Monday, November 02, 2009

Off On A Walk

Part of my DH's post-surgery rehab is to walk. The only caveat is that he is to walk on flat trails or in places such as the grocery store or the mall. We're lucky in that just a short way from Oleo Acres is a really nice place to get out in the fresh air, view the locals in their habitats, get some sun, and still keep to flat trails. It's called the Kachina Wetlands Project, completed a few years ago by the Army Corps of Engineers as a way to utilize reclaimed water. It's a beautiful area with great views of the San Francisco Peaks.
I thought you might like to come along:
A view of the Peaks. Mt. Humphrey's (the peak on the left) is the highest point in Arizona at 12,633 ft. We live at 7,000 ft. just south of the town of Flagstaff, at the base of the Peaks.
Our recent snow was melting fast on the south face of Humphrey's Peak. You can see the clusters of golden aspens gracing the slopes.
As we walked along, groups of Juncos flew out in front of us as if to lead the way. This one stayed long enough in the rushes for me to get a shot of him.
Looking northwards to Mt. Elden where all the TV, radio and various communication towers are set. The day before this, snow covered Elden as if someone had dusted it with powdered sugar. It used to be totally covered with pines and aspens but a huge forest fire claimed it. It is recovering, but slowly on this side. Many people hike the trail up Elden. You have to keep aware as well as keep your dogs on a leash as there are wild things watching you. It's not unusual to hear reports of mountain lion and bear watching hikers. Hikers must be yummy, eh?
The ducks you see on this pond usually stay throughout the year except for sessions of bad weather or complete freezes of the water in these ponds. There are large lakes nearby where waterfowl retreat until smaller ponds re-open at thaw. Part of the ponds were still frozen and unavailable to the ducks. They stuck to the open waters on this day.
I love seeing the cattails and rushes here. I may have to give using them in basket making a try. Try as I might, I can't seem to get the cattails established along the banks of our creek in the pasture. While our grasses get pretty tall and afford the waterfowl refuge, it would be nice to have a patch of cattails as well.
Another view across one of the ponds. You wouldn't know it, but there's a gated community just on the other side of the trees. (Our hoity-toity neighbors) Clearly the people who live in that community adhere to the "Good fences make good neighbors" policy. When that community, and its golf course, were built, many wildlife trails and habitats were destroyed in the process. We used to see way more fox, turkey, mule deer, elk, and bears and lions before they built. I still hear turkey when I'm down at the barn, but now it's the turkeys a neighbor down the road is raising, not the wary wild birds that used to come through.
And while we were walking we spied a flash from a dark colored animal we had flushed from its hiding place. At first we thought it was a fox, but it turned out to be a cat.
A very large cat! (This taken with my telephoto lens at quite a distance)

I'll try to take you along again, if you like. Our Flagstaff Urban Trail System has now connected up with the trails in the Kachina Wetlands. We know where they connect, but haven't explored there yet as some of the trails are a wee bit more rugged. Maybe next time.
Anybody want to come along? :-D


Michelle said...

Thanks for taking us along; it was lovely!!

Kelly said...

Umm...I can't see your first four photos. :(

Leigh said...

What a wonderful place for a walk! I've always lamented that in the western Carolinas, there are no nice public walking trails so I'm making my own in our woods. My dad leaves near an old railroad track in Illinois which has been converted to miles and miles of walking, riding, and bike trails.

Beautiful photos. And I can almost hear that cat thinking "who are they and what do they want" *LOL

Yes, do show us more.

Sharrie said...

Sounds like my kind of rehab. Hope it is helping both of you in all kinds of ways. Egyptian cat doesn't look like Halloween is one of his favorite holidays.

Val said...

We would love to come along, we well remember our visit to the Wetlands when we were over. It sure is a beautiful spot, so quiet and peaceful. A wonderful spot for a leisurely stroll

thecrazysheeplady said...

I couldn't see the first four shots either, but the rest were fabulous. What a neat area!

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

Beautiful! I always take pictures of Mt Humphrey's when we go through, it is so majestic standing there all by its lonesome. Have you ever seen it from the crater? Its far away but it is a really neat vantage point :)

Kathy said...

Hi Everyone,
I have attempted to redo the photos. Hopefully they will now appear when your reading the blog. If not, please do let me know and I'll try it again. Thanks.