Looking towards Cathedral Rock from Crescant Moon Ranch
Some days you just need to take off alone, in search of eye candy. Such was this day as I drove off from Cottonwood in search of visions to record. My first stop was at a local garden center. Always on the lookout for inspiration for another website I tend, I wanted to get some early spring shots. Found a gorgeous little place about 3 miles east of town called Verde River Growers. Reminded me a lot of the vibe we had going at The Flower Tree. Filled with perennials and native plants it was exactly what I was searching for. I asked at the front outdoor counter if they minded if I took some photos, I have found it is always best this way so they don't think you are competition scouting them out. Got into a nice lengthy discussion with one of their growers and found out that on the 15 acres they supply most everyone in the valley with product. Great stop to start the day.
Left there and headed east for Sedona. The skies were filled with an ominous look of rain, however there was none in the forecast. I took the turnoff to Red Rock State Park and proceeded around the big bend. Thankful that I am a slow driver when there are so many beautiful things to see, a large group of deer bounded out from the side of the road and crossed right in front of me. Camera in the front seat with me, a quick shot was in order. From there it was on through the loop and was once again rewarded with wildlife, this time in the form of a family of javelinas. Much larger than I imagined they would be, I kept my distance, but still got close enough to pull off the road and hop out for a quick shot.
The skies were starting to change, quickly, at this point. I still wanted to experience Crescent Moon Ranch so I took the chance, paid my fee, and set off with my raincoat in my backpack. An old homestead, it is now a US Forest Service maintained day park. The trail map posted at the entrance gives you a good idea of all the trails winding through the area, but I knew there was one spot that would give me the water reflection that I was hoping for, and it wasn't on the map. Took off in search, and found it tucked into a little offshoot away from the main trails.
I took most of the other trails, and wound up down by Oak Creek. Beautiful spot to sit and have a snack and watch as the few others that ventured out in the storm were building cairns around the vortex area. Took another trail and was rewarded with a beautiful hummingbird that seemed so tired from the approaching winds of the storm that I was able to get close for a shot. On the return to the mail trail I watched as a beautiful hawk circled and circled and then flew off only to be rewarded by him posing not 20' from where I took another rest.
As I returned to the jeep the rain was coming down in buckets but i didn't mind. It was the perfect day....to be alone.