Seeing Things, Saying Things

Musings About Writing, Photography and Teaching

Posts Tagged ‘mountains

Up Early to Catch the Sunrise

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I made it a point during a stay last October at a bed and breakfast outside of Tucson, Arizona, to get up early to catch the sun rising over the Santa Catalina Mountains.

The view wasn’t as colorful or spectacular as the sunset I had photographed from the same location the night before.

But it was a nice view nonetheless. It was quite cool in the desert. It might be in the 90s during the daytime, but the air cools rapidly after sunset.

There was a small wisp of clouds over the mountains that caught the early  morning light. The air was still aside from a few birds chirping away.

It was one of those moments I won’t soon, if ever, forget.

Fog, Sunrise, Clouds

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Some of the more intriguing images I’ve made have come to me as I was a passenger in an automobile on trip. Typically, it was early morning or late day and the scene involved sunrise or sunset.

This image was made in December 2015 near Altoona, Pennsylvania.

It was cloudy, but not so overcast that I couldn’t see the sun. The fog had mostly lifted, but continued to blanket the low-lying areas in the valleys.

The interplay of the sun and the clouds made for some interesting patterns. Sometimes, it’s nice to be the passenger rather than the driver.

First Red Rocks I Saw

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Many people visit Sedona, Arizona, to see the red rocks there. That was one of the attractions for me, too, during a visit in October 2016.

I don’t remember if this formation has a name, but it was one of the first ones that I spotted on the drive north. There was a museum and overlook here so I wheeled in and got this image.


Sheer Rock Cliff

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If you live in the western United States, the sight of mountains probably is old hat. You see them every day and appreciate their beauty and starkness and all that, but they are just another object in a familiar landscape.

Having grown up on the prairies of east central Illinois, I’ve never outgrown my fascination with mountains.

These days I live in Northeast Ohio, which has some nice hills, but nothing that comes close to matching rock cliffs such as the one shown above.

Given that I don’t get to see sights such as this very often, my camera will be out to capture it, if can.

This particular mountain is located near Tucson, Arizona.

If I had a Glider

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I’m standing on a mountainside in Tucson Mountain Park looking to the southwest. On the floor of the Sonora Desert in the distance is Old Tuscon amusement park. Out of sight to the right is the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

Out west everything looks far away and the land is quite open compared with what I am used to seeing in the Midwest.

The view makes me wish I had a glider and could launch myself and glide out over the desert. What a view it would be as I soared toward those mountains in the distance.

Like Toothpicks on the Side of the Mountain

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The saguaro cactus is widely associated with the American Southwest even though it is confined to a relatively small region.

Tucson Mountain Park is a preserve where you can find a literal forest of saguaros. There are so many of them that they look like tooth picks.

Many images of a saguaro show arms, but not all of these plants develop arms in their lifetime.

The saguaro is concentrated in southern Arizona and western Sonora in Mexico. A few plants can be found in southeast California, but the website of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum describes them as strays.

I first became fascinated by the saguaro forest in Tucson Mountain Park in the late 1970s. When I visited there last October it was my first return trip since the middle 199os.

The park and the cactus still look much the same as I remembered them.

My Reason For Being Here is Out There Somewhere

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My flight to Phoenix is less than a minute from landing at Sky Harbor International Airport.

I’ve never lived here, but have visited enough to recognize that we’re flying over the north edge of the campus of Arizona State University.

Somewhere out there is the reason why I’m on this plane. My father, sister, brother-in-law and niece all live in in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

We once all lived in east central Illinois, but now I’m the outlier of the family because I live in northeast Ohio.

My Dad has an apartment that looks out on those mountains in the distance.

We’ll land, gather our luggage, pick up a rental car and drive to his apartment to see it for the first time.¬†Another visit with family in Arizona is just getting underway.