Walter and Sara on the road to who knows where


September began with a full moon reflected in the lake.

Full moon reflected in lake

On September 2nd, I caught a pastel sunset (we had a bit of smoke from fires to the west).


And then the full moon (tinged by the smoke too). I’m always excited when I manage to get a photo of the moon with at least some of its geographic features showing.

Full moon

Thursday September 3rd we took a drive back up to Big Lake in the White Mountains at about 9,000 ft. It was a lovely sunny day with temperatures in the low 70’s (much better than the last time we visited in the pouring rain).

We drove out to South Cove and took our chairs out to the beach to enjoy the view.   

South Cove Big Lake AZ

There were lots of folks out fishing both in boats and on the banks.

Big Lake AZ

There weren’t a lot of flowers but I did find some Ragleaf Bahia (Amauriopsis dissecta).  

Ragleaf Bahia (Amauriopsis dissecta)

Some Fendler's Sandwort (Eremogone fendleri)

Fendler's Sandwort (Eremogone fendleri)

Here and there Apache Beardtongue (Penstemon oliganthus) poked its head up.  

Apache Beardtongue (Penstemon oliganthus)

The White Mountain Bladderpod (Physaria pinetorum) was nestled in among the rocks.

White Mountain Bladderpod (Physaria pinetorum)

Right down next to the water in among the boulders I found some MacDougal Verbena (Verbena macdougalii).

 MacDougal Verbena (Verbena macdougalii)

We sat and watched a duck fly back and forth over the lake and then land in the water and swim a ways. He took flight several times and at one point was near enough for me to get a photo of him. With that posture you can tell he’s definitely on parade.


After a while the breeze died down and we were actually feeling hot in the sun so we packed up and hiked back up to the parking area. On the way I found some Southwestern Cosmos (Cosmos parviflorus). They look like regular garden cosmos but they’re tiny.  

Southwestern Cosmos (Cosmos parviflorus)

I also found a clump or two of Whiplash Daisy (Erigeron flagellaris).

Whiplash Daisy (Erigeron flagellaris)

We drove out to Railroad Cove thinking we’d have lunch there.

Railroad Cove Big Lake AZ

But there were no picnic tables and the view was pretty gooey—the lake had retreated and the algae had taken over.

But I did find some Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

And lots of Wheeler's thistle (Cirsium wheeleri) in bloom. It was super sweet smelling and perfumed the air.

Wheeler's thistle (Cirsium wheeleri)

We went back to South Cove and found an open picnic table with a view of the boat launch and got to watch folks bringing in their boats as we ate.

Sept 4th, the smoke gave us a lovely sunset reflected in the lake.


Here’s a close up of the fiery part.


Sept 8th we had a squall come through complete with hail. The swallows had been swooping over the lake getting bugs, I guess, and when it started to hail they headed for our deck for shelter. They hung on the screens and to the molding around the sliding glass door and the windows of the addition.

Swallows on walls

Here’s a close up of a pair hanging on the molding.

Swallows on molding

They didn’t stay long but it was entertaining while it lasted.

A flock of yellow warblers migrated through over about a week. All of a sudden we had little yellow birds sitting on the rocks around the lake and out on the green. And then after a few days they were gone.

Yellow Warbler

I’ve continued to work in the pottery studio all month and on September 9th a number of projects came out of the kiln.

This is a trivet using the spiral pattern I’ve used on a number of luminarias. I taught a class on how to make it and then the whole studio decided they were a great hostess gift and a whole bunch of them got made.   


I needed something besides canning jars to hold my kitchen utensils in so I made 3 clay jars. The first one is carved with branches and leaves and then glazed white.

Utensil jar

With out new desks we were in need of pencil cups so I made a couple of them. One was textured and I used a glaze I’d had some issues with last year. Once again, it got a few bubbles/blisters in it but nothing serious. So we refired it and they got worse. By the third firing it was a lost cause since the glaze had started to flow off of the piece. But here it is after the first firing—when I should have just accepted it as it was.

Pencil cup

And here’s the cup that has ended up on the desk in the park model. I put a coat of yellow underglaze on the cylinder before it was bisque fired. I cut gingko leaves out of paper and sponged then onto the cylinder and then painted 3 coats of black underglaze over it. This is called paper resist. We fired it and then I put clear glaze over to finish it off.

