Saturday, May 26, 2012

Smoky Sunset

There is a huge wildfire going on a bit southwest of our home - actually about 4 hours southwest of us.  As of last night, it covered 80,000 acres and was not contained at all, due to the terrain there, the very dry weather we've been having, and the extremely high winds (wind gusts of 55 - 60 or more mph).  That wind causes the smoke to drift over New Mexico as well as into Texas and Colorado.  Altho wildfires are not good and can be very scary if you and your home are in the path, the smoke from them does present some interesting and ironically beautiful sunset opportunities.  The photos in this post are from last night's sunset.  The above photo was one I submitted to our local news station, and they ran it during last night's 10pm newscast, during the weather segment.  I have to admit, it was pretty cool to see my photo on TV, even if it's due to some very serious weather conditions.  Oh, and can you see the faint echo of the sun in the lower right hand corner of the photo?

The above image was taken during the last remnants of the sunset.  As you can see, the sun is actually below the ridge of the Sandia Mountains.  I think the smoky haze adds some interesting texture to the sky.  I also love the fact that the ground cover in our back area is actually green!  The mountain off to the right of the photo is South Mountain, about 5 miles from us.

This image seems pretty surreal to me, like something out of a sci-fi, the earth as we know it is being destroyed, type movie.  Again, the mountain range are the Sandia Mountains, the "clouds" are actually smoky haze and the homes in the foreground are part of our little town, Edgewood.  The sun seemed so unnaturally large, I just keep getting drawn to this image.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mixed Media Bookmarks

A couple of weeks ago, I created some background paper using acrylic paint mixed with glaze on watercolor paper.  I applied it liberally (a couple of different colors on the same page), and then covered it with some cling wrap (aka saran wrap) and let it dry overnight.  I had done this before, but didn't leave the cling wrap on that long.  Anyway, by doing that, it created some cool texture, which you can see as you check out these bookmarks.  Anyway, I then decided to make bookmarks with the paper.  The above 2 are called "Manifest Plainess" and "Poet".  These images are transparencies that I created either by typing on them or stamping on the transparency.  I then tore out the definition of the word poet that I found on a scrap dictionary page that was at hand.  I just love it when things appear just when I need them!

The bookmarks above were made from some wrapping paper that I just received in the mail (one of those things where charities hope to guilt you into making a contribution by sending you a "gift" - I tend not to fall for those, but make contributions to charities on my list), and I thought they would be perfect for the bookmarks - another happy coincidence!

And, finally, these 2 cool bookmarks.  Images on these are transparencies.  The moons aren't a stamp, but some images I found and scanned, then printed out on the transparency.  The text is a stamp that I used on a transparency that I had previously colored with alcohol inks (I think - I did it a while ago, and really am not remembering clearly).  It created a really cool color and texture effect when I placed the transparency on the textured background paper!


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Flowers at Fool Hollow

Here are a few shots of some of the wildflowers found at Fool Hollow.  Above are some tiny little daisies that grow along the roadside, usually near some rocks.  Such delicate beauties!

Above are a couple of Indian Paintbrush blooms.  They are such a vibrant orange color - very cool!  I was actually laying down on the ground on my side to get the shot.  Definitely worth it!


Camping at Fool Hollow

In April, we visited a state park that we last visited in 2010 - Fool Hollow State Park in Show Low, AZ.  We really enjoy sitting at our campsite among the pine trees, overlooking the lake.  This time, we had a visitor - a young bald eagle!!  Jeff checked him out with his binoculars, and said that some of his feathers weren't quite super white yet, so he must be about 2 years old.  I just love that we got to see him!!

The evenings were nice, too - check out the pretty sunset one night!!  The silhouette was really pretty, don't you think?


Off-Roading After the Snow !!

The day after it snowed, we decided to drive the back-road up to the top of Mt. Lemmon, the mountain behind our campground.  When we started out, there wasn't much of a trace of the snow from the previous day (but you can see a bit in the rocky fire ring in the very front of the photo). 

Then, as we got further up the mountain, the road became snow-covered!!  A hairpin turn going up the mountain (traversing a steep mountain includes a lot of these!!) was quite interesting - thank goodness Jeff was driving!!

And, finally, at the top, these beautiful snow-topped trees!!  We also saw some folks having snowballs fights - take advantage of the short window of opportunity before the snow a day or so!


Pima Air & Space Museum

Another day, we visited the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson.  I love the above shot of Jeff and one of the planes inside the museum - huge, isn't it?

We also took a tour of what's called The Boneyard.  It's where planes are kept that are no longer being built.  They are kept there for parts.  It's on the Davis-Monthan Air Force base there, so we weren't able to get out of the tour bus.  I took the shots above and below through the bus windows, which accounts for some of the odd-colored sky (above).  I thought the shot above looked like a bunch of fins!!

I liked the pattern that the propeller blades created in the above shot.  The white across the windows of the planes keeps the damaging sunlight out of the inside of the planes.  Anyway, thought you'd enjoy this shot!


Saguaro National Park

While camping, we also visited Saguaro National Park, which is on either side of the city of Tucson - East and West.  it was really neat to stroll down the little path and have these giant cactus towering over our heads!  The taller they are, the older they are - some between 150-200 years old!  The cactus are between 40-60 years old before the "branches" appear!

The above photo is one I really love!  I love the contrast of the mountains in the background and the cactus in the foreground - not something this person from the Midwest ever thought really occurred! 

And, finally, take a look at some of the pretty blooms that grow at the base of some of the saguaro cactus.  Aren't they lovely - and a taste of summer in the midst of spring!


First Camping Trip of the Season

And, where would you guess that we are?  (1) Alaska, (2) the Alps or (3) Tucson, AZ?  If you guessed (3), you are correct!!  Who would have thought we'd travel down to southern Arizona and have a snowstorm in the mountains just above our campground in later March!!  What a surprise this was! 

And, yet, spring wildflowers were blooming at our campground!  These delicate little flowers decorated the ground around our site and throughout the state park.  How lovely!