Monday, December 31, 2007

Sunset Trail

This photo was taken late last Fall, while my wife and I were on a hike on Sunset Trail. On the right side of the trail, you can see evidence of a recent wildfire that passed through this area. Not long after this photo was taken Winter finally arrived.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Simplicity

A light post in downtown Flagstaff. I just liked the simplicity and various contrasting tones of this photograph. I hope you enjoy it, too.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Pink Church

Another photo of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Chapel in downtown Flagstaff. I have posted photos of it before and you can see them here and here.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Winter in Flagstaff

I took this photo outside of town on Hwy 180, the road everyone takes to get to the Grand Canyon. The mountains in the background are the San Francisco Peaks, obviously.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Icicle vs. Sun

A few days ago, I found this icicle right outside our front door. If it wasn't for the ponderosa pine blocking most of the sun hitting the icicle, I'm sure it would have been long gone.

Monday, December 24, 2007

More Christmas Lights

Christmas lights on our deck. I used a nice, long exposure (about 20 seconds, I think) to get the star-burst effect on the lights.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Flagstaff Welcomes You

This sign welcomes you as you come into Flagstaff on Hwy 180. Here is a similar photo I took of the sign and Peaks right after the summer monsoon season when the field was filled with yellow flowers instead of snow.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Light with Long Exposure

I used a long exposure (20 sec I believe) to get this photo of a Christmas light on our deck. The long exposure is what gives the light that starry, twinkle look. Using a 30 sec. exposure, I got the same effect on our Christmas tree. I'll post that photo in the future. I hope everyone is having a safe and happy Holiday so far.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Half Moon

This is one of the first photos I took with my new camera. You can see a half moon in the upper left corner and a ponderosa pine (very common in Flagstaff) on the right.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Snowy Night

I caught this photo of my sister-in-law in downtown Flagstaff during a snowstorm last year. We were on our way to the Wine Loft, a local wine bar, and had to fight our way there through the snowy streets.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Reflection

I took this photo with my new Canon Digital Rebel XTi camera last night. You can see me and some of our apartment reflected in one of the silver glass balls hanging from our Christmas tree.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Snowy San Francisco Peaks

This photo was taken from Switzer Canyon Dr. just north of Route 66 in Flagstaff. We got a snowstorm last week and it covered Flagstaff and the San Francisco Peaks with snow.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Special Gift

Well, there's a good reason for my late posting today. This morning I took my ARRT Registry Exam to become a registered Radiologic Technologist. A 3 hour exam of 220 gut-churning questions. But I survived and now it's just a waiting game to find out my results.

But I came home to a great surprise from my wife. As a graduation gift, she teamed up with her parents and my parents and they got me the camera I have been wanting for several months, the Canon Digital Rebel XTi. I wasted no time opening it and taking it for a "test drive". I'll post some photos from it soon, but until then here are a few pics of my new baby! :-)



Sunday, December 16, 2007

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Cliff Reflection

This photo was taken on West Fork Trail north of Sedona, AZ. The creek in the photo is the west fork of Oak Creek, which ultimately forms Oak Creek Canyon. I believe the cliff is made of red Moenkopi sandstone. The light was just perfect to give me this reflection of the cliff in the water.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Remnants of Fall

Even though we just got our first snow fall of the year here in Flagstaff, I'm still reluctant to let go of Fall. So here's a "different" view of an autumn aspen leaf as a tribute to my favorite season.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Xmas Koko

Although Kokopelli is extremely overdone when it comes to Southwest decor, I still like him. This is probably one of my favorite ornaments on our tree. We got him at a Christmas store in downtown Flagstaff called "Christmas in Flagstaff" that sells pretty much any Christmas ornament or decoration you can think of.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Chocolatey Treats

It's that time of year again. Time for baking and making holiday treats. This is a macro shot of a treat my wife made a few days ago. They are Ritz crackers dipped in mint chocolate with crushed candy canes on top. VERY GOOD and easy to make. Here's another shot of her chocolatey treats.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Fresh Snow

We got a few inches of snow over the weekend and I caught a photo of this "mini-drift" on the railing of our deck. Although many people think Arizona is only hot, dry desert, there are actually many parts of it that are high enough in elevation that they get cold temps and a decent amount of snow. Flagstaff is one of those parts. For example, in 2004, the year we moved here, we got somewhere around 39 inches of snow in 48 hours in late October.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Tree 2007

