As someone who lives and walks this city daily…my blog is all about delving a little deeper, seeing what it has to offer, and capturing the true essence of New York City. Whether you live in Gotham, or just visiting…feel free to look around my blog. Bet you might find something new to do!
P.S. As of the end of April 2013 my more personal postings will now be at The Next Few Years.
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Category Archives: Arizona
Pegasus of the Desert
all sun brow flight
and dry bleached white
sentinel of muse and
wing of weather
i bow to you
take cover from
and the gleam
in your eye
in the sand
i write the word
During an evening walk in the desert, the ironwood trees can take on many shapes and forms especially when you let your imagination run wild. Near the end of my walk this particular tree rose out of nowhere, immediately giving me the impression of a horse raring up…perhaps a run-in with a rattlesnake or two…been known to happen in the wilds of the Sonoran desert.
Then I remembered. It looked like the same horse from the many mobil oil cans that my dad used on the farm equipment while growing up. As a child, I loved those cans with that beautiful red horse and would always look for the emblem on the signs as we passed our local gas stations. I was infatuated with that horse and later learned that the oil company used the pegasus as their trademark for many years.
Knowing my love for Kelly’s poetry and how I always look forward to her blog postings, I wrote to ask if she would write about my Pegasus of the Desert. And she did. You know she says she’s an average jo and perhaps she is…based on her “about” page description on her blog. But, I’ve never met her. She’s a cyber friend… But when it comes to her creativity, there’s nothing average about her talent at all. Thank you so much Kelly for your magical words that fit so well with the image I saw in the desert. That one encounter brought back so many visual memories from my childhood!
During this stay in Arizona there’s been enough rain to make the gargoyles spew!
From the day I moved from Virginia to the sleepy little town of Scottsdale back in 1987, I was astounded by the force of the flash floods here in the desert. Notorious for flooding after intense summer rainstorms, it was always beyond amazing to see the water raging down from the mountain ridges tearing through the very heart of my little city. The problem area was always centered in the area called the Indian Bend Wash; an eroded, seven mile long strip of land running north and south through the community. Being a looky-loo, I can remember driving to the area just to see the accumulation of water with cars floating around like little yellow duckies in a bathtub. But there’s good news. After years and years of politics and hard work by many, the area was completed and subsequently named one of the ten most outstanding engineering projects in the nation. But more importantly? It worked. Filled with parks and recreational facilities, the area became a gathering place not to mention providing a bike path that pretty much takes you from one end of the city to the other. A true success story.
But there still remained one area that needed a little help facilitating the flow of the water and just a couple of years ago the solution was found and provided the city with a fabulous work of art to boot! Five aluminum horse gargoyles were built representing the area’s historic McCormick Arabian Ranch, once adjacent to the site.
I’ve so longed to see the water flowing and mother nature provided that opportunity! Yes, soaked to the core and several days for my shoes to dry out…but very much worth it. Now I just need the combination of rain and night time to capture them illuminated blue on the east side and yellow on the west side…symbolic of the water and the sun. So perhaps my next visit?
The Winter Solstice definitely stirred my curiosity about full moons and since, I’ve learned that each month the full moon has a special meaning. Who knew? I certainly didn’t. So what I’ve learned is that January’s full moon is called the wolf moon. Why? Well, since January is usually the coldest month of the year, wolves and other predators will come in closer to towns and neighborhoods to find food providing more of an opportunity to be seen by us humans during this month. Second, wolves have been known to be very family oriented, just like us. They depend on each other and will help each other survive.
So the thoughts are… the wolf moon symbolizes the importance of family. I’ve read that it’s an excellent time to work on our relationships, partnerships, and matters of the heart….a time for us all to be thankful for the love that we share with both our biological family and those we have chosen to call family. Even though there’s rain here in the desert, not allowing a view of the full moon, it doesn’t keep me from thinking of the importance of the wolf moon and being so thankful for a wonderful loving family and friends that are a part of my life. Thank you to each and every ONE of you!
Today…I took a walk in the desert…soaking in the rain.
I miss you so much.
Now I call again.
Come, come tonight. Just hold me tight this desert rain.
You’re my guiding light.
You will always have my soul.
Hidden dreams and secret words.
As soon as I read Bella’s 52 Photos Project theme for the week, my mind immediately went to the song – Wide Open Spaces. Interesting, now that I’m reading the lyrics, how apropos for when I move to the desert some 25 years ago.
Who doesn’t know what I’m talking about
Who’s never left home, who’s never struck out
To find a dream and a life of their own
A place in the clouds, a foundation of stone
Many precede and many will follow
A young girl’s dream no longer hollow
It takes the shape of a place out west
But what it holds for her, she hasn’t yet guessed
She needs wide open spaces
Room to make her big mistakes
She needs new faces
She knows the high stakes
Now this girl is so livin’ the dream in the wide open spaces of the desert, along with her tiny spot in the concrete jungle of NYC. So fortunate. No matter how many times I view this scene from the backyard…it always takes my breath away.
