I had opportunities to take a couple thousand pictures this year, so it was hard to pick just 10. Most of these favorites I’ve posted previously, but some have never been seen by anybody before. I admit some are flawed, but I like them anyway, sometimes because of their quirkiness.
I did a lot of hiking this year in desert parks. I just love the look and feel of wilderness. This picture was taken at Boyce Thompson Arboretum:
A blooming cactus at North Mountain Park:
A tree covered with blossoms on the grounds of the Arizona Renaissance Festival:
Every February, wildflowers blanket a yard in my town:
This is an icon in a Greek Orthodox monastery chapel. I purposely took this photo at a wonky angle, because of the candle holder hanging in front of the painting. I wanted to get a good shot of the mother’s sweet face, but it caused the Baby to look distorted:
This was taken in South Mountain Park:
A perfect red rose at the Rose Garden at Mesa Community College:
These wildflowers in my yard grew from an unsolicited packet of seeds sent through the mail from the Sierra Club:
I shot these cactus flowers in my neighborhood on my morning walk:
My daughter Katie on the footbridge at Boyce Thompson Arboretum:
Two Fridays ago my daughter Katie invited me to go hiking with her at Boyce Thompson Arboretum. It had been three months since the last time I’d hiked, so I was interested in an easy trail. In Katie’s memory, the High Trail at the arboretum was fairly level.
But to this old lady, it wasn’t. Not that it’s steep, but there are plenty of rises and dips, lots of rocks and steps. I was glad I’d brought my trekking pole; I couldn’t have made it without it.
The Arboretum is located on 392 acres adjacent to the Tonto National Forest. Its landscape is desert, plus hardy trees and beautiful flowers. Many of the trees have been transplanted from other locations.
We were fortunate to be there on a Friday, because we had the place seemingly to ourselves. There were plenty of cars in the ample parking, but the arboretum is large enough that you’re not bumping into the other visitors. On the weekends I believe there are larger crowds.
We’ve had an unusually dry summer, even for Arizona. Usually we have monsoons in July, and this little stream would actually have water in it.
All the pictures up to this point were taken by me. Unfortunately, my camera’s battery ran out halfway through our hike. Luckily, Katie took some gorgeous pictures with her phone that she was willing to share. All the rest of the pictures in this post are hers.
We had some pretty spectacular storms in Arizona last summer. Thank you to Mike Olbinski for capturing nature’s fury.
Sunday was my birthday, and last Saturday my daughter Katie took me to Boyce Thompson Arboretum. A forty-five-minute drive from her home, the Arboretum is surrounded by desert.
It’s close to Tonto National Forest and I expected there would be lots of trees. (Click on the smaller images to enlarge and scroll through.)
But there’s so much more. Cacti, succulents, and flowers that thrive in the desert:
Roses! and butterflies:
Sculptures and benches and structures from which to rest and enjoy the view:
And speaking of views, you can see mountains from the trails.
I love the desert, and Boyce Thompson Arboretum shows off its beauty. We saw only a small portion of the park during the hours we were there, but Katie is a member of the Arboretum and promised me I can visit any time I want as her guest. We’ll be back soon.