Here's a photo of Christmas tree this year. I used a long exposure (about 4 sec) to get this shot. All of the light you see is coming from the little Christmas lights on the tree.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Desert Fishhook

This shot was taken near Bumble Bee, AZ, located on the very north end of the Sonoran Desert. It's a fishhook cactus and gets its name from the way its spine curl at the end to resemble a fishhook. Although this one is very small (maybe about 4-5 inches tall) they can grow to be very large. Click here to see a photo of this guys bigger brother.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

First Snow Fall

We got our first snow of the season earlier this week. Although it never snowed in the city, once the clouds cleared, it was clear that the Peaks had received a healthy layer of snow. In this picture, you can see clearly the elevation below which it was too warm for snow to form.

Of course, as soon as we got our first snow fall, the buzz around town was when our local ski area, the Arizona SnowBowl, would open for the year. As I write this, we are getting our second helping of snow, this time even in town, so there is a good chance it wont be long before skiers and snowboarder are cutting trails in the new powder.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Color Accent = Fun

I used the color accent feature on my camera to get this shot of a yellow leafed plant entwined with a yucca. This feature is fun to play with. All you do is pick a color and the camera will make everything in the picture black and white except things of the chosen color. In this case yellow. I image you can do this same effect using post-processing software (e.g. PhotoShop, GIMP, etc), but I've never tried.

Also, if anyone can ID the yellow plant for me, that would be great. They are all over the place near the Grand Canyon, but I have never actually seen any in Flagstaff. Thanks for the help.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Downtown Clock

In downtown Flagstaff, there are clocks strategically placed here and there. This one is on San Francisco Street right out side of the local coffee shop Late for the Train Cafe. Here's another photo of a downtown clock.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Return of the Train

Once again, another photo of a train. As I've mentioned before there are roughly 4 trains per hour that run through Flagstaff, so it was pretty easy to get a photo of them behemoth as it passed by the train depot where I took this photo.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Needles

Pinon pine needles in the crotch of a tree. The forest floor is thick with them. Unfortunately, they are extremely flammable and help to spread wildfires very quickly.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Weatherford Hotel

The front of the Weatherford Hotel on a Fall day. As you can see from the historic photo on their website, the hotel facade hasn't changed much in the last 100 years. On New Year's Eve, the city holds an event where a huge pine cone is lowered from the top of the Weatherford to the street and is timed to reach street level right at midnight. I guess it's supposed to be a Flagstaff version of the ball-drop at Times Square in New York. It's a little hokey, but it gives you something to do downtown.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Silhouette

This photo actually from a ways back, back when there were still leaves on the trees. The tops of aspen trees can be seen behind my wife's silhouette. The photo was taken on Inner Basin Trail.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Shadow

I found this shadow on the sky bridge in the hospital I work in. I thought the criss-cross pattern was interesting. We could sure use some of that sun today, its cold, cloudy and sleeting out right now. Hope the weather is better where you are.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Kendrick Peak

This view is looking almost directly west from the top of Agassiz Peak, the second highest point in the state of Arizona. The mountain you see on the left is called Kendrick Peak, one of the largest volcanic peaks in the San Francisco Peaks volcanic field it tops out at about 10,418 feet above sea level.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Obsidian

I found this chunk of obsidian, a glass-like volcanic stone, embedded in this stone and mortar wall near Heritage Square in downtown Flagstaff. Only in Flagstaff, a city located in the center of a volcanic field, would a chuck of obsidian, a relatively rare type of stone, be used for such a plain purpose.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Neon Lonely

The Hotel Monte Vista's neon sign by night. I like this shot. To me, it has a quiet, lonely feel to it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

More Color

OK, I lied. The post on November 14th wasn't my last Fall post for this year. This photo was taken near Sedona on the West Fork Trail a couple of weeks ago. Sedona is at a much lower elevation than Flagstaff, so Fall lasts a lot longer down there. Enjoy this last bit of autumn color.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Bumble Bee and Cactus

Like most of the country this weekend, we have some family visiting us for Thanksgiving. My brother- and sister-in-law from Denver wanted to see some saguaro cactus while they were here in Arizona, and since the nearest saguaros are only about an hours drive from Flagstaff, I decided to drive them down for a photo op with the plant that is nearly synonymous with Arizona. This photo was taken near the town of Bumble Bee off of I-17 just north of Phoenix.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Humble Cranberry

My tribute to Thanksgiving this year is a salute to the cranberry. So much sour, citrusy goodness packed into such a small berry. Why do we eat them only one day a year? They are a natural source of vitamin C, add a great zing to any dish and can even prevent reoccurring UTIs. So I ask, why aren't these humble berries on our plate more often?

