Alley Abstract

A couple weeks ago we had a short stay down in “the valley” (what Arizonans refer to as the Phoenix area) and stayed an extra day to avoid returning home during the massive snowstorm. After a morning spent birdwatching at Gilbert Water Ranch, we spent some time walking through the Roosevelt Row area of Phoenix, the downtown art district with murals, galleries and shops.

This abstract was created by combining two images- shadows on an alley wall and a mirrored wall installation.

Sol

I’ve neglected my blog lately and am so behind in editing photos! I’m overcommitted in my photography life, plus there have been other things going on as well. So today I have an image I had saved for one photo group- and then have used in ANOTHER photo group. I have edited it several ways- here’s one for today.

Niche

I’m looking back at old photos today, not just because I’ve hardly been out of the house to take new ones, but because I’m looking for a set of photos that I could say are in my photography niche (an assignment for my AAUW photography group). I have several “niches”, I guess, but in the last few years, my favorite place to take photos is at the beach. I like to take photos of beach people, beach birds, and the water itself. This photo is part of my intentional camera movement/slow shutter series of gulls in Alaska. I love the look of the white gull over dark water- and it required almost no editing.

Life and Death in the Backyard

My husband spotted this beautiful hawk in the backyard this evening. He was perched on a low birdhouse- and was eating prey. I took photos through a window, but he was behind branches and, was, well . . . eating. I ended up sneaking out the back door and brazenly going out on the patio with my camera. He heard the door and flew to the top of one of the shepherd’s poles we have in the back. He looked at me, but didn’t seem to recognize me as the source of the noise. He looked all around, and I slunk back into the house. He is gone now.

My bird app tells me this is an immature Cooper’s hawk. I hesitate to post this, because I have had commenters argue back and forth about Cooper’s hawks vs. Sharp Shinned hawks. I will say we have had Cooper’s/Sharp-Shinned hawks in our yard many times over the years, but this is the first immature one I’ve seen.

Winter is Coming

Actually, winter is HERE- as most of the country can testify. Arizona has escaped the bomb cyclone of snow and below freezing temperatures, but rain and snow are now hitting the high country, with just rain here (so far). Fingers and toes crossed that the Phoenix area (where we will be meeting our kids) will be warmer and drier.

Good thoughts sent out to all those stranded due to flight cancellations!

Duck Hunting

We saw them! I’ve been reading about the two Mandarin Ducks spotted at Lynx Lake here in Prescott and went out just before Christmas (on icy trails!) to see them. No such luck. We had seen some in Alaska a few years ago, but this would be a first for us in Arizona. Today, thanks to some Phoenix photographers I met up with on the trail, we were able to find them and take photos. They are such pristinely beautiful birds!