Snake - April 28, 2016 - Today I saw a big snake while on a tour to Red Rock Crossing/Crescent Moon Ranch. At first I thought it was a rattlesnake, but there was no rattle on its tail. It was a gopher snake. There are plenty of gophers for it to snack on at that site!
Winter wonderland - December 12, 2015 - Woke this morning to snow, still falling and a couple of inches had settled. The yard looked beautiful, the orange-red berries of the pyrocanthus set off by the white snow. The mountains were covered in cloud. Now, around 8:30am, the cloud has lifted and there is snow on the Red Rocks, like icing on the layers with the red showing through.
First snow this winter.
First tarantula sighting this summer - July 16, 2015 - On my evening walk I saw the first Tarantula of the summer. It was crossing the road at the top of the hill above where we live.
A safe crossing!
Coyote - July 5, 2015 - This evening I saw a coyote while on my evening walk. It trotted out of the National Forest on the road above where I live. Seeing me it stopped and then turned back and trotted into the forest. A little while later it ran back out of the forest, across the road and into a patch of scrub and trees.
Later, as I came back down the hill, I saw the coyote run back across the road further down and into the forest again.
Monsoon rain - July 3, 2015 - Heavy rain this evening and through the night. The monsoons are here!
Mesquite green - May 27, 2015 - The mesquite trees are green now, a fresh green that makes the landscape look very alive. They are mostly small trees or bushes, but driving to Cottonwood today their greenness was very noticeable. They are in flower now too - long pale yellow flowers like furry caterpillars. Very sweet-smelling.
Fish Stocking - May 14, 2015 - Today at Red Rock Crossing the fish hatchery people were stocking Oak Creek. They brought a number of plastic buckets of fish and put them into the stream.
The fish were a good size and very active. One managed to jump out of Oak Creek onto the river stones on the other side. It was flapping about. Red Rock Crossing (stepping stones) is under water right now, because Oak Creek has narrowed after the flooding at the end of February. So one of the fish hatchery people went upstream to wade and hop across to rescue the fish. And he was successful!
Flooding on Oak Creek - April 27, 2015 - Not with the rain this weekend but 8 weeks ago there was a major flood on Oak Creek. The water rose about 10 feet. Leaf debris is still visible above my head in the trees and bushes at Red Rock Crossing, and the creek is changed. Lots of river stones washed down. The channel became deeper and narrower. The old stepping stones for crossing, the third set since I moved to Sedona 14 years ago, are under the water. I wonder if a new crossing will be built and who will build it.
April showers and rainbows - April 24th, 2015 - It's been about 8 weeks since the last rain here in Sedona, and today it started to come in. Showers and sunshine, sometimes together. I saw rainbows over West Sedona. First a partial rainbow, then a full one, and as that faded a double partial, coming down at the foot of Airport Mesa, near the Airport vortex!
Hummingbird - March 30 2015 - Yesterday evening I saw an Anna's Hummingbird while out on my evening walk. It was sitting at the top of a bush and darting off every now and again to catch insects. Its red head was catching the light of the setting sun. 'Medium-sized and stocky for hummingbirds' it is still a tiny bird.
Butterflies - March 22 2015 - The spring weather is bringing the butterflies out. Out near Oak Creek today we saw many different butterflies, swallowtails, possible monarchs and a large butterfly with black and stripes of blue on its wings.
It's spring in Sedona. - March 19, 2015 - The cedar waxwing, an elegant medium-sized bird, has been flocking to eat the pyracantha (firethorn) berries in the yard. Maybe 40 or 50 birds land on a bush and enjoy the orange berries.
And the bees are loving the sweet-smelling flowers of the lemonade berry bush. The berries are citrusy and can be made into a drink like lemonade. The bees also love the blue rosemary flowers in the yard.
Winter storms in Northern Arizona - March 8, 2015 - Although Northern Arizona is desert, it is high desert. This, of course, means the land is at a high elevation, Sedona is at 4500 feet approx. (1372 meters) and Flagstaff at 7000 feet (2100 meters). The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is also at 7000 feet (2100 meters).
Most of the year it is dry and sunny in Sedona and the rest of Northern Arizona. However in the winter we sometimes get winter storms. Last weekend, February 28 and March 1, 2 and 3 there were two storms, back-to-back, and a lot of rain. We even had snow in Sedona on Monday, March 2, although it did not settle. Getting to the Grand Canyon was not possible during the storms because of the snow at the higher elevation.
The rain brought a lot of water to Oak Creek, and the Red Rocks were hidden behind the clouds.
When planning a trip to Arizona it's important to remember this possibility of winter storms. Sometimes the road from Sedona to Flagstaff is snowbound and also I-40 between Flagstaff and Las Vegas can become very snowy and windy. And Flagstaff airport closes because of snow and high winds.
