Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Cottonwood and Jerome

It's been so long since my last blog post that I had to relearn the ins and outs of Blogger! I may be blogging less but I'm reading more so...there's that!  Thankfully I have something to finally share, as we recently went north to Cottonwood for some wine tasting and then spent a few hours in Jerome the following day.  I'm hoping you'll enjoy a couple of my favorite AZ towns in photos.

We started with a bite to eat and some wine at Page Springs Vineyards in Cornville.

My Little Friend

Delicious charcuterie

Next we stopped at my very favorite winery, Chateau Tumbleweed.

Their newest white - and it has a squirrel!

After this wonderful tasting we checked into our cute little hotel in Old Town Cottonwood.

Once we were all checked in for the evening we were able to walk up and down main street doing more wine tasting and looking in the cute little shops.

Burning Tree Cellars wine wall

Burning Tree Cellars

Sidewalk Art

Old Town

Kactus Kates
We had dinner at Merkin.  If you have not been - RUN!  They have THE BEST PASTA EVER!

We tried everything!

And if you don't know what it is, Google "Merkin" for fun!

Pillsbury Wine Company

We ended the evening on the patio of State Bar

The next morning we had a very nice breakfast at 3 Kings Kasbar.

And then we headed up the hill to Jerome.

Not a bad view!

Little shops everywhere

This wall always fascinates me when I visit

I stayed in this haunted hotel the last time I visited

People were tossing coins into the toilet and wheelbarrow

Passion Cellars

Laura Williams Park

Burned out building 

One last look at Jerome

It was a very nice weekend with friends and I look forward to going back for a visit soon!

"Life is too short, and I'm Italian. I'd much rather eat pasta and drink wine than be a size 0."  ~Sophia Bush

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Wildlife of Yellowstone National Park

This month Eric and I had the opportunity to visit Yellowstone National Park with a group led by a wildlife biologist who works for Colorado Parks and Wildlife and has a passion for wolves.  I really had no idea what to expect of this trip.  I was hoping for some good photo ops, possibly to see a bear, and no rain!  What I got were endless photo ops, lots of bear sightings/interactions, no rain, and new friends.  It was a wonderful experience and has left me wanting to go back with an even bigger camera lens!  Until that happens, and it will, I hope you enjoy the photos I got on my "rookie" trip.

We flew into Bozeman and spent a great weekend in this very fun little city. Sadly, I did not have a John Mayer sighting but...maybe next time!  Along one of our drives we saw these big-horned sheep who posed for me for just a minute before bounding off up the hill. 


Shortly after entering the park we had our first bear sighting!  This black bear was searching for tubers in an open field. He was less than 100 yards from us and didn't even seem to notice that there were approximately 20 people standing around him taking photos.


As we neared our outstanding lodge, we saw a red fox on the side of the road.  We pulled over and just the 3 of us watched as he searched around for mice and then crossed the road and ran into the forest. He was so beautiful, my fellow ginger!


That evening, and each evening that week, we had a delicious dinner prepared by a private chef (Dani, I still want that pasta recipe!) and went to bed early.  We met at the cars at 5am on Tuesday to head out for a sunrise wildlife viewing.

Tuesday morning sunrise

We quickly came upon a buffalo carcass being eaten by a number of grizzlies and ravens.  The carcass was 200-300 yards out so I wasn't able to get great shots.  But watching through the scopes that Dani provided was an amazing experience. 

Next we went to the Lamar Valley wolf den.  Dani knew that there were wolf pups at this den and we were hoping to see them!  Unfortunately for me, the den was quite far away and it was impossible for me to get photos.  After watching the wolves and their pups through the scope, I took some photos of the wildlife around us including ground squirrel, bison, trumpeter swans, and moose.

Trumpeter Swan

View from the lodge

The following morning we were back out at 5am. There wasn't a lot of action so we went back to the wolf den and then headed back to the lodge for lunch.

Elk in the morning mist

Yellow Headed Blackbird
On the way back to the lodge we saw another (the same?) red fox. I just fell in love with him!  In my opinion, he was such a fun mix of dog and cat!  He looked more like a dog but behaved more like a cat when he was hopping on his prey. 

Modeling made him sleepy

He made one pounce and caught a mouse in his teeth.

A little bloody (sorry mice lovers)

Those teeth!
After lunch we headed back toward the entrance to the park for a 5.6 mile hike.  Along the way we saw this marmot - a first for me - I wasn't even sure what it was!

View from our hike

Female Grouse
After the hike, we drove the vehicles to a beautiful overlook and had a picnic chili dinner.  We had some beautiful coyote in the valley below us who were howling into the sunset.  It was a perfect evening.

The following day was our last full day in Yellowstone.  And what an epic day it was!  We started with a plan to do another hike, but nature had other surprises for us! First up, a cinnamon black bear who came right down to the road!

Mouth full of grass

She crossed the road we were on and went from the forest to a little pond where she just plopped right down!

Mouth full of seaweed

After she ran off we drove a little further down the road where there was quite a large mob of people.  We learned that a mama black bear and her 2 two-month old cinnamon cubs were up in a tree because another female back bear and her 2 one-year old cubs had come into "their" territory.  The other mom and her cubs climbed the tree next to the other 3 bears.  So, we had a total of 6 bears, 2 moms 4 cubs, all up in two different trees.

The 2 older cubs

The baby cinnamon cubs - they looked so darn cute!

The mama of the older cubs climbed down out of her tree

One cub soon followed

And finally the other cub joined them

We never got to see the baby cubs come down from their perch, but later that day when we passed back by everyone had gone on their way.  In addition to the total of 7 bears that day, we saw another moose and, of course, lots of bison.  It was a fantastic last day that, once again, ended with a delicious meal. And because we could sleep in the next morning we stayed up a little later and had some adult beverages and played games!  Eric and I thank Dani and Erick so much for such a great experience!  We look forward to going back!

"Each species is a masterpiece, a creation assembled with extreme care and genius." ~Edward O. Wilson

“The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders.”
Edward Abbey
- See more at: http://www.wildhelpers.com/wildlife-quotes.html#sthash.D0OHfYmY.dpuf

“The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders.”
Edward Abbey
- See more at: http://www.wildhelpers.com/wildlife-quotes.html#sthash.D0OHfYmY.dpuf