Saturday, July 14, 2012

Grand Canyon Flora & Fauna

This is the Grand Canyon section of our road trip made from June 25 through July 3, 2012. We were only here for one day so we barely scratched the surface of this magnificent national park. What we did take in were awe inspiring and breath taking views of thousands of years of natural sculpture by the Colorado River. If you ever get the chance to see this, jump on it. The Grand Canyon should be on everyone's bucket list.

We visited several scenic overviews and here am I at the first one.
Words can not describe the majesty of this creation.
Here I am daring to get closer to the edge.
This is as close as I got and was Doug ever nervous!
This one might have been a wee bit closer, but I was sitting down.
Rock formations that resemble Mayan temples, don't you think?
Doug, the photographer, at yet another scenic overlook.
Look at that immense background and the various hues of color.
This was only our third stop and the view is ever changing.
We finally found the Colorado River!
Great shot of the rapids doing what rapids do.
Another shot of the rapids from another viewing spot.
Even the dead trees are beautiful formations.
Can you believe this is the stream that started all of this?
This is "Papa Raven" of the family lurking at one of the scenic view spots.
My first encounter with ravens was at the Tower of London when Doug and I were there with a large group of Red Hatters. The raven is the most intelligent of birds. They are savvy, sociable and problem solvers. They use sticks to dig bugs out of wood and have been known to put that stick away for later use. They are not the least bit afraid of humans and, in fact, like human food so much, they wait around to see if you will drop a tidbit of something on the ground. Their feathers look very much like "I've washed my hair and can't do a thing with it" especially when flying. They are acrobatic fliers and can be seen flying upside down, doing barrel rolls and making flips looking, for all the world, like they are having the time of their lives. They have a wing span of 4ft and can weigh between 2 and 4 pounds.

The females lay between four and seven eggs and nests are built in trees and on rocky cliffs. They have been known to drop stones on predators threatening their nests. They keep the family together up to six months after the babies fledge. Ravens mate for life although some males have been known to visit other females when their mate isn't around. Some of the offspring stay with the parents up to five years, but most of them leave the nest and travel in gangs for about three years when they begin to pair off.

Another shot of Papa Raven. He was making little sounds all the while.
This is "Mama Raven" grooming an offspring. Fascinating creatures!
I spotted a critter way below and just as I was going to photograph it, Doug yelled, "You're too close!"
Unimaginable sculptures created by nature.
This one looks like a one-eyed monster to me.
Just another magnificent view of the mighty Colorado River.
I call this majestic formation the cathedral organ.
Greater view of the Colorado River.
Looks like a dragon to me!
Touched by nature's paint brush!
Raven guarding the viewing tower built by the Fred Harvey Company.
The Fred Harvey Company pioneered restaurant and hotel facilities throughout the emerging Western United States, most notably along railroad routes. Many of these beautiful old inns have been restored and are in use today. They worked to make their buildings blend with the surrounding area rather than intrude. Thus, you see the tower above is built from natural stones taken from the Grand Canyon area.

Another view of the tower with attached gift shop.
Another shot of my favorite photographer! Thanks, Doug for all the great photos!

One last view of the Colorado River winding its way along.
Doug took several hundred photos of our road trip. This is so easy to do with digital cameras, but, then you have to go through all of them and decide which to use. We had a great time sorting and choosing and hope you will enjoy this birds eye view we have shared with you as much as we enjoyed being there.

Coming up are more stories and photos of the Little Colorado River and Oatman, Arizona.

This is all I have to say for now.

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