Getting to Sedona - March 7, 2015 - For many people the most convenient way to come to Sedona, Arizona is to fly to Phoenix, then either rent a car or take a shuttle to Sedona.
It's about a 2 to 2 and a half hours drive from Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix to Sedona. Once through the city of Phoenix it's a straight drive on I-17, the interstate.
Some people drive from Southern California, about 8 hours, or from Las Vegas, Nevada, about 5 and a half to 6 hours.
From the south rim of the Grand Canyon it's about 2 and a half hours by car and from Flagstaff between 45 minutes and one hour.
There is an airport in Flagstaff, but this is not recommended unless you have a direct domestic flight because of the lay-over time in Phoenix. Also it can close in the winter when there are winter storms and in the summer because of high winds.
Rainy day in Sedona - February 23, 2015 - Rain! The Red Rock view from our window is covered with clouds, at times the mountains are not visible. It's been a heavy rain and hopefully this will wash the juniper pollen out of the air and wash it away.
Yesterday, out hiking, wildflowers are beginning, the manzanita is in full bloom and other plants are starting to flower too.
Butterflies and blossoms - February 16, 2015 - Spring is here! Butterflies are out and about. The fruit trees in town are beginning to flower, first the almond blossoms, then the ornamental trees. Our peach trees have buds and the plum tree has blossom. Also saw a hummingbird down by Oak Creek.
Red Rock Crossing covered with water - February 2, 2015 - After heavy rain three days ago, Oak Creek was still running high yesterday. The crossing was not visible under the water. Our yard is still wet today.
The Hawk and the Sparrow - January 20, 2015 - Going into the back laundry area and looking through the window into the yard, a hawk was looking right back at me, only a few feet away. It had a sparrow under its talons, still alive. That's how hawks kill their prey, by breaking their necks under the strong feet and legs.
This was a juvenile hawk. Mature birds can kill and eat their prey in a tree, but juveniles have to stay on the ground. It is a learning process to handle the small but alive bird or rodent.
Later the hawk moved to another area of the yard. It must have been disturbed to see a human nearby. That area is now full of grey feathers, but that's all. The sparrow has been devoured.
Snow - December 31, 2014 - Lots of it. The most I can remember since moving to Sedona in 2001. Everything is covered in snow, the mountains are hidden in cloud. The roads are not driveable, not for me anyway.
Total snowfall of around 9 inches is forecast by tomorrow. What a way to start the New Year!
Moonlight - December 30, 2014 - A moonlit walk in Sedona tonight. It's surprisingly mild and very beautiful. Warm before the snow comes in.
Birds - December 15 2014 - After two days of rain, cloudy skies and winter temperatures today is sunny and bright after a frost. The birds are out in force at the bird feeders - sparrows, finches, mountain chickadees with black heads, and doves. All chirping and singing and enjoying the mild day.
Leaves falling and fruit trees - December 8, 2014 - The last leaves are falling from the deciduous trees in the neighborhood. All but a few are gone from the apricot trees in our yard. This year they were a beautiful yellow.
Sedona is a great place for fruit trees. It's the first time I've lived with apricot trees. They need little care and produce apricots most years. The only exception was the year a late frost came when they were blooming. That year no-one in Sedona had apricots or other fruit.
Hawk sighting - December 7, 2014 - While out for a walk in the neighborhood this afternoon, late, a hawk flew across the road in front of me. They fly low, from tree to tree. We have not seen the hawk which used to come to the yard for a while. It would sit in the big apricot tree and wait for a tasty small bird to come to the bird feeder,catch the bird and take it to the tree to eat.
Rain. - December 4 2014 - It's really necessary and a good rain is falling in Sedona today.
Fog in Sedona - December 3 2014 - Today it's cloudy and foggy. When the weather is like this it's not possible to see the Red Rocks. Very disorienting to go outside, get in the car and drive as usually the Red Rocks are visible all around. At night the light of the moon through the fog and cloud is eerie.
Grey & cloudy day in Sedona - December 2, 2014 - Today has been a grey and cloudy day here in Sedona. With no wind it has been mild, and now the rain is starting. Hopefully it will be a good rain. California is getting rain right now, so it is moving across to Arizona.
Dew in Sedona - November, 14 2014 - Going outside this morning, a cloudy day, there was water on the car and on the garden tables. Yet it was clear it had not rained.
Explaining this phenomenon to my husband I could not find the word. After a while I realized, it's 'dew'. How could I, who grew up in damp Wales in the UK, have forgotten this?
Well it's because we rarely have noticable dew in Sedona as the humidity is low most of the time, so there is not enough moisture in the air to make a noticable dew.
