Archive for December 2014

Selfies in the Desert   Leave a comment

Here follows an exercise in narcissism, or at least proof that when I say I go out and walk in the desert I really do go out and walk in the desert. I arrived at my favorite hiking place about 1:30 this afternoon. The weather was clear, warm, and perfect for hiking. It’s kind of late in the day, so I don’t expect to see any animals. My goal was to hike at least 3 miles.

Start of the journey in the parking lot. I am wearing the Trollgod's hat, my oldest, most battered fedora. It will protect my head from low hanging  mesquite branches and cactus.

Start of the journey in the parking lot. I am wearing the Trollgod’s hat, my oldest, most battered fedora. It will protect my head from low hanging mesquite branches and cactus.

 

A better shot of me at the beginning. centering my face for these selfies is going to be a problem.

A better shot of me at the beginning. centering my face for these selfies is going to be a problem.

 

Behind me is the road ahead.

Behind me is the road ahead.

Behind me is the road behind

Behind me is the road behind

.26 miles into the hike

.26 miles into the hike

Troll country

Troll country

Mountain side. Missed. I was trying to do a profile shot of myself.

Mountain side. Missed. I was trying to do a profile shot of myself.

Half a mile into the hike.

Half a mile into the hike.

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8 tenths of a mile into hike. All distances measured by pedometer.

8 tenths of a mile into hike. All distances measured by pedometer.

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Turn around point. Quartz cairn. 1.5 miles into the hike.

Turn around point. Quartz cairn. 1.5 miles into the hike.

2 miles into the hike on the way back.

2 miles into the hike on the way back.

The friendly Arizona desert has places for you to sit down and rest.

The friendly Arizona desert has places for you to sit down and rest.

2.5 miles into the hike. The end is in sight.

2.5 miles into the hike. The end is in sight.

Back in the parking lot. Reflection of a desert hiker.

Back in the parking lot. Reflection of a desert hiker.

I am happy to be back at myu car to drive out of here. Total distance 3 miles. Time about 2 hours. Lots of climbing, and I am now officially tired.

I am happy to be back at myu car to drive out of here. Total distance 3 miles. Time about 2 hours. Lots of climbing, and I am now officially tired.

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Snowmen in a Land without Snow   2 comments

Seeing the Christmas lights is a tradition in my family. Some of my earliest memories involve riding around with my parents in December looking at Christmas lights in various parts of Phoenix. It was a thing my family did, as long as we all lived together. When I grew up and had a family of my own, I did the same for my wife, daughter, and son.  Now, everyone is grown up, and mostly we have separated and gone our own distinct ways, but I still feel the compulsion to make an effort to see and appreciate the Christmas lights that people put up around Phoenix. I don’t have to see the latest and greatest, but when I see something cool, I do stop and admire it.

There is one house in my neighborhood that is really extravagant. Tonight, I walked over to admire it and take pictures. It is only about half a mile from my apartment as the eagle flies, but was 1.26 miles away as I walked it, taking various side trips on the way. I had a dual purpose–see the lights, and walk at least 3 miles today.

Christmas lights don’t really need much commentary. You’ve all seen them. Most of you have probably put up your own. After I saw the best place, I still had walking to do, and a camera, so I thought it might be fun to record all the Christmas Snowmen on my path. We never get snow in Phoenix, so it’s kind of odd to see Snowmen standing around grinning in the night–hence the title of this blog.

And now, on the tour, which encompassed about 3.5 miles of walking by me.  I hope you appreciate my efforts–lol.

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Here begin the images of the King of Christmas in this neighborhood.

Here begin the images of the King of Christmas in this neighborhood.

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The only part of the front yard not covered in lights was this little Christmas creche.

The only part of the front yard not covered in lights was this little Christmas creche.

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And here's a last view of the huge Christmas tree that dominates the yard and all of northwest Phoenix.

And here’s a last view of the huge Christmas tree that dominates the yard and all of northwest Phoenix.

These guys made me think it might be fun to take pix of all the giant snowmen around here.

These guys made me think it might be fun to take pix of all the giant snowmen around here.

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I just like the blue lights.

I just like the blue lights.

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Santa and a polar bear in a hot tub. Apparently the snow men are not eages to get inside.

Santa and a polar bear in a hot tub. Apparently the snow men are not eages to get inside.

This last shot is just the full moon rising over the neighborhood apartments. The small lights are the minimal decoarations. It looks tiny, but to me it was big and yellow and the single best light of the evening.

This last shot is just the full moon rising over the neighborhood apartments. The small lights are the minimal decoarations. It looks tiny, but to me it was big and yellow and the single best light of the evening.

So, what are the lights like in  your neighborhood? Feel free to leave a comment of a picture.

end

Posted December 8, 2014 by atroll in Christmas, Christmas lights in Phoenix, Uncategorized