When it rains it pours

Arizona has unique weather. The song from the “70’s” “It never rains in Southern California”  I believe is more appropriate for Phoenix. The above tree damage is one of hundreds if not thousands around the valley. We’re at the peak of “Monsoon” season where we get a dust storm, at least this past week, every night with high winds and sometimes is accompanied by intense rain.

Phoenix has been in a drought for about 20 years or more, we go for six to nine months without a trace of precipitation. But, the summer monsoons always wreck destruction on the valley and while the rain is damaging it’s still a blessing for us.

Anywhere else in the country when it rains people seek shelter but when it’s coming down kids and oftentimes adults are dancing in the street. You have to take the good with the bad. Water is always good, it’s natures way in Phoenix when it finally happens it really pours!

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A special day

It seems every birthday many of us take a retrospective look at our lives. That was the case for my wife and I who celebrated our birthdays this past Memorial Day weekend. Today is also time to take a retrospective look at all of the Daily Prompts as this is the final day.

I for one have really enjoyed the Daily prompts seeing how others put their spin on the word of the day. It was also a motivation for me to write a new blog entry. I’m not sure where I will look now for inspiration. At least they are keeping an archive of the past entries online.

If you saw the picture above of birthday balloons in our front room; my wife’s associates were going to fill her office with balloons but fortunately they went this direction instead. Seeing the big cat balloons I commented that I haven’t seen balloons that large since the Macy’s parade.

Wherever she’s worked her staff has always shown that kind of appreciation for her on special occasions. She’ also stayed in touch with many of these people years later. Some of these people are now spread across the country.

As a kid, I thought it was really neat that my birthday was often so close or even on a national holiday. In fact, we were in Williams, Arizona on my birthday about ten years ago having lunch at a Route 66 restaurant watching the Memorial Day parade go by when it started snowing! Now that was a day to forever remember.

Sunrise moonglow

How often does the moon appear like this during sunrise? We’re accustomed to seeing both high above our heads throughout the day and/or night. Of course, the birds have their birds-eye-view of the event from atop a light pole.

Both heavenly bodies are taken for granted and without one or the other, our planet would be devastated if not uninhabitable. Why is the sight of something like this so pleasing to not only our eyes but to the other forms of life?

Scientists claim they are just the result of the collision of planets and viola there you have earth. Still, in our hearts we know there’s more to the story than that. Many, nay, most people can appreciate the beauty of all of mother nature. The question that remains is why do we find it so incredible? The answer comes from Creationist scientists that say this was all created by a Supreme Being. The many religions agree with that assessment and the fact that so many cities small and large have churches on many corners supports the creator thesis.

Setting a scene

Television and movies directors spend a great deal of time in the setting of a scene.  Of course, scenes vary from the tame and docile to the exciting and frantic spectrums. It’s not uncommon for the opening scene in a television show or a movie to start out peaceful and quiet. But particularly today’s action movies start out with fast-paced conflict and struggles. Box office numbers revealed that high-speed action captures the audience early on and holds their attention.

The same principles apply to posting on the internet. Sure most everybody likes the classic piano playing cat video but thrilling action catches the viewers attention. Does your story need fast-action appeal for a kickstart? That is up to you and whether the action fits in with your storyline.

As the writer only you know how and where the scenes play out in your production. Is a rock-n-roll beginning the best way to begin your story? Then again perhaps your storyline is more of a waltz or something that builds a crescendo into a fever pitch. Whatever your theme is, be sure to use the appropriate direction as the director.

Pictures are priceless

We’ve all seen the different Mastercard commercials over the years listing several different items and their corresponding prices with the last one being “priceless“. Since pictures speak a thousand words some are often viewed as priceless.

I grew up in the midwest so when someone mentioned the desert and the Arizona territory I thought of sand and yes I also pictured the Saguaro cactus as pictured in the photo. The Saguaro pronounced [suh-gwahr-oh] is the one that we all grew up seeing in the cowboy movies.

The interesting thing about this cactus is it sprouts the arms sometime after it’s 200th birthday! So all the really tall ones are hundreds of years old. Arizona is really the only place where you will find this special cactus. Why? because it only survives in this particular climate. For years people were coming and stealing these magnificent creations in the middle of the night many times bringing them to California where they died.

Now there are federal laws against taking saguaros and each has been tagged by the BLM so they’re trackable. One last thing the Arizona state bird the cactus wren typically lives inside saguaros. Many of the holes in the cacti are from the birds then again many others were from those Cowboys back in the 1800’s with their 44’s.

Gateway to America

It’s widely accepted that the huge arch in St. Louis, Missouri is the gateway to the west. That being a fact and said, I just returned from a quick trip to the Utah mountains. The Wasatch Range of which we spent a majority of our time is the western edge of the Rockies. Mount Nebo at 11,928 feet is over two miles high and is the highest peak of the Wasatch that stretches into Idaho. This is a high, daunting, beautiful gateway to the greater northwest territory. I felt I was on the Top of the world looking down on creation.

After you cross this range you drop into Salt Lake City which is a huge valley much like Phoenix. It’s also the second most arid state after Nevada. Amazingly all 29 of Utah’s counties have mountains. That’s rough country.

There are almost countless canyons across the state that offer breathtaking views and can actually take your breath away because of the thin air. That doesn’t stop the hard-core bicyclists that climb these ascents constantly during the summer months.

