Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Lonesome Valley Basalt Buttes

From the town of Chino Valley in the Central Arizona Highlands I drove east on Perkinsville Road for another sojourn into the hills at the north end of Lonesome Valley. 

A dry early spring. Little rain. Some of the high desert shrubs and forbs and wildflowers appearing, but overall the grasses seem to be waiting for some real moisture. Meanwhile, the blonde prairie grasses, dead since last summer, provided the soft straw yellow coverings to the land. 

The basalt lava buttes here have no names, so I have to make up my own. The double hump on the left is called Was A Pair, since the one hump is much more eroded than its twin. Behind them to the right is Nipple Butte, though it doesn't look like its namesake from this viewpoint. 

Photo location: Lonesome Valley, east of Chino Valley and north of Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Spring Snow, Prescott Basin

Photo: Thumb Butte and the Bradshaw Mountains, near Prescott, Arizona

April 9 dawned cloudy but clearing. Snow had fallen after rain, hopefully soaking the ground enough to trigger grasses and wildflowers soon. 

The clouds began to break up at sunrise. Traveling west from downtown Prescott on Thumb Butte Road I wound my way up into the hills. The snow coating on the trees and shrubs, along with the brilliant light, made for a wonderful batch of new photos. 

In this photo from Skyline Drive above Happy Valley, Thumb Butte and the Bradshaw Mountains were given bright but soft light through the dissipating clouds.

Photo location: Skyline Drive, Prescott, Arizona

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Moon Over the Black Hills

The Black Hills in Yavapai County form the eastern edge of the Prescott valley basin.

Here, from the northern end of Lonesome Valley, the Black Hills darken in the Earth's shadow just after sunset.

Yavapai County, near Chino Valley, Arizona.