Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Sedona photos - Verde Valley Gorge

Here is part three of the photos taken on my recent Sedona AZ trip. Part one was Oak Creek Canyon scenery and part two was the Wild Animal Park. One day was spent taking the historic train ride out through the Verde Valley gorge to the final destination of Perkinsville. The train had open air cars, which everyone took advantage of to get unfiltered and up close and personal views. We also had the company of a naturalist who explained some of the flora and fauna we witnessed. Most fortunately, that included a magnificent bald eagle, perched in a tree not 100 feet from the train on a bare tree. Our final destination was Perkinsville, an historic mining town that is now abandoned. The train provided a unique viewpoint, as there was no corresponding road that took the same route. Just the slow lumbering train and a group of diverse visitors charmed by the experience.

Here's the view from one of the open air train cars. We were lucky to get a sunny day and you can see the contrast between the deep blue skies and the rocky landscape.

This is a second train, on a separate track, seen across the gorge.

The gorge isn't wide but it's deep, a kind of verdant crevice cutting through the desert.

As the train continued on and we crossed one of three bridges, it afforded us a direct on view of the Verde river. 

Off in the distance are the red rocks that distinguish Sedona and the surrounding area. 

Here's a closer shot of the deciduous trees growing along the Verde river. That included a great many Cottonwoods.

Among the local trees was the Mesquite, with its tangled branches and dark trunks.

Perkinsville station. You can see by all the tall, established trees that the river flows through here. It once was a hub and a place where various mining products were hauled from.

It doesn't look like much now, with just a small train station, but there once was a general store that supplied all the basics for people working in the area.

Here are a few photos from the garden, taken today 11/16.

What is my Felicia amelloides doing blooming in the late fall? Consider first that it hails from S. Africa. Some of that genetic history, and the warmer weather we've had recently, is spurring it to flower. Blue daisies as they're called, are one of the toughest sub-shrubs out there.

So, all of a sudden plain out Bidens is breaking out and wanting to party? This is B. Hawaiian Flare Tutti Fruiti. See what happens when you let plants name themselves? Nonetheless it's a fun and exuberant plant.

My amazing Bouvardia is still blooming. Look up 'red' in the visual plant dictionary and there's probably a photo of this scarlet red flower.

Not a great shot but did want to prove that yes, my Magnolia grandiflora 'Little Gem' is still blooming. This photo also shows off the copper-brown bottoms of the leaves.

Primroses are a great way to add color to a part shade winter garden. Here two colors flank my variegated African boxwood (Myrsine africanus). 

This just in - Echeverias love to sunbathe! Or it seems that way this morning as my E. peacockii soaks up some sun. It has been quick to flower and quick to produce pups.

Look closely in this mass of  foliage and you'll see dozens of little deep burgundy flowers. It's my amazing and indefatigable Lotus jacobeus, better known as Black Lotus.

You can 'matric' or you can 'retic.'  The latter would be Camellia reticulata and one of the prettier varieties is this 'Frank Hauser.' Reticulatas are known for their impressively large and often wavy-petaled flowers and this variety holds up its end. When someone says "Oh, camellias, they're boring" I always want to show them this one in bloom.

Did you know that plants 'give birth?'  In a way they do. In this case a Philodendron leaf has unfurled from a tight spike and is still showing its glistening, lime green new state.

Just simple stock but I love this color and of course the flowers' spicy fragrance.

As I've mentioned, I usually take closeups of flowers (or leaves or at least a single plant). Here I stepped back and took one of my central front yard (it faces south). That's the sidewalk in the very front and angling to the right in the main walkway.

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