Category Archives: Photos-Landscapes

~Lake Louisa State Park

~February, 2018, Lake Louisa State Park near Clermont, FL.

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~ Lake Louisa can be reached by walking along a boardwalk, which spans a swampy area filled with Cypress trees and Swamp lilies. Take a moment to stop along the boardwalk, who knows what you might see.

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~A portrait only nature can paint.

_MG_2676~Swamp Lilies rising out of “green soup”.

_MG_2679~The boardwalk leads you to the sandy beach of Lake Louisa. Swimming is allowed if you are brave enough to endure its cold temperature this time of year. I declined, what a wimp I am.

_MG_2685~What a great place to enjoy hiking, the park offers over twenty miles of trails.

This huge Live Oak tree welcomes you to walk underneath its branches, and to adventure along the sandy trail to see what lies ahead.

As I walked slowly pasted this Live Oak, admiring its beauty, I thought I heard it whisper “Be careful, have fun and watch for snakes!”.

_MG_2686~Cypress trees rise out of the water.

_MG_2683~A solitary walk, beautiful scenery, an opportunity to be reflective.

_MG_2681~A lone Cypress tree stands guard over the lake. “How old are you I ask?”

_MG_2690~I’am not alone, looks like I found a friend. He told me hello and poses for my camera.

_MG_2691~Many trails in the park meander through piney woods, and if you are lucky a glimpse of its inhabitants.

~Lake Louisa State Park, one of Florida’s treasures~

Note: Header photo is a photo I took during a previous visit to the park. Many Gray Catbirds call Lake Louisa home.

 

~South Llano River State Park

 

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

Howard and I spent several days, during the Thanksgiving holiday at South Llano River State Park. Because, it was a holiday weekend the campground was full and crowded. Lots of people enjoying this beautiful park, birding, walking, hiking, biking and fishing.

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South Llano River

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Fallen

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Me and my buddy!

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A little Fall color

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Hiding in the Woods

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Clear Water

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Mules

Of course some of us were enjoying taking photos. More to come from South Llano River State Park.

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Vermillion Flycatcher

~Rock Hound State Park

~Rock Hound State Park, Deming, New Mexico, November, 2017

We left Catalina State Park in Oro Valley, AZ and drove to Rock Hound State Park in New Mexico. We had a reservation for one night, tried to get two nights, but they were booked. This state park is popular and has been filling up every night.

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The rugged slopes of the Little Florida Mountains are the setting for this park, which boasts trails, unique geology, wildflower displays, and a peaceful campground. The stunning scenery of the Spring Canyon unit of the park provides a peaceful area for hiking or picnicking. (Description from the Web)

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Here is our site, which was the only one available at the time we made our reservation.

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Curved-billed Thrasher

I only saw two birds during the short time we were here – a Cactus Wren, which visited us at our site and this Curved-billed Thrasher who stopped to say goodbye. We had just hooked up the tow car and were ready to pull out of the campground when I saw this bird. I ran inside to retrieve my camera and was able to capture him with my “short” lens.

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When we were driving toward the campground on a two-lane country road, having driven over several cattle guards, we came upon these Texas Longhorns. Whoo, Whoo! I enjoy seeing them and love when I get an opportunity to photograph them.

I asked Howard to stop, grabbed my camera off the sofa and quietly opened the door. I readied my camera and peaked around the frontend of the coach.

Well, in doing so, I scared the heck out of this big cow with long horns. She jumped back and twirled around.

Well, she scared me even more; I took a few steps back behind the coach. I through for sure she was going to run away, but instead she stopped and just stared.  I guess she realized she was bigger than me.

I got my photo and jumped back in the coach. Notice the black and white one in the background.

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~This New Mexico State Park is a beauty… you are surrounded by mountains with views in all directions, the sunsets are stunning, and the dark skies are breathtaking. And, maybe if you are lucky you will see a few longhorns along the way.~

~Hunter’s Moon

~November 3, 2017, Cave Creek Regional Park, Cave Creek, Arizona

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I took this photo on November 1, 2017

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Hunter’s Moon is the name for the full moon that immediately follows the Harvest Moon, which is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox. In 2017, the Northern Hemisphere’s Harvest Moon fell on October 5, nearly 13 days after the September 22 equinox. So it’s a late Hunter’s Moon this year for the Northern Hemisphere. In fact, November 4 is about the latest possible date for a full Hunter’s Moon.

Coincidently, it’s also the 2nd-largest full moon of 2017. As seen from around the world, this full moon will parade across the sky from dusk until dawn. (Taken from Web)

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I took this photo on October 30, 2017

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Considering the close proximity to several large cities, Cave Creek Regional Park is “dark”. A great place to star gaze.

~Always looking for dark, clear skies.~

~Arizona State Bird, Cactus Wren

~Cactus Wren, Cave Creek Regional Park, November, 2017

A very curious wren and the largest. There were several that would visit us in our “yard” at Cave Creek, always coming close to the coach and inspecting everything. I just loved watching them.

At least two pair were busy collecting materials for nest building.

Here is a Web-site with some good information on the Cactus Wren: Wren

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Another view.

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A photograph can be an instant of life captured for eternity that will never cease looking back at you. Brigitte Bardot

~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!

 

 

 

~Sunset

~October, 2017, Grand Canyon, South Rim

Gazing out over the canyon, the last of the sun’s rays highlight the rocky cliffs along the canyon. One can’t help but be in awe of the explosion of color being offered in the minutes before the sun descends over the western horizon. It truly is a sight to behold.

Just as this day came to an end, our trip to the Grand Canyon came to an end.

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Setting sun, October 21, 2017

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The fading light leaves it mark on the cliffs turning stone into colorful spires, and this trip leaves magical memories in my mind.

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~Next up Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood, AZ.