... and neighborhood ... this is where I go. I have sent out so much wildlife work that I have shot at Bubbling Ponds that I took the opportunity during a long final glide back into Sedona this afternoon to take a few shots of Bubbling Ponds as I passed overhead. I made this shot a little larger so that you could get a better look at the neighborhood. Oak Creek wends its way southwards through the image from upper right to upper left and then on a diagonal to the lower right before jogging back to the left. The area is known as Page Springs and the Page Springs Restaurant is just to the right of the upper seven ponds which are below center. Page Springs Road comes roughly from the upper left down just above the ponds and then towards the bottom past the Page Springs Fishery (the red tile roofs lower right in the greenery) which is primarily used to raise trout. The parking lot for the Bubbling Ponds area is just to the upper left of the seven ponds and shows as a small sandy tan patch.
Along the dirt road going from bottom right towards upper left there are wineries and grape vines on the left of it. Going upstream on Oak Creek about a half mile or so from the furthest upstream shown in this photo is John and Cindy McCain's ranch/retreat on the creek. A friend has given me the keys to his property which is top center in the image and straddles both sides of the creek and hosts some great opportunities for shooting. The Stage Coach trail ran along the top side of the creek on its way to Flagstaff and remnants of the road are still there.
The ponds where I have done so much work are the seven ponds side by side that you can see plus wet lands ponds and other natural ponds just below them. Everything from dragon flies, bull frogs, bald eagles, osprey, mallards, muskrats, blue herons, black crowned night herons, deer and you name it, I have shot them at the ponds. It looks like a small area and I guess it is from the vantage of over ten thousand feet, but like so many other areas, it is teeming with life and beauty. From an art photo standpoint this is not much, but on the personal level when I recount the hundreds of hours spent there it brings an appreciation and anticipation for the next visit. I can see the tree where the eagle normally sits and envision the osprey diving into one of the ponds getting his sustenance, A lot of life is down there and every day the symphony of survival is played out. Some survive, some do not, and life goes on and our little planet continues its journey through the universe linked to our star the sun which gives us life forces ... heat and light and more ... we try to make sense of it all. Perhaps enjoyment and appreciation of the gift is best and recognition that we do not really affect all that much.
I did soar with an eagle today and actually got a shot of him while we were both running under a cloud street over Peeples Valley south of Prescott at around 13,000'. Not a great photograph, but one that has meaning to me; two silent creatures traveling through the sky together joined for a few minutes before we went our separate ways.
We're into the weekend and another busy day is underway. It has been a good week for us and I hope for you. Have a fun and safe weekend and I'll be back Monday morning.