Arizona Gems

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The many Gems of Arizona deserve exploration. Most people have one image of Arizona, and that is cactus, sand, and heat. But look, an oak branch is catching the last rays of a sunset in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in the White Mountains of Northeast Arizona.
Ah, an elk coming out of the brush behind the police station in Payson, AZ. Yep, right inside the city limits. The most popular animal seen in Arizona is the majestic elk.
Look up, the deep blue sky will astound you with its color and unusual cloud shapes. Arizona is known for its October sky.
Three young cowboys wait for their call during a sanctioned high school rodeo in central Arizona. Cowboys grow up in rodeo events here.
Native Americans also conduct their own rodeos on reservation lands. As you can see this particular young man is about to discover how most bull-riding events end. And he didn’t hear the 8-second buzzer before he flew off this bull.
Fishing in one of the many streams in the Tonto National Forest, this angler hopes to catch one of two native trout in Arizona, the Apache, and Gila trout.
Willow lake is a peaceful double forked lake situated on the Mogollon Rim. An early morning mist is slowly disappearing as temperatures rise from a cool 55 degrees to a high summer temperature of 90 degrees.
A bald eagle launches itself off of a dead tree to search the lake below for its breakfast feast, which usually is a large trout or a fat largemouth bass in one of the many lakes found in Northeast Arizona.
An osprey is barely holding onto to this large trout which is still fighting to get away. The trout lost this battle as it was snatched from Show Low Lake.
A dying saguaro cactus will turn to dust when it finally smashes onto the sand below. Saguaro cacti only grow in the Sonoran Desert, which stretches from southeastern California to southwestern Arizona and into part of northern Mexico.
Saguaro starts growing arms between 75 and 100 years of age.
The average age of saguaro cacti is 150 to 200 years. It is a felony to harm or destroy a saguaro cactus. The usual sentence if caught harming a saguaro cactus is a fine and possibly up to three to four years in jail
Sometimes known as the little grand canyon, the Salt River Canyon divides the San Carlos, and White Mountain Apache reservations, with the Salt River being the demarcation line between them
The small yellow dot in the middle of this image on that small mesa is a flying disc golf basket. Many people have attempted to land a disc in the basket. So far, no winners have emerged.
The Roosevelt Lake Bridge has become a tourist attraction in its own right. Its simple but elegant form is a standard picture taking postcard opportunity for many tourists. The bridge was built in 1990 by Edward Kraemer and Sons of Plain, Wisconsin.
The Mogollon Rim is a natural wonder stretching 200 miles from east to west across Arizona. Below the Rim one begins a journey into the Sonoran Desert, and above the Rim, elevations reach close to 8000 feet, with an average precipitation of 21 in., most of it as snowfall.
Here, on the side of The Mogollon Rim melting snow is caught as icicles because the night time temperature dropped so drastically it froze the cascading water in its tracks. Another of the hidden gems of Arizona.
As you can see by these three images Tonto National Monument is located in the Superstition Mountains, in Gila County in central Arizona.
This area is situated on the northeastern edge of the Sonoran desert.
The Salt River and Verde River converge at Roosevelt Lake providing the area with a year-round source of water and is a great natural attraction for residents and tourists alike.
A November sunrise over Show Low Lake in Show Low, Arizona provides another colorful opportunity for a wonderful memory of the many beautiful and hidden gems of Arizona provides through its extremely varied topography.
An October sunset bursts through the beauty of Ponderosa pine and bids us a fond farewell. Adios, and may your next visual journey be even more delightful than this one. Gems of Arizona abound, the fun is finding them.

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