The Great Outdoors  

Posted by Wayne Bretski

The great thing about spring is getting outdoors after the winter. Well, not so much in Phoenix, where the winter is the spring and spring is summer and summer is hell. But anyways, here are some outdoors things.

*Going to the lake - no photos, but we saw two bald eagles there. In lieu of the diving adults we saw, check out the webcams at Raptor Resource showing a nest of the little buggers. This is a popular activity at school right now.

*Scuba - we are officially certified scuba divers to depths of sixty feet. While exciting, we're getting ready for our "advanced" dives in order to increase our depth to 100 feet.....and beyond!

We went to Lake Pleasant to do our open water dives, driving out along the beautiful Carefree Highway which was fully in bloom and really pretty amazing. This photo by azphotons on panoramio gives you the idea.

There are some more good photos on google maps.

Here's where we were, by Scorpion Bay. You can see on the map that it's a good drive from Phoenix. It was also a brisk 42 degrees while we were driving out there on Saturday...
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Unfortunately, our teacher friends who have been teaching us were stuck in Mexico and couldn't bring their underwater camera. We saw a striped bass and some other small fish at the bottom, and I apparently was right next to a crayfish but I didn't see it - too busy concentrating on the task at hand. There were also campfires at bottom, since the little bay we were diving in is dry land during summer.

*Hiking - we have been making a conscious effort to be more active, both outdoors and in. This article in the Times Magazine was helpful.

Here we are at South Mountain with Chrys.

We took our teacher friend's daughter out to the Greenbelt to feed the ducks, play on the swings, walk the dog, etc. She took some great photos such as this one:

And a self-shot:

And the geese that harass Chrysanthemum:

And the doggie drinking fountain.

*California - okay, not strictly awesome because of spring, but it's what we did for break. Check out my Picasa Web Albums to see all the pictures. We stayed with Joe and Megan in SF and failed to take photos besides the one, but there are some other good ones in there.

Here's the California coast:

We also saw lots of undocumented wildlife. There were dolphins in the San Diego bay, and seals off the coast near Ragged Point, and bison in the Golden Gate Park, and more seals north by Stinson Beach.

Now we're spring cleaning the house in anticipation of moving. Hello, Craigslist!

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