Monday, February 13, 2012

A westerly visit ...


Oh my, it seems like I have been gone forever!  So much to catch up on. 
This past week, I was out in Scottsdale visiting a friend.



The world is so gorgeous out there and I couldn't seem
to capture enough of its beauty.


Most of these pictures were simply captured from walks in her neighborhood.
And you know me, I had to do a little editing artwork on them.


I just can't help myself.
I love using Topaz Adjust.


I found the cacti beautiful and intriguing.  Apparently the Saguaro cactus grows very slowly -- perhaps an inch a year -- but to a great height of 15 to 50 feet.  Some of the largest plants, with more than 5 arms, are estimated to be 200 years old.


The architecture of my friend's home just begged to be photographed.  


As did the area palm trees.






And the distant mountains.

Just so much beauty.


And then there was the wildlife.
My friend lives in a zoo!
On our first night, we encountered a coyote on our walk.  
He was not interested in us ... he had better things to hunt.
Like the zillion rabbits and quail that were everywhere.

And as we neared the end of our walk, another person stopped us 
to point out that he had just seen a bobcat over yonder if I wanted to grab a picture.
I decided to pass.  No need to disturb him ...
or me!

Apparently, a few days before, these two bobcats were captured napping by 
the mailboxes by one of my friend's neighbors. 
(Their photo, not mine)
Just a couple of kitty cats, I guess.


Of course, with all this wildlife around me, I still had to
give homage to my feathered friends.

 These guys hovered above us while we drank coffee.  I'm unsure what they are but I bet
some of you will know.
 They reminded me of robins in my neck of the woods but with 
a longer tail.

 So do you know what they are?

:  :  :

There was just not enough time to take all the photos I wanted 
of the area.  I so wanted to capture an evening sunset on the mountains.

Next time.

I left Scottsdale and headed out to Snowbird, Utah, to
meet up with The Professor.

Let's just say, it was friggin' cold out there on the mountain!
But more on that later.

Hope your week gets off to a great start!

Later friends,

~~ sharing with ~~

58 comments:

Gail said...

Beautiful photos and much better than a zoo!

Kathy said...

I knew you'd bring back gorgeous pictures!

grammie g said...

HI reena...That sound like a wonderful experience...love the photos ..the topaz ones look like water color paintings ..!!
Very nice !! : }
Grace

Sandra said...

i am soooo jealous, I would love to visit AZ and have always loved the west. your friends home is so beautiful and wow on the wild life.

Ivanhoe said...

Just what I needed on cold Monday morning with half a foot of snow on the ground :) Looks wonderful!

lifeisaroadtrip said...

Great photos, Reena. Glad you enjoyed your visit.

Madi and Mom said...

Reena what lovely photos from AZ. Mom and Dad want to visit the Southwest some day. She loves the architecture.
OMC you most certainly saw lots of wildlife and how nice they were to pose for you. You know our fav was the Bobcat kitties.
Hugs madi and mom

TexWisGirl said...

i think those are female grackles. :)

what a great place to visit - and wildlife, wow!

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

Oh the Bobcats! What I would give to get a photo like that. Just to see them I'd give quite a lot.

Daryl Edelstein said...

Oh I love these photos .. and I am so happy you got back in time to come have lunch yesterday .. now we need to make a date for March ...

Country Girl said...

Your photos are gorgeous, and those birds - so striking. Bobcats? Gah!

gina said...

Lovely photos -- they really do look like paintings, Reena! You've really captured the beauty of the desert.

Florida Farm Girl said...

Oh, how lovely. The desert can be so gorgeous, particularly if there's been a bit of moisture. Wonder what the flowers will be like next month? I'm going to check out that Topaz software.

Brian Miller said...

wow reena...yout landscape and architectural pics look like brilliant paintings...so cool to see the wild life as well...been a long time since i was that far west...have a friend going to tucson this week...

Bob Bushell said...

A great place like that one, it is fabulous, and the wildlife, wow.

LadyFi said...

Napping bobcats - how cool is that!

Wonderfully processed shots!

Genie said...

Your pictures stand alone quite well without any touching up, but your post precessing is fabulous. Your shots suddenly look like water colors I would have seen on the wall of our home growing up in Palm Beach. I really do need to look into Topaz. I keep reading references to it, but they offer so many different options. Would you have a suggestion as to how I should begin. Until now I only use PSE10 and Picnik which is going vamoose in April. genie

Kathryn Dyche Dechairo said...

Gorgeous pics, love the wildlife there.

Sylvia K said...

Terrific captures as always, Reena! And, as always, I enjoy your "art work"! Beautiful! I do love all the wildlife! Your bird shots are awesome! I haven't used Topaz, but have enjoyed Picnik, but as Genie wrote, it'll be disappearing in April. Guess I'd better start shopping around! Have a great week!

Sylvia

JillsyGirl Studio said...

