This week Tina has set us a daunting task: to share special moments with the Lens-Artists community. Just the thought of trying to choose only five or six special moments out of all the years of photos almost made me give up in despair. Instead, I decided instead to limit my special moments to moments since moving to Arizona just under a year ago…and believe me, that’s hard enough!

Not long after we arrived at our new rental house, the torch cactus in the backyard bloomed with beautiful flowers that have a fleeting life of only about one day. I was stunned by their beauty and thrilled that they bloomed a number of times in the ensuing weeks. What a welcome to the desert! But like much of the desert, be careful how close you get! Beauty and danger have a habit of co-existing here.

On several visits to the Riparian Preserve, I’d spoken with a birder from, judging by his accent, either Boston or that part of the world, about the harrier hawk (he pronounced it “hairyah”) that he was an expert on. This day I followed him down a back path where he not only pointed out the hawk but told me about where he thought her nest was, her usual flight patterns, and so on. Here’s one of my shots of that special moment.

copyright janet m. webb

This pollen-covered bee ecstatically dancing in a poisonous datura flower was definitely a moment that brought joy to my heart.

copyright janet m. webb

Me finally catching a cormorant catching a fish was pretty exciting as was catching him drop it and an egret snatching it away a few minutes later.

copyright janet m. webb

There’ve been so many more special moments since we’ve moved: in Sedona and Saguaro National Park, seeing a vermillion flycatcher at Tuscon’s Sweetwater Wetlands and seeing alpine growth at the top of Mt. Lemmon. The most special moments though don’t have any photos…being here to spend time with and help out my aging parents and, weirdest of all the special moment, the three of us getting our second Covid vaccinations as well and my husband getting his first. What a year when getting shots is probably the highlight!

This last shot may not seem special but it’s of the only squirrel I’ve seen in this area since we moved here. Small joys.

  1. Tina Schell says:

    Well done Janet!!! I loved your moments and every time I thought I’d landed on my favorite I loved the next choice just as well! If forced to choose I’d have to go with the hawk but only by a hair. And I agree whole-heartedly, my husband getting the 2nd vaccine, and then me too, was definitely a special moment (sadly!).

    • I honestly wasn’t sure I could do this one because I’d think “Wyoming” and then Illinois, snow, birds, wildflowers, France….and then I’d just think I wouldn’t participate this week. Focusing on one state and the last year at least made it sort of workable and I wanted to use a few photos I hadn’t already used in a post. The hawk’s a favorite for me because I’ve been hoping to see one all this time and I finally got a decent shot. I saw a hawk several times while walking along the canal near our house, but I never have my camera then as I’m exercise walking, just my phone and that won’t work.

  2. restlessjo says:

    Wow! Love those desert blooms, Janet 🙂 🙂

    • They’re definitely special, Jo. I’m looking forward to when the saguaro cacti bloom, which shouldn’t be too long. When there are hundreds of them, it should be stunning.

  3. Leya says:

    So beautiful moments, Janet! And lucky you getting the vaccine! Here I guess mine will be around Christmas at best. The US, GB and India has stopped exporting to Europe.

  4. Each photo is wonderful, but that pollen covered bee just got to me. That’s a keeper. 🙂

  5. Su Leslie says:

    I love your thinking for this Janet, and the images are all beautiful.

  6. Debbie Smyth says:

    Great post, Janet. I enjoyed getting to know your Arizona so far. My favourite of theses shots is the bee – I can sense the fun and enjoyment. Perhaps a fleeting moment of relaxation is a day of hard work.

  7. Resa says:

    Absolutely stunning shots, Janet!

  8. Fantastic shots! The bee is wonderful as are the cactus flowers and hawk.

  9. Tish Farrell says:

    These truly are very special shots, Janet. I wonder what dreams and visions that bee was having – high on datura pollen.

    • Must have been some pretty good ones. He looks completely lost in the moment, high on pollen. 🙂 I was just standing over him with my phone, taking shots and video of him and another bee and he wasn’t even paying attention (thankfully.)

  10. happyface313 says:

    🙂 You really found a lot of special moments, dear Janet.
    Lovely pictures of nature!
    Hope you are healthy and well!?
    Big hugs xo
    Claudia 🙂

    • Good Sunday to you, Claudia, even though yours is almost over. I’m happy you enjoyed the photos. Yes, I’m doing well. Both my parents and I have gotten our second vaccination shots and my husband got his first, something we’re very thankful for. I’m sorry that it’s taking so long in Europe! Until you can get your, stay safe and healthy, my friend.


  11. peggy says:

    Ah, beautiful Arizona. I sure miss it.

  12. These are all wonderful, Janet! I love the bee, the cactus flower, and the Harrier in-flight the best!

    • I had to include the hawk as seeing it was one of the special moments at the Preserve (and there have been more than a few.) I didn’t want to just have birds, though. I knew you’d like the hawk hopefully as much as I liked yours.

  13. Dan Antion says:

    These are wonderful photos, Janet! It’s hard to pick a favorite, but that bee covered in pollen is a stunning photo.

  14. Amy says:

    Special moments, indeed, Janet! I have never seen pink cactus flower, so beautiful. The hawk in flight is my favorite.

  15. Every single photo is so stunning Janet! Very special!

  16. Teresa says:

    Beautiful moments, Janet!

  17. JohnRH says:

    Wow. Beautiful! I especially love the hawk and the bee. Superb.

    • Thanks, John. That bee shot made me happy for days as did that of the hawk. Makes up for the times I think I got a great shot and something didn’t turn out the way I thought. 🙂

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