Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Walk Through the Desert Wildflowers at Catalina State Park

I timed my trip down to Arizona this spring so I could see the desert wildflowers. The area had received ample rainfall this winter, so the flowers were happy. We took a drive about 1 1/2 hours away and visited the Catalina State Park near Tucson. 

I was surprised to see how green much of the park was. The leaves of many of the trees were emerging, and grasses of different sorts looked very fresh - unlike the wild grasses near Apache Junction which have already dried up. The creek going through the park definitely helped.
In addition, the area was dotted with various wildflowers, in various intensities of yellow, white, orange, red, orange, and blue. Some were so tiny and appeared to be very fragile. They reminded me of some of the tundra flowers higher on a mountain.

Some of the flowers played hide-and-seek, peeking out between the cacti. Many of the cacti themselves were beginning to blossom as well. I suspect that in a few weeks, rocky hills and mountains in this park will look very different yet again, with these fragile rainbows all dry and withered up, hoping to reappear next year.

See more of my photos from Catalina State Park on my Flickr Site

Monday, March 27, 2017

A Meetup with Teton Ken

Having completed my drawing of Teton Ken and his burro Daisy, I wanted to bring the artwork back to Arizona so Ken could see it. He had been so obliging when I had asked if I could take some photos of him back in December, that I wanted to show him what I had created. I called up the staff at the Superstition Mountain Museum where Ken often came during the weekends to give kids ride on his burros. They informed me that Teton Ken had been recovering from a heart attack he had about a month ago. Upon seeing the drawing, they gave me Ken's phone number and we arranged to meet the following day. 

Ken was especially touched that I had included his burro Daisy, as she had died from a rattlesnake bite just a few days prior to his heart attack. Ken said I had captured Daisy's likeness and his pals agreed that the depiction of this former prospector was quite authentic as well. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

March Madness

No, this is not a long-lost photo from December. It was taken last week, on a walk in my neighborhood in Madison. Tonight I sit in the airport waiting to go to Arizona, where I will be "warmly" greeted with temps around 90°F (32°C). No snow boots needed, nor any of that other March madness! Here's looking forward to sunshine and saguaros! 

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Arches of Baby Taj

Right now, I've been following some of the travels through India by some of my friends who are on spring break. In addition to the more famous Taj Mahal, one can also visit the also Itmad-ud-Dulah, known as the Baby Taj. Built prior to the Taj Mahal, this highly ornate but smaller mausoleum represents the first phase of monuments built in the Mughal Style. This photo was taken from the archway of the main building and frames the entry gate.

Read my previous post on the Baby Taj.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Arches of a Different Name

Since I posted an image related to the "Golden Arches" from the Phillipines the other day, this post deals with a different, but also famous, arch. Here I am (around 2002), pictured sitting under the triumphal arch of Alexander Severus. Erected in 228 AD in honor of of Roman Emperor Alexander Severus, it was one of two arches at the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It functioned as one of the city gates, at the end of a road leading from Carthage to the city of Tebessa.
Through the archway we can see the site's famous Capitol, built in 166 AD.

Tunisia is amazing for its ancient history. Dougga is one of several ancient sites in this small country - very worthwhile visiting.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

From Shorts to Snow

Ah, Wisconsin! As I zipped up my jacket a little bit higher to shield myself from the arctic air, I surveyed the scene around me. 

Powdery snow blew freely, forming ripples reminiscent of those formed in the Sahara Desert. Ducks huddled near the shore, under fallen branches and leaning grasses. My fingers felt awkward as I clumsily tried to manipulate the dials on my camera. How could it be that just a couple of days earlier, Madison residents were strolling about in shorts - and some even complaining about the heat!

Of course, it wouldn't last. Perhaps in a couple of months, spring will try again. For now I'll have to be content with the pillowy rocks and icy ripples.