Hiking in November is special. With the sun lower in the sky the light is different, the air is cool, and though most of the flowers have completed their summer blooming, there are enough still around to delight the heart and the eye.
Dave and I hiked up stream in Molino Basin, and came to this little pool of water. The night before the temperature had dropped almost to the freezing point, so we knew the water would be cool. The air was mild, and we both enjoyed standing in the water in our bare feet.
Here am I standing in cool water and loving it.
I was particularly fascinated with the way in which the leaves that have fallen into the stream distort the normally flat surface of the water. At the right angle the sun reflects off of these depressions creating the effect of having each leaf rimmed with stars. Dave reminded me that the mathematical name for that is a meniscus.
Notice the ring of light around the shadow. Note too how the shadow of the stem is much fatter than the stem.
About a week later Ed and I hiked into Milagrosa (miraculous) canyon.
Milagrosa canyon in the center of the picture
Our appreciation of the beauty of the grasses was more than canceled out by the realization that the two shown here are invasive and really do not belong in Arizona (Fountain Grass and Natal Grass – the one that is a deeper pink).
Mixture of Fountain grass and Natal grass
We came to the spot where we saw honeycombs on the cliff the last time we were in this canyon. At a respectful distance we watched with our binoculars as the bees in super slow motion, made their way around the combs.
Ed looking at the cliff with the honey comb
The honeycomb left of the saguaro
On the way into the canyon we saw a saguaro whose single trunk had split into five. On the way out we saw another one up close, and realized that the central trunk had broken off, and clearly the center was gone.
On the left, a single trunk split into five. Above on split into three.
We may have seen as many as twenty flowering species on this little hike, and expect to see plants in bloom even up to Christmas.