Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Photo: Theme Day -- Movement; a Rugged Arizona Jeep Trail

Today's theme for Daily Photo bloggers is "Movement."  For an Arizona interpretation of this theme, I am using another of Stuart's photos from one of his off-road Jeep trail trips.

I would never think of driving on territory like this.  Stuart is masterful at negotiating challenging terrain.

I mentioned on my post a few days ago that he carries a winch on his Jeep to help others.  Last Sunday is the latest example, as he pulled out a truck that was stuck in the mud.  Stuart explains why he is so helpful by saying that there are a lot of people out there who lack the proper equipment and skill and are influenced by having watched too many truck commercials on TV.

This we have posted photos of some of the mountain temples of Bhutan on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

To see how other Daily Photo bloggers interpreted the theme of "Movement," please use this link.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Photo: Scottsdale Fire Department Crew

This is the crew from the Scottsdale Fire Department that responded to a problem at our house last evening.  I appreciate their help immensely, and they obliged me by posing for a quick photo as the crew picked up their gear before leaving.

The smoke detectors went off in our new house and set off the alarm.  I apologize to all of our new neighbors, as I could not get the alarm off.

The Fire Department responded and checked out the house.  There was no fire.  They determined that the alarm was set off by the dust and fumes from the construction activity from remodeling work that we are doing and they set up a giant fan to blow out the air in the house.  The problem did not occur while the construction crews were there because the windows were open, but when the house was closed up at night the lack of ventilation caused the problem.

This is just a quick cell phone photo in the dark, but I post it as an expression of appreciation to a wonderful crew.  It is so reassuring that such dedicated, trained, skillful and helpful professionals respond to people in need.

This we have posted photos of some of the mountain temples of Bhutan on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Photo: The Jeep

The photos that I have shown during the past couple of weeks were made possible by my step son, Stuart, being able to reach White Pocket in his Jeep.  Here is a photo of his Jeep.

For his recent birthday, his wife gave him the contraption on the front.  He can mount a winch on it to pull other people out of trouble, which he does regularly.

This we have posted photos of some of the mountain temples of Bhutan on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Photo: Haboob moving across the Valley of the Sun

Here are two more photos of the haboob that moved across the Valley of the Sun on Friday.

The first photo shows the haboob as it arrived, with clear skies about to be engulfed in a wall of dust.

The second photo shows the worst density of the dust storm about 5 minutes later.  In another 5 minutes or so, it had blown through and was over.

(Like yesterday, please excuse the quality of the iPhone photos with reflections through my office window.)

Perhaps this dust storm activity on Friday as a warning about yesterday, as we had amazingly strong winds and rain that blew down trees and tree limbs all over town.

Today is Sunday, so we have new photos posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.  This week we are showing photos of Bhutan, featuring its mountain temples.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Photo: Before and after the Haboob

Yesterday we had a haboob move through the Phoenix area in late afternoon for about 10 minutes.  This is a photo that shows the dust storm that moved across the valley, and the clear sky above it.  For contrast, below is a photo of the same scene on a normal day.

(Please excuse the quality of the photos.  They are iPhone photos from my office window, and there is some reflection in the glass.)
We used to just call these dust storms, but a couple of years ago we had a couple of big dust storms, and now they are called haboobs.  It is one of the many words that we have now imported into English from Arabic, which is a good thing to increase our cultural diversity.


Friday, September 26, 2014

Photo: A painted desert

The cliffs and exposed rock faces in White Pocket look like a supernatural force took a paint brush to the rocks.

While this is a painted desert, it is not
The Painted Desert.  The Painted Desert is located very close to the highway not far from Flagstaff.  White Pocket is reachable only by off road vehicles.

This week we have photos of Antigua, Guatemala, posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Photo: The Costa Rican and Mexican Former Presidents Visit Arizona

Former Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla and former Mexican President Vicente Fox visited Arizona on Tuesday to promote trade  and investment in their countries.

They met with members of the Board of Directors of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.  My husband is a Board member and took this photo during the meeting.

He was thrilled to have the opportunity to meet Presidents Chinchilla and Fox and they both spoke eloquently and forcefully about the progress and opportunities of their countries.

