Winter storm visits West Fork Oak Creek

A powerful winter storm moved across Arizona in the last week of the year with substantial snow falling in the high country and even some snow flurries in the desert. In West Fork Oak Creek about 8-12 inches of snow fell in the canyon followed by very cold temperatures. The result was spectacular. Snow was draped across all the trees and even clung to the massive sandstone walls of the canyon. Water dripping down some of the rock walls fell and froze on whatever lay beneath creating some amazing ice art.

A winter storm brings substantial snow and icy streams to the West Fork Oak Creek.
A winter storm brings substantial snow and icy streams to the West Fork Oak Creek.

Blue skies, brilliant red sandstone walls, and a fresh cover of snow in West Fork Oak Creek.
Blue skies, brilliant red sandstone walls, and a fresh cover of snow in West Fork Oak Creek.
Water dripping down the sandstone walls falls onto grass creating a work of ice art.
Water dripping down the sandstone walls falls onto grass creating a work of ice art.
Frozen blades of grass shimmer in the faint winter sun in West Fork Oak Creek.
Frozen blades of grass shimmer in the faint winter sun in West Fork Oak Creek.

Additional photographs of West Fork Oak Creek can be found at DavidBlanchardPhotography.com

Stars over Sedona

The dry weather and amazingly clear skies of early summer continue in northern Arizona. It won’t be too long before the rainy season begins and it will be cloudy more often than clear. Best to take advantage of the great conditions and grab a few more images of the night  sky. An important aspect of a night sky image is getting a good foreground in the composition so we took an evening trip down to Sedona hoping to include some of the famous red rocks in the images.

There is no moon and it won’t rise until well after midnight. But there is enough stray light from the small city of Sedona, Arizona, to bring out a glow on the red rocks in this image.

Milky Way Galaxy over the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona.
Milky Way Galaxy over the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona.