Musings of a roaming nature nerd

The Grand Canyon: Week Two

Day 9: Amidst the rocks and plants and birds and sunset of the day, I felt thoroughly and happily saturated in the brilliant colors of Arizona.

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Day 10: Took a short hike near Hermit’s Rest, a trail at the far west end of the developed south rim area. Ice and snow squeaked underneath our boots. We hesitated on vertiginous cliff edges, watching the ravens plummet suddenly into spirals and then shoot skyward again as if this massive canyon were merely a place to play.

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Day 11: My outdoor time during the work week often becomes limited to the early morning and early evening. I loved the glowing light on the Junipers and Pinyons and Ponderosas when I returned home just before sunset. Ever a reward to be in this place, even if only a few moments are spent outside some days.

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Day 12: Awoke to -5 degrees Fahrenheit. The low had been -15 just before sunrise. The air was stark and still and clear and the canyon was beautiful in the morning light. I only had my poor quality cell phone camera to capture this image but wanted to share it anyway.

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Day 13: First day away from the canyon. After a really fun day teaching 4th graders about pioneer history in Prescott classrooms, my boss and I took a long walk in the nearby National Forest. It is such a blessing to be in a place with so much public land and so much wildness.

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Day 14: Up before sunrise and home after sunset meant little opportunity for exploring. Despite the occasional long day, volunteering is such a rich experience that I wish all citizens could take part in it at some point in their lives. Giving back to the land, to the country and even to ourselves builds lifelong connections to place and community. When we are willing to invest our time and our passion, we can slowly discover the intrinsic value in these places, while building stronger and deeper relationships with each other and the land.

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Day 15: Spent the day in the Distance Learning Studio, standing in front of a green screen, teaching children in southern Alabama about the ecology and ancient ecosystems of northern Arizona. Even if many of these kids never make it out west, I hope that their virtual journey inspires them to examine their world a little differently. There is beauty and intrigue in even the smallest things when we look.

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One Response

  1. Dad

    Wow, what amazing shots! You’re right, the lighting is spectacular! More pics for my desktop! :-)

    January 19, 2013 at 9:11 pm