With this connection between Arizona and Costa Rica, Dave and I are for the first time using the same photo for his Costa Rica Daily Photo website and my Scottsdale Daily Photo website.

This week we have photos of Antigua, Guatemala, posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Photo: White Pocket Checkerboard Pattern

This mountainside at White Pocket has a strange geometrical pattern.  The same pattern seems to have repeated itself on both large and small segments.

Tomorrow my husband and I will do something we have never done before.  We will be able to post the same photo on this Scottsdale Daily Photo site and his Costa Rica Daily Photo site because of something that happened in Arizona yesterday that has a Costa Rican connection.

This week we have photos of Antigua, Guatemala, posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Photo: Scale in Landscape Photography

I have become more tolerant of people in my landscape photography.  (I love to take people pictures in other settings.)  In some landscape photos, a person adds perspective to the scene.  This photo is a good example.

The massive scale of the rock formations in White Pocket would not be as apparent if it were not for the person in the center of this photo that Stuart took.

 And of course it is not bothersome when the person in the photo is a relative.

This week we have photos of Antigua, Guatemala, posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Photo: Magical Shapes and Colors of White Pocket

This is another photo that illustrates the magical shapes and colors of White Pocket.  The shapes of the rocks

This week we have photos of Antigua, Guatemala, posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Photo: Rock formations in White Pocket, Vermillion Cliffs

Stuart said that when the visited White Pocket during Labor day weekend, they spent 3 or 4 hours there exploring it, and they were the only ones there.

The shapes of this rock formation look like layers of icing on a cake.

The reason they could have such a scenic place all to themselves is that it is reachable only by a four wheel drive vehicle that can handle the rocky road.

Today is Sunday, so we have new photos posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.  This week we are showing photos of Antigua, Guatemala, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Photo: It's "Tito Time" at the Phoenix Symphony

Last night was a special night in the Valley of the Sun.  The Phoenix Symphony opened its season and began a new era, as it was the first night of its new Virginia G. Piper Music Director -- Tito Munoz.

Maestro Munoz has been acclaimed as a rising star in the classical music world.  He is the 11th Music Director  in the 67 year history of the Phoenix Symphony.

Maestro Munoz is a native of New York City.  He interest in music was nurtured by his selection to participate in Julliard School's Music Advancement Program, and he then went on to attend the Fiorello LaGuardia School of Music & Art and the Performing Arts, and then the Aaron Copeland School of Music at Queens College.

This is a quick iPhone photo of one of the 4 curtain calls after a rousing performance of Carmina Burana.  The enthusiasm of the crowd and its appreciation for musical excellence is also reflected by the fact that they gave the Maestro and the orchestra a standing ovation not just at the end of the concert, but just before intermission, after the performance of Stravinsky's Firebird Suite.

My husband is the longest serving Board member of the Phoenix Symphony, and we are the sponsors of next Friday evening's concert.  I encourage everyone in the area to come out and enjoy, and support, the Symphony.

This week on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site we are showing photos of the Perito Moreno Glacier in the Patagonia region of Argentina.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Photo: Close view of sandstone in White Pocket, Vermillion Cliffs

This close view of one of the rock formations in the White Pocket area of the Vermillion Cliffs.  It has a crystaline-type of sparkle to it, and a grainy, sandy texture.

This week on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site we are showing photos of the Perito Moreno Glacier in the Patagonia region of Argentina.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Photo: Striped Rocks at White Pocket, Vermillion Cliffs

White Pocket has geologic formations and colors that seem to be crafted and painted by creative artists, rather than natural elements.

This week on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site we are showing photos of the Perito Moreno Glacier in the Patagonia region of Argentina.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Photo: Closer View of White Pocket, Vermillion Cliffs

This is a closer view of the scene that I showed yesterday.  The swirling shapes, lines and colors of the rock are mesmerizing.  Stuart spent about 3 hours there, but said that he could have spent all day photographing the amazing scenes.

