Thursday, May 27, 2010

What a Wonderful Age

Yesterday was the last day of how quickly it went by, at least for us.  I asked Brendan how long it seemed to last for him and he said, "Forever!"  Indeed, I remember those days when time did not fly by so.

This post is really for the parents, the rest of you will just have to put up with the cuteness.  Monday evening we had a class potluck and the kids performed a concert of songs they have learned this year.  They also sang the Star Spangled Banner at the recent ice cream social.  Here are ten videos of the whole thing.

The last video is the last nine minutes of kindergarten...they're all first-graders now!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Thanksgiving Flashback

*high-res photos are in my Odds and Ends gallery*

I've been needing to do this post simply because I got a few great pictures on our last Turkey Day.  As our tradition has it, we do the holiday either with Kirsteen's family in San Diego...or we truck off to the Anderson family holiday-potluck out in Happy Valley, a remote riparian hollow tucked into the farside of the Rincon Mountains east of Tucson.  Takes a good 90 minutes or so to get out there, and it's nothing but the autumn sycamores and local critters once you're there.

The story here is that we are not related to this Anderson family, not that we have been able to reckon anyhow.  Seems our ancestors all left Sweden back in the 1800s headed for Minnesota.  Their's made it all the way while mine never got farther than western New York.  We share a few names, some more common than others, such as the other Eric Anderson in the group, now eleven years old.

We've been joining this four-generation reunion in the woods ever since being invited more than a decade old friend of a friend from the old Single Campers of Tucson days that we'd met several times at other parties.  And so we imposter-Andersons have infiltrated the group, along with a collection of friends and acquaintances that have likewise fallen into the habit of joining this hungry crew in the beautiful outdoors.

Wildlife spottings have been common.  Coatimundi are often in troop this time of year...a real treat to have these interesting creatures hanging about.  I stalked this one for a hundred yards to get his photo.  Later on, a skunk made an appearance next to a tree not far from the dinner table.

It's not uncommon for a football game to break out.

A fallen but still living sycamore tree bridges a channel of the wash and provides a great amount of fun for the well as some great photo-ops.

To finish off I have a couple of videos from the day.  In the first one, a football play ends with some dusty wind while the next play ends with Brendan (a bit roughly) pulling down Eric rude!  The second video is kids on the sycamore bridge.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

San Diego Videos

Just an update to the last post to send you to my Facebook Page for some videos from the trip.  Have fun.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

San Diego - Take Two!!

We went to San Diego...again!  It hadn't been in the plans but after visiting with us for five days, Grandma and Brendan's cousins were off for their own California adventure.  He and Quaid have so much fun together we couldn't see any reason why not to join them for the first part of it.  So, in hardly a month, it was back to the gorgeous Old Town Hacienda Hotel and two days of whirlwind visits to the beach, the science center and Legoland.  Click on the title or right here and go to the gallery on this one; there's more in the captions there.  Then click through each image or find the link to the highest resolution versions.  By the way, this photo is with my niece Rachelle...ain't she a cutie?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Grand Falls of the Little Colorado River

Last week, I drove up to northern Arizona for a few days to meet up with family coming down to Tucson for a visit. (The reason for my lack of posts lately.)  One of their goals was seeing the Grand Canyon, which I'm always happy to visit.  I don't find myself so much awed by the Grand Canyon anymore, it's more like visiting an old friend, though it has been 20 years since I visited the "touristy" area of the South Rim.

But my main goal of the journey was the Grand Falls of the Little Colorado River, located 30 miles or so northeast of Flagstaff.  Many descriptions lament over the rough nature of the access roads...obviously written by travelers with a higher comfort level of travel.  Wh-what's wr-wrong with a b-b-bit of w-w-washboard for something this cool?  That said, it is really rough right at the viewpoints...but any vehicle can get out there in decent weather.

If these falls flowed all the time they might as famous as Niagra Falls, of which the Grand Falls are bit higher but not as wide.  Most of the time the Grand Falls are just a trickle, the nature of their desert environment.  I knew that with all our winter snows and spring rains in Arizona that the falls would be flowing this year.  It's not a record-breaking flow by any means, but still impressive.  Here are a few more photos and a video.

In the right-hand photo, you can see two adventurous young men that have hiked down to the falls.  I probably would have done the same at that age.

Yeah, it is really muddy!
The name "Colorado" is interpreted to mean "red" but really refers to this ruddy-muddy color of desert rivers in flood.

Finally, here's a video...turn down the volume because the most of the roar is from the wind:

Of course, I did a few more things on that trip up north, but you're going to have to wait a few more days for that...just a bit busy this week.