Red, White, and the Bluest Sky Ever

Posted by Jen on July 8, 2009 in Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of..., Photography |

Photobucket The challenge over at Beth’s this week was “Independence Day” (or food) and I’m so glad that she didn’t say “the 4th”!

See, Husband and I were truly experiencing independence this Independence Day. Little Man and BK are spending a few weeks at their Gram’s house and we found ourselves on our own for the long holiday weekend! What to do?

We headed to one of my favorite places on the planet – Sedona, AZ – for a get-away and it was a wonderful weekend full of exploring Red Rock country. [Also, we got to eat many meals in restaurants without worrying about meltdowns and kids' menus.]

I must confess before we get to the pics. I don’t hike – well, not normally. But, you really can’t experience all of Sedona without going off-road at least a little. So, like all sensible people, I decided that I could do two hikes a day – one in the morning and one in the evening. [Um, suffering for art? Nah, I'll blame the heat!]

So, without further ado, we’ll start with nature’s red, white, and blue and then move on a sampling of nature in northern Arizona!


red rock state park - believe it or not this is straight from the camera

It’s monsoon time in the desert so it’s quite common to get late day rains. We thought we were going to get rained out of a sunset hike in Red Rock State Park. Instead, we got treated to a lightening show followed by this rainbow (which actually ended up being a double). Then it passed and we were able to hike away!


cathedral rock shot from red rock state park - slightly modified the shadows/highlights

Oak Creek supplies water to the area and it’s truly a life giving thing. There are quite a few riparian areas in Sedona and they are just stunning in their colors and creatures – so different from the high desert that surrounds them. Amazing!


running water in oak creek canyon - straight out of camera

I had my polarizing filter on almost the whole time we were out and about. I love the green of this funky old tree against the blue sky.


red rock state park - used a polarizing filter

This guy. Oh my word! He was just hanging out when we walked by on our sunset hike. For whatever reason, I couldn’t get my camera to focus so that I could capture him. He stayed still for something like 20 attempts – just posed. He finally moved when the guide with us moved his hand to show us the petroglyphs that were above him!


red rock state park - adjusted color slightly to bring out his green

I have no idea what these are, but they just begged for a picture. They were the only plants like this and were surrounded by a field of green!


OK … this next one is funky and I like it. We went up to the airport to watch the sunset (popular place to watch the sunset, by the way). We’d been out hiking in Fay Canyon until right up to sunset and we were tired! I wasn’t even going to take a picture because the sunset wasn’t all that pretty. But, we’d driven up there, so I took a shot just after the sun sunk behind the mountain.

I forgot that I had the polarizing filter on and this is what the sunset looked like to my camera. The shadows in the black are the layers of the mountains west of town.


sunset from the airport - polarizing filter and some shadow/highlight adjustment

Did I mention that Sedona is one of my favorite places on the planet??? Yeh, I get kind of carried away. These are seven of the almost 500 pictures I shot in four days! (More pictures will be coming in my 5 Things – Sedona post.)

I hope you enjoyed and if you get a chance to visit Sedona? Do it!

I'll be hoppin' along now ...

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