Park City is in the Wasatch mountain range featured the 2002 winter Olympics and you can see the Olympic park from highway 224 which is maybe 10 minutes from town. The town is a huge ski destination but originally in the 1800’s was then known as the silver mining town.

Portion of life

For most people, if you look at a portion of their life that they enjoyed most it would be their vacations. Many of us live for the next vacation, it can’t come soon enough. Believe it or not, a good percentage of Americans can’t seem to find the time or have the means to take vacations. Because it’s a time we enjoy most it seems it should be a priority and if you can’t find the means at least you could take a day trip to enjoy nature and life.

Nearly two years ago I had a portion of the book I’ve been writing for years published in an international literary magazine called AOIS21 Media. Since then the road is like this. I have the bulk of the manuscript ready but every few days I work on it refining, changing, rearranging to make it ready to present to a publisher. I’ve also spent countless hours reading and listening to e-book publishers and speaking with some to get their advice on publishing. An arduous task at best.

Essentially this work of the heart has taken a portion of my life. I’m amazed by authors like James Patterson, one of my favorites, that releases books every couple months it seems.  I know he has a template or a formula which he starts from so it’s not as difficult as a brand new creation.

My wife and I are very fond of vacations though we get so tied up in life that there are way too many years when we skipped a vacation. At least when we didn’t find time for an actual vacation we’ve at least taken a getaway weekend to regain our sanity and remember how to breathe. That’s the key, remember how to breathe its an essential ingredient for living.

Can it always get better?

What can be better than just that for the Daily Post word? The term brings to mind for me the film As good as it gets, starring Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Greg Kinnear and an all-star cast. That poses the question how often are things as good as it gets? How often can they be better?

Generally speaking when we’re trying to improve on something we’re working to get better at it. Let’s look back at Hollywood for a moment. When we see a movie the audience is typically moved by the performances but when it comes to the critics that may not be the story.  We sometimes think, did they see the same picture that we did? We loved it yet they gave it a very poor review sometimes with only one star. The critics thought the movie could have been better.

As ratings go there’s poor, good, better and best. As movies go opinions vary upon who you ask. The same is with people. Some think that someone is better than another or anyone else in some cases. For those that believe in God or a Supreme Being the deity sees all are the same in their eyes, it’s up to them to judge. The same God has provided values for us to go by. The evil perpetrators are just that. But those of us who think we’re better than the other should look at themselves first.  I’m impressed with Values.com.

Take this picture for example. It’s of the San Francisco Peaks in Flagstaff, Arizona. The picture could be much better if it were zoomed in on the mountains. The picture was taken about six weeks ago and not only did the Peaks have snow but the Arizona snow bowl was still open for skiing. The Navajo nation’s term for these peaks means “peak that never thaws”. Yesterday we had our hottest day this year of 108 degrees. I know some of that snow is gone but it remains 30 to 50 degrees cooler than Phoenix year round. Flagstaff is over 7,000 feet in elevation, the peaks are the highest point in the state at over 12,600 feet. Surprised?

 

Arid desert alive and well

Years ago I used to listen to my favorite sports team live from Arizona. I heard all the fans cheering on their team and I thought I can’t image that many people down there j the desert. I thought how and why would they live there. It had to be hot, dry and awful in that arid climate without water.

Now after living here for over 20 years, I’ve learned to appreciate the desert. We may be in the middle of a 20-year drought but lately, we’ve been blessed with an unusual amount of rainfall. The desert has plenty of greenery, the only downside being we‘re going to have a bumper crop of tumbleweeds this summer. It’s amazing how those sagebrush grow every year and uproot travel with the wind coming to rest in a fence and sometimes the grille of your vehicle.

Every year people migrate to the southwest, some for vacation, like the snowbirds that are everywhere now. Others are told to move here in the arid climate for health reasons. Subsequently, the growth has presented new problems with not enough water to support the population. The primary source of water is the mighty Colorado river, its blessings of rainfall that renews our hope for tomorrow.

ARID Daily post

The flourishing zebra

We recently took a trip to “Out of Africa” a wildlife park that once was in the metro Phoenix area but moved to a larger facility up in Camp Verde, Arizona. This is the kind of place where you can easily spend an entire day. They have tours on converted buses that visitors can even get up close with a giraffe. They have lions and tigers and bears-oh my and much more to maintain your attention.

On the tour when we came across some zebra they said these particular ones were on a “time out” for misbehavior. I admit I did see two of them start bucking and kicking at one another. But what we soon found out is that the zebra was the one creature that they had an abundance of- even though the zebra is pregnant for over a year. They may have two dozen of the striped creatures (which you discover which color is the stripe on the tour) and all are females except the one king zebra who has his work cut out.

The title of the park is appropriate as these are the typical animals that you’d find on the African Savannah. They have a white rhino, water buffalo, gazelle and even snakes. Anyone interested in snakes will really enjoy the giant snake show. You know that big cats are afraid of water right? Which one is the exception, do you know? The Tiger splash is one of the big attraction of the park. There’s a nice, large shaded sitting area to watch the show.

There are also VIP tours and there’s the Racing raptor zip line both which are exciting upgrades. The proceeds go to take care of the animals so it’s a worthy cause and for the frugal people out there I have exiting news- they have discounts available. No, there’s more during the month of your birthday admission is free! Take advantage before they change their mind. Enjoy the call of the wild.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/flourish/”>Flourish</a&gt;