Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wednesday What is it

Yellow dusted petunia
Here is a Wednesday What Is It? Flagstaff residents: you cannot play (because you know the answer)! :) Answer is below so don't scroll down too fast if you want to guess.

What made the Flagstaff skies hazy for about two weeks in early June?
Hazy Flagstaff skies

What covered our shelves, roads, flowers with a fine layer of dust?

What was kicked up in swirls by cars as they drove down the road?

What was so thick on our porch that it allowed me to leave a footprint in the yellow dust?
Footprint in yellow dust
What created mini yellow dust devils in the wind?

Hint: it's natural, happens every year, this year seemed heavier...

Answer: It blows in the wind, and it needs to, and we have had a lot of wind this year- not that that has had anything to do with it...

Clouds of it puff from the ponderosa pine trees

it's the pollen. And based on the amount of pollen I have wiping from my shelves I predict a lot of hearty pine cones and happy squirrels. Our local paper had an article about it.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Glad I was there

Big Lake big skies
I haven’t been writing in here lately. I realized two things.

1. Not much to write about when I am just walking around in a “circle”- good walking, not good writing. I have been walking around nearby Buffalo Park every morning. I am very proud of that but it doesn’t lead to many stories.
2. I really don’t have many photos of the stuff that I mentioned for the Wednesday stuff. I may have to let that go and let you know about it as I experience it.

Good morning Big Lake
However, I guess this is how I communicate with some friends and family members so I am back- again.

The Wallow Fire in eastern Arizona has been all over the news. The fire is huge and is directly impacting some small communities and indirectly impacting many other with the vast plume of smoke. Flagstaff has not been impacted at all. If we head to a high point in town we can sometimes see the smoke plume, waaaaaaay off in the distance. It looks like a far off thunderhead.

Pip looking for canoe
One of my husband’s favorite places to camp in late summer is at Big Lake in the White Mountains. It’s at least a two hour drive to get to the campground, probably more. Even from Flagstaff, which is in the “mountains,” it feels like you are going into the mountains. The forests are still ponderosa but there are spruce and fir. Open meadows are ringed with aspen. Small lakes dot the countryside. I call it the “big sky” country- it’s big, open, green.

Misty morning Big Lake
When we go there it’s monsoon season. Every afternoon towering cumulous gather in the skies, threatening rain. The first year we were in a tent. We had arrived at the campground wondering why everyone had a tarp. After the inch of rain flooded the campground we escaped to Springerville to buy our own tarp. The next time we went there it was in our pop-up trailer, much nicer.

My husband and son go out on a canoe in the lake to fish. I walk the shores with Pip. It’s a peaceful place and very pretty.

Camping spot at Big Lake
The Wallow Fire has already engulfed Big Lake and is threatening Springerville. It’s hard to imagine, it’s a huge area. Springerville was at least a half hour drive from Big Lake and Springerville is a town. Seeing the photos of the fire we are hoping the fire burned fast, leaving many trees. I have included photos of Big Lake and our camping spot.