Saturday, February 02, 2013

Saturday Snapshot: Symphony in Silver and Grey


Stop by At Home With Books to see everyone else who is participating in this fun meme. You'll also find the easy-to-follow rules in case you find yourself wanting to play along!

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Last week, Denis and I celebrated my birthday and our anniversary by staying in a small cottage in the mountains just north of the Mexican border in Bisbee, Arizona. For almost the entire length of our stay, we didn't have any sort of internet connection, but we really didn't miss it because it's such a wonderful place to relax, and there are so many things to see and do if we feel like going out and about.

We did feel like getting out and about one afternoon, so we drove over to Whitewater Draw in the Sulphur Springs Valley of Cochise County, Arizona. (This one county is larger than the states of Rhode Island and Connecticut combined, for any of you trivia lovers out there.) The Sulphur Springs Valley is one of the premier birding spots in the world and is well-known for the thousands of sandhill cranes that winter there each year. Denis and I always have to spend some time watching them because it's so much fun. I have to admit that, because of the light, I was reminded of James McNeill Whistler, a late nineteenth-century painter who preferred naming his work things like "Nocturne in Black and Gold" or "Symphony in White," etc.

Now that I've said that, you'll understand the title of this post. It was a day of silver and grey at Whitewater Draw. Hundreds of grey birds, silver water, and reflections that blended one seamlessly into the other. Click on any of the photos to view them in larger sizes.


Whitewater Draw, Cochise County, Arizona

The photo above is of one small slice of Whitewater Draw. The freckles on the farthest edges of the water are sandhill cranes. If the sky is left in the photos, you have no clue what I'm talking about with my "symphony of silver and grey"!


Another shot of Whitewater Draw

Snow geese make a ribbon of white amongst the cranes


See what I mean about the reflections?

A symphony....

Once you crop a bit of the surroundings away from the birds, you can begin to see how this turns into a Whistler-like study of silvers and greys... where images blend into one another so well that you have to look closely to see if what you're looking at is bird or water.

Can you tell that I can spend hours and hours at Whitewater Draw?


40 comments:

  1. What an amazing place! No wonder you spend hours and hours there. I must say that that first photo isn't what I picture of as Arizona. The birds are wonderful though- all those cranes- what an extraordinary sight.

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    1. Most people have one of two things in mind when they picture Arizona: saguaro cactus or the Grand Canyon. There's a lot more to Arizona than that! :-)

      I absolutely love seeing the cranes every year.

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  2. Symphony is a perfect title for this selection. I love the photo of the clouds reflecting in the water and also the great mass of cranes.

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  3. This is a part of Arizona I haven't visited, but I must! I do love the creative "symphony" and the photos with birds reflected in the water is truly amazing.

    Here's MY SATURDAY SNAPSHOT POST

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    1. I love how they always seem to travel with the cranes. They must be tried-and-true traveling companions. :-)

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  5. It looks like such an interesting place even relaxing area to visit. Great photos.

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    1. You're exactly right: broth interesting and relaxing. Perfect combination!

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  6. Cathy - First, in case I didn't mention it, (belated) happy birthday and happy anniversary. What a lovely way to celebrate too. Those 'photos are absolutely breathtaking!

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  7. Seems like you picked a perfect trip for your birthday and anniversary. The pictures are wonderful. Were the birds quiet as they dabbled in the water or was there a steady sound of squawking? I know it can be deafening if they all get spooked and take off suddenly. I'd love to see this - have never seen cranes gathered like this.

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    1. The birds were not quiet. I think the only time they are is when they're asleep, and I'd have to sneak over there to test my theory! :-) I never think of their noise as an awful racket for some reason-- especially when they're in flight.

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  8. I've never seen anything like that, in the flesh. How incredible! A symphony in silver and grey indeed. Quite apt! We live in California ... I see a road trip in my future if MLH will agree!

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    1. I hope you do get to visit. Just don't forget that the cranes are winter visitors if you're wanting to see them!

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  9. Beautiful. I love the quiet glow of reflected sky and bird.

    Joy's Book Blog

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  10. That second shot got to me immediately ...

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    1. I use it as wallpaper on my computer, so I'm glad you like it. :-)

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  11. Wow, what a huge county! Your shots are gorgeous! I can't believe all of the birds!

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    1. There have been years that (easily) twice as many showed up during lunch time.

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  12. Gorgeous! I love how vibrant the silver is in that photo, but they are all wonderful!

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  13. Love that you were creative in the naming of your post....very apt♫ Happy week-end♥ My Sat Snap effort: http://lore-eleven.blogspot.com/2013/01/curve-here.html

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  14. Happy Birthday to you and Happy Anniversary to you and Denis!!
    I love every one of your photos! What a great day you had!!
    Here's My SS

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  15. Those cranes are fantastic, and I love the reflections in the photos. Very nice.

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  16. Beautiful photos...Love the reflections...Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary also.

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    My Saturday Snapshot

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  17. What a fabulous visit. Lovely Symphony.

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  18. I fell in love with Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese when we were in the US. One of my very favourite memories is of the Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. We saw migrating geese - Canada Geese as I recollect - take off en masse. It was special. Love your photos ... and the effects you managed to get.

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    1. We'll definitely have to check out Bosque del Apache someday. Thanks for letting me know about it!

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  19. Glad you got out so you could capture those photos. The cropped one does look totally different. Here's Mine

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