This week on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site we are showing photos of the Perito Moreno Glacier in the Patagonia region of Argentina.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Photo: White Pocket, Vermillion Cliffs National Monument

White Pocket is a remote area of the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument in far north central Arizona, just below the Utah state line.  It is difficult to reach, but Stuart and his Jeep are up to the challenge.

I will show more of the amazing geologic formations in the coming days.

This week on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site we are showing photos of the Perito Moreno Glacier in the Patagonia region of Argentina.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Photo: The Road to White Pocket

Continuing with the series of photos that Stuart took on his weekend in northern Arizona, he drove off road to White Pocket.  This photo gives a preview of the type of topography he would encounter.

White Pocket is similar to a place called "The Wave," but access to White Pocket is not limited to those with reservations, as I will explain more in the coming days.

This week on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site we are showing photos of the Perito Moreno Glacier in the Patagonia region of Argentina.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Photo: Wild Horse

When Stuart took his recent weekend trip to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, he came across a herd of wild horses.  This horse looks like he is getting plenty to eat.

Today is Sunday, so we have new photos posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.  This week we are showing photos of the Perito Moreno Glacier in the Patagonia region of Argentina.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Photo: Indian Bend Wash

Here is one more photo that shows how Scottsdale handles the occasional downpours that come in the desert in the July-September "monsoon" season.  The rain last Monday was a record rainfall for one day during the more than 100 years that they have been keeping records.

Indian Bend wash is a greenbelt designed to hold flood water when there is heavy rain, and to be a recreation area at all other times.

It gets heavy use, with bike trails, parks, golf courses, lakes, etc.  And when there is heavy rain, it holds extra water like this for a day or two.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers originally wanted to build a big concrete ditch like they have in Los Angeles.  What a disaster that would have been.   Scottsdale rejected the plan and built the greenbelt instead.  It was an act of civic planning brilliance.  

Friday, September 12, 2014

Photo: Fallen Saguaro Cactus

This is a very sad photo.  A magnificent, fallen saguaro.  It has about 7 or 8 arms.  It takes about 80 years for a saguaro to start to grow a single arm.  That would make this saguaro several hundred years old.

The heavy rain earlier this week apparently saturated the ground so much that the root structure of the saguaro no longer held its weight and the saguaro toppled over.

Saguaros weigh about 100 pounds per foot (45 kg per .30 meters).  This is probably about 2,000 pounds  (450 kg) of dying saguaro.

This saguaro was located at a prominent spot on the corner of Chaparral Road and 68th Street, close to our house.  Compounding the loss of this saguaro is that there used to be a second saguaro at this corner, but it was lost within the past year as well.

This week we have photos from a festival in Punahka, Bhutan, in the Himalayas posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Photo: Muddy Jeep

On Monday I showed an odd shot of a portion of this view of the splattered mud on Stuart's Jeep.  When my husband asked his son why he drove such a dirty vehicle, Stuart responded, "'Cause it's a Jeep."

Stuart further explained, "This shows that I am a rock crawler.  Driving a clean Jeep looks like you are a mall crawler."

I personally cannot stand driving a dirty car, but I don't drive a Jeep.  I guess if Stuart is to reach the remote, off-road locations that he and his wife, Christina, enjoy, he has to get his Jeep dirty.

I will show some additional photos of Stuart's recent trip to Northern Arizona in the near future.

This week we have photos from a festival in Punahka, Bhutan, in the Himalayas posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Photo: The day of record rainfall

This is what the weather looked like on Monday afternoon.  It is hard to imagine that this (iPhone) photo from my office was taken just a few hours after the Valley of the Sun received the most daily rainfall in its history.

Glorious sunshine, which is typical 90% of the daylight hours, with a few puffy clouds on the horizon beyond Piestewa Peak and the McDowell Mountains to the north, gave little indication that just a few hours earlier more than 3 inches of rain dell in just about 6 hours.

This week we have photos from a festival in Punahka, Bhutan, in the Himalayas posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Photo: Record Rainfall in Phoenix/Scottsdale

Yesterday morning in the span of about 6 hours the official rainfall at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport was 3.29 inches (8.36 cm), which broke an all time record for rainfall in one day.  Some rain gauges in the area, including Scottsdale, recorded more than 4 inches of rain.