I'm mesmerized by the 4th one down...i think it's the tree shadows and the perspective. Superb!

ds said...

Gorgeous photos. Such a lovely area. Thanks so much for sharing.

Seeing Each Day said...

Your photos always have a definite richness to them - I particularly love your 3rd one in this set.

Judy said...

Gorgeous photos Reena!

Pat said...

I love your artistic renderings of these beautiful scenes. So wonderful to see the wildlife.

Jennifer Richardson said...

thanks for sharing all of that
westerly beauty
...my heart breathes wider
when I look at those warm spacious
borderless places.
palm trees, indeed.
love all the wildness,
Jennifer

islandwonder said...

Wonderful photos! Those two kitties are funny!

lisa said...

Welcome back my Friend!
I sounds like you had a wonderful time, and I love your photographs. Topaz is definitely addicting!

Thank you so much for sharing with us today at The Creative Exchange.

Have a wonderful evening!

lisa.

My Journey With Candida said...

I dare say that you are lucky there is so much wild life around your friend, Otherwise, that coyote might of been licky his chops and looking your way.

DebC said...

These are beautiful.
I love the southwestern states.
I have bought Topaz,
but I haven't yet had time to play :(
Your work is an inspiration.
Is it okay if I post some of your photos to Pinterest?

S. Etole said...

So much beauty to enjoy and share.

Pam said...

love your perspective on my home town, and your unique and beautiful renditions of your captures!

rainfield61 said...

How to deny that our world is so beautiful?

holdingmoments said...

These are all excellent Reena; and that processing makes them look like wall paintings.

Pieces of Sunshine said...

So many amazing photos. The details you captured in the birds is wonderful.

NatureFootstep said...

a beautiful world and nice editing. :)

Steve said...

Beautiful images Reena!!

eileeninmd said...

What a beautiful place and I love how you capture it with your images. I heard it is a fantastic place for birding. Thanks for sharing your trip.

Mira Crisp said...

Reena, these are such beautiful images! I'd love to see more of this place, it looks gorgeous!

Wayne (Woody), whatever said...

These are beautiful!

The Smithsonian channel has a show called 'Aerial America' and they recently featured New Mexico. I so want to visit the South West, it has so many unique features.

Catherine said...

Gosh ~ it would be fantastic to live in a zoo! Your friend is lucky!

Excellent photos as always Reena!

Wishing for you a day filled with love!
xo Catherine

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

I think you could change your blog name to "Where in the World is Reena?" :)

Gorgeous, gorgeous photos and I love the editing. Look like watercolor paintings.

Steve Gravano said...

Beautiful job Reena. I love that first photo and the painterly ones that follow. Your feathered friend does look like a Robin.

Marcie said...

You're really moving around these days...:-)! You make Arizona look like paradise. Beautiful!

urban muser said...

these are such great photos from your trip! i love all the color. i am heading to Scottsdale in a few weeks for a long weekend. hope the weather is good while i am there :)

OceanoAzul.Sonhos said...

dear Reena , I'm delighted every time I come here, thank you for pictures and the words you share with us.

cvb

Linda R said...

I just love Scottsdale. I have been there a couple of times. For some reason I think that desert is so much more pretty than here in Vegas, I think its all the saguaro cactus. Your photos are gorgeous. I love the shots of the Bobcats.. So cool!!

Hugs, Linda

Evelyn S. said...

Wow, Reena! Your blog post is a photo travelogue, of sorts! Your photos are always wonderful...and I never tire of your "adjustments" with Topaz! The colors and shapes are glorious!

Ginny said...

What stunning pictures!!! My favorites are the fourth one because of those tree limb shadows on the street, and the one with the palm trees all in a line. You really have an eye for beauty and to line up shots! Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Gardening in a Sandbox said...

Wow! I think I should spend more time learning the Topaz adjust. Spectacular photos. V

Betty Manousos@ Cut and Dry said...

gorgeous artwork!

great job, reena!
thanks for sharing those gems.

Michael said...

beautiful pictures and blog

dona said...

I also want a friend living in a zoo!
And wonderful pictures, of course!

Barb said...

I love your Topaz artwork - simply stunning!

Tatjana Parkacheva said...

Very nice photos and editing.

Regards and best wishes

Barbara said...

Love your photos alone but your touch-ups really make them pop! Welcome home!

Molly said...

Stunning images and very cool editing.

Mollyxxx

Anna said...

Oh how I love the Southwest, too! You've captured the light, color, and landscape perfectly! Thanks :)

Brian Miller said...

hey reena,

i have a poetry site i run called dversepoets.com ...long story short, i am doing the prompt this saturday and i was wondering if i could select a few of your pictures for the poets to write about? I would link you and give full credit and ask them to do the same on their poems as well.

any way, i def appreciate your photo art and think it would inspire as well.

brian