Posts Tagged ‘Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch’

Ann-Christine gives us the choice today to pick what we’d like to share and her beautiful flowers can literally be picked. What do I have here in Arizona? Since our move just over a year ago, other than cacti, I’ve been mostly taking photos of birds, so here are a few recent favorites.

Let’s drop in at the Riparian Preserve and see what we can find. A harrier hawk is always fun.

“He imagines a necessary joy in things that must fly to eat.”
― Wendell Berry

“In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence.”
― Robert Lynd

Then there’s the spoonbill who came during one of the storms in the south and has been here all winter. Here it’s balancing on one leg while looking astonished. Is that like rubbing your stomach and patting your head at the same time? Pretty in pink but what a big mouth!!

may my heart always be open to little birds who are the secrets of living ~e. e. cummings

There are lots of spectacular birds but there are also the cute, more approachable ones that you might see in your yard.

Wherever there are birds, there is hope. Mehmet Murat Ildan

If you’re a fish, you’d prefer to see this haughty cormorant perched on a limb rather than in the water where they run silent, run deep, run deadly.

Tomorrow, the birds will sing. Be brave. Face life. ~Charlie Chaplin

A pod of pelicans arrived towards the end of last year and a few have stuck around. I didn’t realize that pairs like this fish and swim in tandem, for all the world like synchronized swimmers. Of course the swimmers don’t usually eat fish while performing, at least I hope not!

And now it’s back to the weekend. I hope you’re enjoying yours.

for Six Word Saturday 3.27.21

for Life in Colour: green

There are so many hummingbirds at the Preserve (and even in our neighborhood) that I no longer feel the same excitement when I see one, but I still enjoy spotting them. If I’m wearing something red, they often buzz me and on the Wyoming porch where I leave the red cooler sitting outside, they’ll buzz that as well. I still find hummingbirds sitting or at rest unusual, but even at rest, this guy was paying attention to what was going on. Gotta love the shiny feather fashion statement.

My work is the world. Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird – equal seekers of sweetness. Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums. ~Mary Oliver

Gentle day’s flower – The hummingbird competes With the stillness of the air. ~Chogyam Trungpa

I always loved those little creatures [hummingbird], always feel blessed when they appear nearby. There’s a magical quality to them. I finally put one in a song. ~Leonard Cohen

for Life in Colour: green

for One Word Sunday: light

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.

“Natural light” is this week’s theme, one that’s right up my camera lens. I’m enthralled by light. As a morning person who feels that if I didn’t get walking before sunrise I’m running late, I have lots of sunrise photos…so I’m going to avoid those. Those of you who follow me have seen lots of them in various posts. Let’s go with something different, something smaller than grand vistas, which have already been done beautifully by our hostesses.

I’ve shared this photo before, but it’s one of my favorites for showcasing natural light.

copyright janet m. webb

“May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Light in Descanso Gardens, California.

“O, Sunlight! The most precious gold to be found on Earth.”
― Roman Payne

Light on milkweed pod.

“We went down into the silent garden. Dawn is the time when nothing breathes, the hour of silence. Everything is transfixed, only the light moves.”
― Leonora Carrington

Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch, Gilbert, Arizona

copyright janet m. webb

“My first memory is of light — the brightness of light — light all around.”
― Georgia O’Keefe

Since I held off on sunrises, let’s grab a Wyoming sunset to close.

The Palo Verde trees are once again blooming, making the one of my favorite things to see at the Preserve.

And since we’re almost at an end for “yellow” as the color challenge of the month, I’ll throw this in for good measure, even though I don’t know what it is. The plant in the background is an aloe vera.

for Life in Colour: yellow and Cee’s FOTD

© janet m. webb

for Life in Colour: yellow

Spring in the desert isn’t exactly like spring in most other places. There are no swaths of wildflowers, no green grass everywhere. Spring comes early too, already on its way at the end of February/beginning of March, when it can be not much above freezing at night and by late afternoon be almost 80F. There are flowers, but quite often they’re on plants with thorns that will stab you if you aren’t careful. Still, they are flowers. The sunrise has moved from after 7 am during the winter to before 6 am and we’re off to the Preserve to seek out some signs of spring for Jo’s Monday walk (whenever the next one is.) We’ll see a variety of colors and even a hint of two of softness but always be careful because desert can so easily become dessert. 🙂

These flowers are actually quite tiny, but they’re abundant.

And these aren’t large either.

Happy Monday and welcome to March!

for Jo’s Monday Walk