Monday, February 11, 2013


my new favorite bird, the shiny black Phainopepla

Sunday was a party sunny, cool day.  After lunch we loaded dogs in the jeep and headed north on Scottsdale Road towards Carefree and Cave Creek.    When we used to fly into Phoenix we'd always try to stay up there at a resort called The Boulders, so we had many pleasant memories of the area.

In Carefree we stopped at a small park, Sundial Park, and walked through the cactus gardens.  It has been quite cold at night and we discovered that cacti must be susceptible to frost, or perhaps its their budding flowers that are in danger because many of the specimens had little "scarves" or "stove pipe hats" on.  

this guy looks like he's wearing a keffiyeh

golden barrel cactus

sparkling stone fountain against the stormy sky

a rare crested Saguaro

many of us are fascinated by these deviants of the Saguaro world
no one actually knows why they occur

We continued through Carefree and Cave Creek and followed signs toward Bartlett Lake.  Huge homes nestled into the rocks, seemingly competing for the highest perches and best views.  They were all earth colored and organically shaped, almost invisible on the mountainsides.

we love trying to count the homes trying to blend into the hillsides

a hillside forest of Saguaros

the "yellow hills" on one side of Bartlett Lake
Lewis and Sasha  leave their mark

Bartlett Lake from above

Uh Oh.....we regularly confuse our GPS.  She thinks we're driving in the lake!

We turned around and headed home about 4.   The sky was starting to look threatening again and we didn't want to get caught in one of the many washes that cross the road.   Once our cell signal returned I had a great talk with Jesse.  He's been accepted at Portland in addition to Boulder for MBA study.  Congratulations again Jess.

A very important thing was happening on the east coast today (Sunday), a thing we  very much wished we could have attended.   Our nephew Mike Bank, Dave's brother's son, was being promoted to full Colonel and given charge of the entire 107th Airlift Wing Operations Group at the Niagara Falls (NY) Air National Guard Base.  Congratulations Mike, we're proud of you.

The computer (or is acting up once again, so I'll finish this post now,  for fear that it will all disappear.  

I'll just say that today is Monday and we spent the day doing paper work in preparation for trying to file our taxes while on the road.    Lewis' bestest and favorite western babes, Nina and Polly,  stopped by for a cup of tea and a good visit this afternoon and we were all glad to see them both.


  1. Sue, you got some amazing photos. Thanks for sharing that beautiful crested saguaro!

    It's nice that the homes resemble the surrounding area.

    How exciting for Lewis to get a visit from his friend!

  2. left us with some very impressive cloud formations there! Stay clear of those powerheads! tax stuff is still on my table; waiting patiently; hmnnn...

  3. Gorgeous photos!

    Please pass our congratulations along to Mike! What a great honor.

  4. Beautiful photos! We will have to make it to Cave Creek area some day.