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Winter in the Anchas

E and I went uphill today, to see what last week’s winter storms had brought to the higher terrain: a proper Sunday Drive.  We drove up into the Sierra Anchas, a rugged anchaswilderness area east of Phoenix, east of Lake Roosevelt, a place we seem never to explore frequently enough.  In a surprisingly short distance, the road passes through a wide range of landscapes, from the deserty upper Salt River canyon, through yucca-studded chaparral, oak-piñon woodland, and up to thick ponderosa pine forest.  The recent storms had brought the snow level down to about 3800 feet, so much of the area above the desert foothills was still blanketed in heavy, deep snow.

Here are some images from our day. (Photos A.Shock, except Phainopepla, E.Shock)

Above: The snowy Sierra Anchas from the Saguaro-rich foothills belowPHAIyuccablooms&pear

Above: Spent agave blooms and prickly pear in the snow;  right, a male Phainopepla perched by his favorite food, mistletoe berries.

Below: Ponderosa Pines near Sawmill Flat.ponderosas

Posted by Allison on Jan 24th 2010 10:06 pm | No Comments yet
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