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Trip shot: Arizona Sunset

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(c)2017 J.S.Reinitz

 Sunset from Apache Junction, Arizona.

Photo: Window visitor

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(c) 2017 J.S.Reinitz


This feathered visitor knocked into the ground floor window at my day job (yeah, I need one of those to pay the bills).
Our office is next to a river, so we get all the excitement — bald eagles fishing in the winter, seasonal flooding, abandoned bull mastiffs trading water, dive teams looking for submerged cringe guns, and the occasional jumper (who ultimately lands in waist-deep water and knee-deep mud).
The hawk above saw something interesting on our features editor’s desk and thumped into the glass. After standing around dazed, he flew off.

Photo: Downtown sunrise

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Downtown Sunrise.

 
It’s finally that time of the season when the sun is starting to come as I leave my morning exercise class. No filters, just metered off the clouds.

Photo: Winter driving

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Sliding through the holidays, taking care of a few last-minute errands.

Photo: City snowfall

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Snowfall in the city. (c)2016 J.S.Reinitz

Happy Thanksgiving

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I spot some of the most beautiful things between assignments, which can involve some of the worst mankind can inflict upon itself. In this case, I passed a wild turkey crossing the train tracks as I traveled between two parts of the same assignment. Moments before, a gunman had opened fire on a passing car in one part of town, and the driver crossed the tracks as he fled to another part of town where he stopped at a friend’s house and met paramedics, who treated a gunshot wound to his leg. The guy lived, so he has a little bit to be thankful for.

Photo: Gourds

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Gourds for sale.

Photos: Flood remains

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Road water.

 
The flooding in the inhabited areas around here has subsided, but there are still parts that are underwater.

I eased my car up to the park entrance and tried to comprehend its status. The portable street department barricade seemed to indicate it was closed. But then again, it was half toppled, two of it’s metal legs sprawled on the asphalt, and some of the wood was splintered. 

So I took the chance and followed the road up and over the earthen flood-control berm and descended into the riverside park. At the shelter, I spotted three parked vehicles and few people milling around. It was the weekend, so I was pretty sure they weren’t city workers. If I was entering a restricted area, at least I wasn’t going to be the only one getting in trouble. 

Beyond the shelter, the backwater lake was overflowing, and water covered sections of the walking path.

On down the road I drove until the water began to lap at the pavement, and I pulled over to explore on foot. I didn’t get too far before my shoes found mud. Not your typical soaked earth, this was flood river mud. It had a fine, smooth consistency, smelled like rotting fish and clung to everything it touched. 

Perhaps the barricades weren’t to keep us from danger but were to save us from the muck and the stench.

trail water.

Photo: Cicada shells

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  We found these crunchy cicada shells while walking in a city park a few weeks ago.  They were lined up on the underside of a tree limb.
 

Photo: Red Fungus

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Red fungus, (c) 2016 J.S. Reinitz

Red fungus, (c) 2016 J.S. Reinitz

Forget robins, scarlet elf cups are my favorite signs of spring. Blooming in the late winter or early spring, the fungus (Sarcoscypha coccinea) can usually be found hidden under overgrowth on rotting branches. The jury is out as far as edibility.

We found these a few weeks ago along one of our favorite trails.

Red fungus, (c) 2016 J.S. Reinitz

Red fungus, (c) 2016 J.S. Reinitz

Photo: Animal skull

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Skull No. 2. (c) 2016 J.S.Reinitz

 
Another shot in my animal skull photo series. First reader to properly identify this animal skull gets a free book from our prize closet. Submit your answer in the comments section below. Arbiter will be the staff at the nature center holding the specimen.

Video: River Cave

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Tham Khoun Xe from Ryan Deboodt on Vimeo.

Not much to write about this time. I’ll let the video do the talking. The film shows a trip through Tham Khoun Xe cave, which envelops about four miles of the Xe Bang Fai river in central Laos.
The cave had been closed to foreigners until about 2005. The video is by photographer Ryan Deboodt. His Vimeo video channel is here.
For more on Tham Khoun Xe, including a detailed map, check out the July 2009 issue of National Speleological Society’s magazine.

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