“Life is like music on a scale, shifting up and down. When life is over, your song has been written.”
Peggy Toney Horton
As many of you know, I was traveling last week – enjoying a lovely visit with family in Scottsdale, along with a zillion other people who had arrived to see either the Super Bowl, or the Waste Management Golf Tournament, or both. Had we known it would be their busiest week of the year, we’d have chosen another time – but in hindsight it worked out perfectly. Fortunately, Michelle has provided a nice opportunity to share some of my favorite photos from the trip with her challenge for the week “Scale”, and Ailsa’s Travel Theme “Details” fits nicely as well. Above, I’ve captured a set of rock sculptures, aptly named “The Mushrooms” . While difficult to illustrate in a photo, the boulders were massive, and well-guarded by the prickly bushes surrounding them.
“From the landscape, a sense of scale.”
At the other end of the size spectrum, although I’ve never seen it in full flower, the desert is surprisingly colorful even during its dormant season. Hues of yellow, green, and even blue are sprinkled throughout – thanks not only to the occasional blooming plant but also to the many types of lichen finding sustenance among the rock formations. From massive boulders to the tiniest details, the desert’s vast landscape has it all.
“Man knows that the world is not made on a human scale; and he wishes that it were.”
I could not post about the Arizona desert without including at least one iconic Saguaro cactus. Long a symbol of the US West, this impressive plant can grow up to 60 feet tall and live for up to 150 years. I chose this specimen because of its many “arms”, although it falls quite short of the record cactus, which has 50! The arms are used by the plant to store water, making them quite heavy; an adult saguaro can weigh as much as 8 tons.
“The world is magical. Magic is simply what’s off our human scale… at the moment.”
Speaking of details, cacti are of course famous for their thorns and we avoided many of them this time around, having learned how painful they can be on our last trip! See exhibits A and B below.
“Prosperity is no just scale; adversity is the only balance to weigh friends.”
“Words cannot convey the scale of a view that is so stunning it is felt.”
We were certainly not alone in our enjoyment of the beautiful desert sun. In addition to many other hikers, we saw several bikers (yep, I thought they were crazy too!) pedaling furiously to climb the steep hills. And although we didn’t see anyone on horseback, we did see evidence of their presence.
“Everything around us is scale dependent. It’s woven into the fabric of the universe.”
I’ll leave you with one final shot from our desert adventure. Although again the scale is difficult to judge because it was unapproachable, this rock formation was my husband’s favorite. It was visible from many points throughout our hike, and somehow always seemed to be smiling encouragingly to help us along our way….or was it perhaps a grimace? You be the judge!
“If you don’t scale the mountain, you can’t view the plain.”
Can’t get enough of me? Click here to see my guest blog about Glacier National Park on Dwellable.com. Afterwards, check out some other bloggers’ takes on the weekly challenge here, and lots of “details” on Ailsa’s site here.