel Quail looking for a last meal.

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Male

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`A Sunset walk along a Mesa:

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Out the door of the coach and up a hill.

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Sunset

 

~Life is Good~

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My best guy and girl!

 

 

 

~Butterfly in the Garden

~Loveland, Colorado, August 2017

 

I just happen to look out one of our upstairs windows yesterday and spotted this butterfly enjoying the blooms on a Butterfly Bush! I removed the screen from the window and tried to capture her as she moved from flower to flower. The sun was in the west, which backlit this little girl.

I believe she is a Variegated Fritillary, but I can’t be sure. Years ago I found a great web-site that helps you identify butterflies. Here is the link: Identify Butterflies.

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Look at her eyes!
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Watching for harassing bees.
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Beautiful patterns

She had a hard time trying to stay away from a yellow jacket that didn’t want her there.

Let me know if you ca identify this butterfly.

Get out and Enjoy Nature!

~Birding in Texas, Spotted-Towhee & a Texas Wildflower

 

~South Llano River State Park, Junction, TX, April, 2017

Spotted Towhee
Spotted Towhee

Nice to see the Spotted Towhee enjoying a bath. Towhees are one of my favorite birds.

 

Texas Wildflower

As you can see from the header photo above, spring was making its grand entrance. Lush green grasses and dazzling wildflowers were gracing the area with their presence.

 

Happy Birding!

Spotted Towhee
“See ya next time!”

 

 

~Birding in Texas, Greater Roadrunner

~Lake Colorado City State Park, Colorado City, Texas, April, 2017

Everybody loves the Roadrunner, right?

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Beep, Beep!

I have never seen a pair of Roadrunners. At some point, one would think, we would see a pair. Always searching for insects, lizards and snakes, and seemingly always running. I was lucky to see a few of them running around this lovely state park. Occasionally, a brief pause. And, I mean brief!

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One evening, Howard and I were walking in the park and spotted this Roadrunner sitting in a tree. I have seen them (briefly) sitting on a fence post, but never in a tree. I wonder if he thought he was hiding from us.

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Greater Roadrunner
Greater Roadrunner

Now, go catch an insect!

Happy Birding!

~A Morning Walk

On our walk we met an elderly couple sitting on a bench. They were wearing their Parks & Recreation volunteer vests, and huge smiles. When someone walked by their bench they were very happy to engage in conversation. With paper and pens on their laps, they were recording how many people they saw including activities they were doing. This data would be turned over to Parks and Rec to help in making future decisions on this multipurpose area. By the way, this park was being constructed in 2012 when a flood destroyed the progress. It has taken several years to build it again.

Howard and I chatted with them for several minutes and we enjoyed our chat with these friendly “youngsters”.  They were RV’ers, having traveled in many different rigs and through many states. No longer wanting to travel they moved into a beautiful home within walking distance of the Big Thompson River and their bench. It was nice to see them happy and enthused about life.

So what were people doing on this beautiful morning: walking, sightseeing, biking, running, fishing, taking photos, sitting, kids were throwing rocks into the ponds, and certainly enjoying this gorgeous park along the river. As for me, I was testing out my new Canon lens. It is a EFS 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM. Just a few photos.

One of the many ponds around Loveland, Colorado.

Dragonfly Pond
Dragonfly Pond
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A Sunflower reaching toward the sun. A bring yellow among the browns and beiges of Buffalo Grass

Further along the path a man was standing, straddled his bike. As we approached he pointed out this baby snake. After taking a couple of photos of the snake we chatted for a few minutes. He was from Tampa, Florida, visiting his brother and family. He told me, “all snakes bite, but not all are poisonous.” He also told us that he played base in the Lynyrd Skynyrd Rock Bank for many years. Isn’t it fun to chat with people? Well most of the time! Heehee!

Check out the colors and pattern.
Check out the colors and pattern.
Sunflower
Sunflower – I am happy with the detail this lens is giving me up close.
Baby Bull Snake (?)
Baby Bull Snake (?) Great to have around the house, kills rodents and Rattlesnakes.

Take a walk, chat with people, enjoy the day.