You know that sayin’…you learn something new everyday? After all of these years of living in the Sonoran desert, yesterday I learned that Phoenix, Arizona has wild peach-faced lovebirds.
Aren’t they adorable? Taking a walk along the canal system in Phoenix, a noisy group of birds caught my attention. I’m not a bird watcher, but I do have a pretty good sense of various bird calls. So imagine my surprise looking up and seeing these adorable little creatures! After reading about them it seems they originated in south-west Africa where they thrive in natural arid habitats such as the Namib Desert. So how did they end up in Phoenix? Seems this area had some large aviaries that existed years ago and this particular bird bred well in their captivity and before long large flocks of them were flourishing. The aviary owners decided to let the birds go free knowing the environment here was so conducive to their needs; hot, dry and dusty arid conditions.
Ahh…the wonders of nature. Love them!
Joining Bella this week in the 52 photos project prompt. I’ve been MIA for a while so it’s nice to be back with this group and challenged with a photo prompt for the week. This week is a doozy of a prompt. In her words…”it’s all about embracing and recognizing how each moment is a new one. It’s a place we’ve never been, it’s something we’ve never tried…it’s about attempting ~ beginning ~ savoring the right here and now.” Thank goodness she said the theme is wide open for interpretation!
While reviewing a few of my captures from this past week, this one spoke to me and jumped out as a possibility. The more I studied it, the more it seemed to fit. With the reflection on the water so clear and sharp, perhaps this represents what is known and what is being experienced and savored at this very moment? And the out of focus and the softness of the lily pads is perhaps what is unknown, representing something that’s out there, undiscovered and hasn’t yet arrived or come true? Another new beginning?
What do you think?
And on a side note…for all of those that say the Sonoran desert is all ugly, brown and dead…well I’m here to prove them wrong. North of Phoenix Arizona, in the middle of a desert preserve adjacent to the Tonto National Forest is a small refugia of native fish, leopard frogs as well as riparian flora. I so love that they have a hidden camera to record the wildlife that drops by for a drink of water. Mountain lions, bobcats, mule deer, javelina, coyotes…to name a few!
For the first time ever I celebrated the birth of the new year with the coming of the winter solstice by attending Paul Winter’s Winter Solstice Concert at the Cathedral of St. John Divine in New York City. A contemporary take on ancient solstice rituals; a time to eliminate commercialism, honor the nature around us and say farewell to the old year. I’d never paid much attention to winter (or summer) solstice and my only past encounter had been attending the Inti Raymi Festival in Cuzco, Peru a number of years ago. And honestly at the time, I didn’t appreciate the full meaning behind the event.
As mentioned in a previous post, I’d lost the Christmas spirit over the years along with my New Year’s resolutions that were forgotten by February. The winter solstice experience really spoke to me and brought back the spiritual side for me as well…a rebirth of sorts of hope and goodwill. Researching more about the winter solstice brought awareness of the importance of nature which is why taking a full moon hike upon my return to the Arizona desert was top priority. But before I go there…
A friend of mine (knowing how much I enjoy the full moon – thank you Abby!) shared an app called Mooncast that shows the current phase of the moon and alerts you to the day of the full moon along with day-to-day glances of all the other phases. It even provides reminder notices with the option of having a wolf howl tone on full moon days. So guess what woke me up early my first night back in Arizona? Yep, the howl of the wolf! It scared the shit of of me. The house was so silent it just echoed throughout. A haunting howl interrupting a deep sleep. After figuring out I was in my Arizona home, my first reaction was a coyote is outside my bedroom window. But once I got my wits together, I knew the window couldn’t be open because of the cold weather. But it was so clear and loud, as if beside me. I snuggled under the covers, heart pounding, trying to figure out where the sound could be coming from. Then it dawned on me. A full moon alert from my iPad mini. So that was the start to my full moon day.
So late that evening at 7:00 p.m. I joined a number of other hikers to experience a two hour full moon hike out in the wilds of the Sonoran desert, the Spur Cross Ranch Conservation area. We made our way into the desert canyon softly illuminated by the silver moon. Surrounded by silhouettes of huge saguaros and open ridgelines, the chill of the night made the whole experience magical. The capture above was the best I could do without a tripod, but it will always be a treasure to me and a reminder of a wonderful start to a new beginning.
Cross-posted this week over at Vision & Verb where women from all over the world
share the written word and wonderful photography! Come visit us!
What a wonderful welcome home to the desert!
And I’m so looking forward to telling you about my full moon experience. Stay tuned!