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Trains, Trains, Trains

Getting back to my train theme, this is the 1929 Baldwin Articulated Locomotive. The historic steam engine was once used on the Santa Fe-Burlington Railroad, which happens to be the rail line that passes through Flagstaff. Located outside of the Pioneer Museum on Highway 180 outside of town, the engine was relocated there in 1994 and has been a familiar sight to many tourists traveling to the Grand Canyon.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Timber Cart

Sorry for the late post today. I'm having "technical difficulties" with my computer, so you'll have to bear with me for the next couple days, OK folks?!

This is a reproduction of a two-wheeled timber cart located near the Flagstaff train depot. This type of cart was used to haul cut timber from the woods around Flagstaff to the railway station to shipped west. I posted a different view of this cart a couple months ago. You can see the previous post here.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Wilderness Silliness

My wife mimicking a curvy aspen trunk near Inner Basin Trail. We get a little silly sometimes as you can see. Here's another photo of the curvy aspens along this trail.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunset Trail

My wife and I went for a hike on Sunset Trail, today. I can definitely see where it got its name. Although we weren't there at sunset, the trail is positioned in such a way that you would have a view of the sun setting directly behind the mountains. Beautiful.

Anyway, Sunset Trail is an easy 4-mile hike that gives you some great views of the San Francisco Peaks, which you can see in the photo above. The peak on the right is Agassiz Peak (12,356 ft asl) and on the left is Humphreys Peak (12,633 ft asl), the two highest points in the state of Arizona.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007

Neon Accommodations

A night shot of the Hotel Monte Vista's neon sign, which can be seen from almost anywhere in town. More information can be found in previous posts about the Hotel Monte Vista here and here.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Synonymous

As I've mentioned before in previous posts, Flagstaff owes its existence to the railroad. Originally a lumber producing town, the railroad provided Flagstaff with the only convenient and efficient way of transporting the cut and processed lumber to where it was needed most, namely California. So when most people think of Flagstaff, they also think of trains.

Among the residents of Flagstaff there is almost a love-hate relationship with the train. Because they pass through here so frequently (4 trains per hour on average, 24 hours a day), they often create traffic congestion during "rush hour". Also, each time the train comes to a street crossing it has to blow its horn, which can be heard for miles making life for those living near the crossings very difficult. But we also like the train for the history and nostalgia it brings to our city. Each summer it brings in a flood of national and international tourists ready to see the sights of Northern Arizona, which in turn bolsters our local economy. However, whether you hate it or love it, the railway has always been and will continue to be a fixture to live here in Flagstaff.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Autumn Says Goodbye

This is probably one of the last Autumn photos I'll post. By now most of the leaves are off the trees in Flagstaff and although the highs are still in the 60s, the nights are getting into the 20s and it's clear that winter is on its way. Enjoy this last bit of Fall color while you can.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Southwest Decor

The saguaro cactus is a pretty common theme throughout the Southwest and even though they don't grow here in Flagstaff, you still seem to come across their likeness on a daily basis. This photo is actually from an outside waiting area at Flagstaff Medical Center. It was so kitschy I had to take a picture of it.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Flagstaff Sunset

Although I have posted photos of sunsets before, I just like them so much I have to post another. I took this a few weeks ago while house-sitting for a friend. It's pretty typical for a Flagstaff sunset during the Monsoons.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Spikey Protection

This is an agave plant as viewed from above. As you can see, its spiny leaves grow outward from the center is concentric circles. Each leaf is tipped with a hard, sharp point in order to protect is water-rich flesh from foraging animals. Agave are very common in the American Southwest as well as northern Mexico. To me it's a perfect symbol for the Arizona Desert.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Muerto

I came across this gnarled, dead ponderosa pine tree on a hike several weeks ago. Based on its size, I would guess that the tree was at least a couple hundred years old when it died. It's strange to think that this tree has been growing here long before Flagstaff even existed and now here it stands, dead and forgotten. You can see another view of it here.