2014—Anderson Herpetological Gallery

As I stepped from the shower this morning, I heard a horrified shriek from Melinda in the other room and I knew something was amiss but felt that if I needed to get out immediately, my hosts would have alerted me to the danger, so I decided to take the time to dry off and put on some clothes before going out to see what was going on. The shriek had resulted when Lonnie told Melinda that a small snake was in the yard and she should get her camera but what was in the yard was a four foot Sonoran Gopher Snake (thank you, Google) and neither Melinda nor I consider a four foot snake small.

Melinda grabbed my camera with the 80-400 lens, the better to see the snake from a distance, and took some shots before I came out to find out what all the commotion was about. The Anderson Zoological Gardens seems to have added a Herpetological Gallery at one end of the garden, complete with hole/nest into which the snake disappeared while we oohed and aahed over our photographs. Here are a few of my favorite shots that I took, once I wrestled my camera away from Melinda.

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2014—Cloudless Skies

It is monsoon season in Arizona and I had visions of billowy cumulous clouds and massive thunderheads accompanied by lightening and thunder and rain squalls followed by rainbows. Although we had a few clouds on Friday when we visited the Granite Dells, the skies have been virtually cloudless during my visit. So on Sunday afternoon, when we drove to Sedona for sunset views of Cathedral Rock, we were excited that the sky was filled with wispy cirrus clouds that would reflect the colors of the setting sun stunningly behind the red rock formations. After dining at a local Sedona tavern, we took the winding road to find the iconic view of the rocks reflected in water. As the sun dipped low in the sky and dusk enveloped us, we came to the “end of the road” without finding our intended destination and we were unprepared for a hike so we turned around and headed back. We were happy at least to find some views at a couple of turnouts but by the time we focused our cameras on our target, all of the clouds were gone and the skies were hazy from a nearby wildfire. A little tweaking in Lightroom revealed the one tiny pink cloud that remained.

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