Ducks, Sedona - November 5, 2014 - This morning at Red Rock Cossing there was a pair of ducks. They approached us as we stood on the red rock looking towards Cathedral Rock. It seems they associate people with food. Of course no feeding took place!
Also saw a hawk the other side of the river.
First frost, Sedona - November 3, 2014 - After a rainy Sunday, Monday morning was cold! And imagine our surprise, looking out the window to see thick frost on the roofs of the house below us and the shed in our yard. It was the sparkly winter wonderland type of frost and lasted until the sun came across the valley to hit the roofs.
An early frost! Now it's warming up again, and there are leaves falling, fall colors all around.
Javelina sighting - October 25, 2014 - The other night, driving home in the dark two javelina (pronounced havalina) were crossing the road in front of my car. Off to the left were another 3 or 4 javelina, coming out of someone's yard. They were heading toward the small park, a piece of open land in this neighborhood. The other side of the park is an arroyo, dry creek, and that is their pathway.
Yesterday, driving from Sedona to Cottonwood the sad sight was baby javelina, looking like piglets, dead at the side of the road. They had not made it across.
So, what are javelina? They look something like a cross between a wild boar and a wild pig. In fact they are not related to these animals but are large rodents! Another name for them is peccary
Fish - October 22, 2014 - This morning at Red Rock Crossing the creek was being stocked with fish. Two people brought two large plastic buckets of rainbow trout. These are raised downstream at the Page Springs Fish Hatchery and taken by truck here and there in Arizona to stock the creeks and rivers.
Baby tarantula sighting near Bell Rock, Sedona - October 18, 2014 - Yesterday I saw a baby tarantula while hiking towards Bell Rock in Sedona on vortex tour. It was just like an adult tarantula but about one-tenth the size. So amazing! The weather is really great for hiking right now, neither too hot nor too cold. We had a very deep and refreshing meditation on Bell Rock.
Late Monsoon rain in Sedona - September 28, 2014 - Yesterday and this morning there was heavy rain again, a lot of cloud and thunder and lightening. This is very late for the monsoon rain, but it was a monsoon pattern.
On Friday night there was a tremendous thunderstorm with lightening and thunder rolling all around West Sedona. Here we had very heavy rain for a short period. Friends who live a little further down 89A reported no heavy rain.
One friend who lives on the western edge of West Sedona reported seeing a full rainbow the next morning, Saturday, September 27. There have been a number of partial rainbows I've seen this summer, but a full one is a rarity.
Sedona wild flowers in September - September 24, 2014 - This year the wild flowers are blooming really well in September. They are very lovely. Cliff Rose is one of my favorites, because of the perfume, very subtle, filling the air where there is a bush or bushes.
Also the sage is flowering really well, it's great the see the plants so healthy after the monsoon rains.
This has been a good monsoon season and it's running late, more rain in forecast today and tomorrow.
Sedona is green!
Insects in Sedona, fall is here - September 20, 2014 - Yesterday at Crescent Moon Ranch/Red Rock Crossing the cicadas were singing. I can hear them right now in our yard too. In Sedona they are out in August and September, once the rain has arrived.
And also yesterday I heard crickets in the daytime chirping, again at Crescent Moon Ranch/Red Rock Crossing. Yes, it's fall.
Will it rain? - September 7, 2014 - Will it rain? The forecast is for heavy rain tonight and tomorrow. So it's a wait and see situation. The hurricane in Mexico is moving up into Southern California. No longer a hurricane.
If we get a good rain then this is probably the end of the monsoon for this year.
Welcome to Amazing Sedona! - August 3, 2014 - I'd like to start by introducing the Red Rocks of Sedona, because they are what makes it amazing. Looking at these rock formations against the blue sky on a clear day it's difficult to believe they are real. They look like movie backdrops. How are they red? That's iron deposits, which turn red when exposed to oxygen. So the rocks are rusty.
First tarantula of the season! So far this monsoon season I have seen only one tarantula. Hoping for another sighting before the end of the monsoon. Here is a photo from last year, at the side of our road. They look ugly and scary, but are not interested in people at all.
Monsoon Yes, it's a monsoon. When I first came to live in Sedona in 2001 I thought it was simply a descriptive term for the heavy rain. But researching it is indeed a monsoon, a seasonal weather pattern which brings heavy rain, usually in thundershowers to Arizona from the ocean.
More about the monsoon This year, 2014, has been a good monsoon season with some heavy rain. It does not rain all summer, there are dry and sunny times and then the rains come. Usually big clouds form from the late morning and the rain comes in the afternoon, evening or night. Last week huge thunderclaps woke me in the night.
phone +1 (928) 203 1194
PO Box 3294
Sedona AZ 86340
phone +1 (928) 203 1194
PO Box 3294
Sedona AZ 86340