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A Cardinal Achievement~

Some of you may remember that I have only seen and photographed cardinals twice in my life, once in Buenos Aires, and recently in The Superstition Mountains in Arizona. (Tap to enlarge).

Meet Hawaiian Red Crested cardinals number 3 & 4 who have now become my very good friends!

Yep, we are in Hawaii and these guys hang out constantly in our backyard.

I am in cardinal heaven!

They are not afraid of us and especially,

enjoy joining us on the patio table for lunch!

After years of searching,

I have finally made some cardinal friends!

I hope word spreads and they bring over their buddies. We are hosting a variety of exotic and beautiful Hawaiian birds.

I will share more with you soon,

Until then, Aloha to you from Maui~

Bird Portraits: Raptors~

“Where the wild things are,” (tap/click to enlarge)

is where I like to be.

Bald Eagles,

imperious stare.

Haughty Harris Hawks,

with laser eyes.

Owls see light,

in the darkest night.

Falcon’s fly faster,

than wind.

Canada’s wild spaces.

Cheers to you from our finely feathered friends~

North Rim~

Aspens with their new summer leaves in the Kaibab Forest.

Sunlit view from the North Rim. (Click to enlarge and see The Colorado River.)

Landscape near Lee’s Ferry.

The Colorado.

Horseshoe Bend.

We entered here for a seven day raft trip when the kids were younger. I will never forget the sound of the rockslides in Marble Canyon at night,

or the lizards doing pushups by my sleeping bag when I woke in the morning.

Cheers to you from the resident chuckwalla~

Rock Talk~

This is Picture Canyon in Arizona.

The canyon is covered in petroglyphs,

that are 800-1300 years old.

The oldest petroglyphs are geometric in nature.

Later rock art depicts animals, rivers, planets and human figures.

This is The Mojave Desert in the southwestern US,

and it is where Jim and I went hunting for hidden petroglyphs.

There is historical rock art all over the southwestern United States. Most thought to be 800 to 1000 years old. Much of it hidden and unpublicized. I even found some at The Holler.

Here is the blogger that led us here. I have no idea who he is, but, as we all know, bloggers are precious resources:

https://harryhelmsblog.blogspot.com/2008/01/petroglyphs-of-kelbaker-road-california.html?m=0

Below are some links to my prior posts about more amazing southwestern pictographs and petroglyphs, much of it quite older:

Cheers to you from The Talking Rocks of the Southwest~

Falls Creek Sacred Site~

Falls Creek, in southwest Colorado, is one of the most important ancient sites in the southwest. It was once a village and had burial sites.

It contained mummified remains of individuals, and has antiquities from the ancestral pueblo basket maker period from 1500-2000 years ago.

Look carefully to the right, below the waterfall and under the overhang (tap to enlarge).

You can see more here.

This sacred site was heavily plundered in the 1930’s and it is now protected, with no public access. It is under the protection of the tribal nations who are descendants of the original occupants.

I am not an archeologist. I am a psychotherapist by training. It is hard to get information on the place and it is difficult to find. Still my husband and I were curious to see what we could, without trespassing or violating the site. This is as close as we could ethically get, and these are full zoom shots. Our interest was piqued by the objects in the lower right quadrant under the overhang (enlarge to see better).

For more on this fascinating place check out the following two links:

https://www.mail-archive.com/nativenews@mlists.net/msg03828.html

If anyone reading this has more knowledge about Falls Creek, and would like to share it, I would be eager to pass on the information.

Cheers to you from the mysterious and sacred Falls Creek~

Walnut Canyon National Monument~

Southeast of Flagstaff Arizona (click to enlarge and spot the cliff dwellings hidden in the rock face),

on a plateau,

is a six hundred foot deep canyon,

carved by Walnut Creek, a stream that flows east into The Grand Canyon.

Walnut canyon has been occupied by people for thousands of years.

The first permanent residents,

who occupied the region from CE 600- 1400,

left approximately 800 remaining structures.

We visited here as part of an exploration of lesser visited, and even unpublicized cultural sites in the American Southwest. In the next few posts I will show you some of what we have found. But our explorations are still ongoing. It becomes quite addictive finding sites that aren’t widely known. We even found some at The Holler.

For more about Walnut Canyon see:

https://www.nps.gov/waca/learn/historyculture/people.htm

Colorado Rocky Mountain Surfers~

A different kind,

of ‘Rocky Mountain High!’

The river surfers,

on The Animas River,

in Colorado.

navigate submerged rocks,

frigid water,

and stand to prove it!

But that didn’t prevent some ‘gnarly’

wipe-outs!

The river was running fast and deep.

Cheers to you from The skillful Colorado Rocky Mountain Surfers~

New Wave~

Check out Jim at The New Wave!

The New Wave is a more subtle,

mostly unknown,

and far less traveled,

version of the hugely popular and overcrowded Wave.

It is located near Page Arizona,

in The Glen Canyon Recreation Area. (Where’s Jim? He is in this photo too!)

The formations of previously molten rock,

are made of Navajo Sandstone.

We hiked here entirely alone all day!

Cheers to you from The New Wave~

(Note: We are heading out of wifi range, so I will touch base when I can).

Blooming Joshuas~

This is the first time I have ever seen Joshua Trees in bloom!

These trees were recently designated an endangered species by The California Fish & Game Commission.

They are vulnerable because they exist in a limited area in The Southwestern US and Baja California. Their range is mostly contained by the boundaries of the Mojave Desert. This habitat is under pressure from development and climate change.

Joshua Trees are pollinated by Yucca Moths. Desert habitat is sensitive and species are interdependent.

Interestingly, in the distant past, Joshua’s were pollinated by Giant Sloths!

Humans have lived in The Mojave Desert for about 12,000 years.

Pictographs, cryptic messages from the past, can be found throughout this region.

Cheers to you from the fascinating Mojave~