Before yesterday we had received only 2.14 inches of rain all year.  The surface streets had so much rain runoff that both Interstate Highways that travel through the area were closed because the underpasses temporarily turned into small lakes.

This is a cell phone photo that my mother took of the Indian Bend Wash at Hayden and Chaparral Roads.  What you see here is the water hitting the base of a bridge.  Normally people walk and ride bicycles under this bridge.  The bridge yesterday morning acted like a dam, but it held, as Indian Bend Wash did its job in providing a green belt for the storm water to flow until it recedes.

I had intended to post a photo today that follows up on the odd photo I posted yesterday, but I will delay that for a couple of days.  Tomorrow I will show a photo of what the weather looked like yesterday afternoon, on the day of the all-time record rainfall in Phoenix/Scottsdale.

This week we have photos from a festival in Punahka, Bhutan, in the Himalayas posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Photo: Odd Shot. Is there art here?

This quick iPhone photo is an odd shot.  Some might consider this to be modern art.  It does have a dynamic, fluid, and bold appearance.  I will reveal the creative process tomorrow.

This week we have photos from a festival in Punahka, Bhutan, in the Himalayas posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Photo: Uprooted Palo Verde Tree

We are near the end of the monsoon season in the Arizona's Sonoran desert, and we get dramatic skies and, at times, strong lightning and thunderstorms.   The clouds build up in the late afternoon and sometimes, not often, we get sudden, but very brief, high winds and a short downpour.

We had one of those storms on Thursday evening.  These are photos of an overturned palo verde tree at the entrance to our subdivision.
As these photos show, desert trees often do not have tap roots.   After all, why would a root grow deep when the only water is near the surface?  This causes desert trees vulnerable to being blown over at times, even though they have spindly leaves that allow wind to blow through.

Today is Sunday, so we have new photos posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.  This week we are showing photos from a festival in Punahka, Bhutan, in the Himalayas.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Photo: Quiet Contemplation of the Grand Canyon's Vastness

Stuart took this photo of his brother-in-law contemplating the vastness of the Grand Canyon from what was, for this moment in time, his own perch.

This week we have photos of daily life in Ethiopia posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Photo: Grand Canyon North Rim View.

This is another of Stuart's photos from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  It shows the vastness of the Canyon, although it is only one small slice of the panorama.

There is a controversy in Arizona because there is a huge coal fired power plant in Page, Arizona, near the east end of the Grand Canyon.  The federal government wants to reduce emissions from the Navajo Generating Station in order to reduce haze in the Grand Canyon.  State and local business interests want to preserve the economic benefits of the power plant.

This week we have photos of daily life in Ethiopia posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Photo: Bison Herd at the Grand Canyon's North RIm

When Stuart was driving to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, he saw this herd of bison in a field along the road.  The isolation of the area allows a herd of wild bison to enjoy the forest and fields.

The North Rim is isolated from the rest of Arizona because of the Grand Canyon.  The only road from Arizona across the Canyon to reach the North Rim does over the Navajo Bridge at Lee's Ferry at the the far northeastern beginning of the Canyon.  It takes several hours each way to drive around.

This week we have photos of daily life in Ethiopia posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Photo: Grand Canyon North RIm Vantage Points

The North Rim of the Grand Canyon offers may spots where people can perch themselves on a rock to contemplate and admire the Canyon, as shown in this photo by Stuart from last weekend.

Tragically, every year several tourists lose their lives by getting too close to the edge.  The National Park Service has signs and in many places guard rails, but in most of the area people must rely on their own judgment to keep themselves safe.

This week we have photos of daily life in Ethiopia posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Photo: North Rim Grand Canyon Overlooks

This is another of the many overlooks of the Grand Canyon on the North Rim from Stuart's visit there last weekend.

He described the vantage points as being smaller, with opportunities to view the Canyon from narrower passages and to climb on the rocks, saying safely away from the edge, of course.

I will show another view of the overlooks tomorrow.

This week we have photos of daily life in Ethiopia posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.
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