Paper resist pencil cup

On September 10th, the weather was cooler here in Show Low so we made a trip to Fool Hollow Lake which is just outside of town.

Fool Hollow Lake Show Low AZ

The park was fairly empty and we took a walk along the paved walkway by one of the picnic areas.

There’s a boat launch along a little inlet.   

Fool Hollow Lake

And this poor lady got launched without knowing how to start the outboard motor. With much arm-waving and yelling she eventually got it started.

Boat adrift

Once she’d puttered away this pair of fisherman arrived in a much smaller boat.


There were Western Mountain Asters (Symphyotrichum spathulatum) in bloom.   

Western Mountain Asters (Symphyotrichum spathulatum)

And Wright's Goldenrod (Solidago wrightii).

 Wright's Goldenrod (Solidago wrightii)

And little clusters of White Heath Asters (Symphyotrichum ericoides).

White Heath Asters (Symphyotrichum ericoides)

We had lunch overlooking the lake and enjoyed the peace and quiet.

We haven’t had very many group activities this summer but the golf folks organized a “Derby Days” tournament in the late afternoon on September 14th. The ‘horses’ were the top golfers in the league and they dressed up and played an odd form of elimination play over a series of holes. They played the 15th hole so I took photos of the festivities.

Here are the golfers (and the gallery that followed them) down at the 15th tee.

Derby Days JRR

Two of the favorites were dressed in costume.

Derby Days JRR

This lady had won the best on the course this year.

Derby Days JRR

The gallery followed the golfers down to our side of the lake. Many of the ladies wore fancy hats and there were lots of mint juleps too.

Derby Days JRR

The crowd stretched down almost 3 lots.

Derby Days JRR

Meanwhile the golfers were out on the green.

Derby Days JRR

They left here having eliminated 3 golfers and continued on to the 16th hole where we could hear much cheering and hollering.

Our pottery club back at Rancho Resort in Sahuarita has been closed up tight since mid-March because of the pandemic. They finally convinced the office that they should let them fire the kiln to handle the pile of stuff that’s been sitting there for 6 months.

I had 3 small luminaria waiting to be fired—one glazed (on the left) and two to be bisqued.      

3 small luminaria

3 small luminaria

I’d taught a vase making class the first Monday in March and 3 of the vases got glazed before we shut down. Mine is the one in the middle.

3 Vases

I’m hoping that we’ll at least get access to the kiln again once I return in November. I have a number of luminaria waiting to be fired (stored safely in our garage). Even better, I’d love to arrange for the club to meet again but with the pandemic, who knows what will happen.

Thursday September 17th, we took the drive to Woods Canyon Lake.  

Woods Canyon Lake

They had just stocked the lake with fish and they were jumping like crazy. Neither of us have ever seen so many fish jumping for so long. There were lots of fisherman on the banks and out on the lake and many of them caught their limit.


We had our lunch watching the fish jump, the boats pass and the fisherman work the lake.

This little chipmunk scampered up nearby and stayed still long enough for me to get his picture.  


Then this golden-mantled ground squirrel chased him away.

golden-mantled ground squirrel

The flowers were almost all gone but there were Showy Goldeneye (Heliomeris multiflora) here and there.

Showy Goldeneye (Heliomeris multiflora)

On September 18th, another one of my kitchen utensil holders came out of the kiln. I did the same sort of paper resist process on it as I did on the pencil holder with the gingko leaves. But this time I waited until the piece had been bisqued and put white glaze on, sponged the leaves into place and put teal glaze over it all. I peeled the paper off and when it came out of the kiln this is what I got.

Kitchen Utensil holder

I’d also made a family of quail. The first—the male, I made at a class back in July. Then I made mama and 3 babies in early September. On the 18th, Mama and one of the babies came out of the kiln.

Pottery quail

Here’s the whole family when they were done later in the month.

Pottery quail

September 21st, I finally hung my petroglyph wall totem up next to our front door.

Pottery wall totem
And then I set out for a walk through our neighborhood. The roses were still in bloom in many yards.
Pink rose Orange rose
Red rose Orange rose
Red rose yellow red rose
And there were Rose of Sharon in bloom too.  
Rose of Sharon Rose of Sharon

Along the way I found what I think is a Black Diamond Pure Purple Crepe Myrtle

BLack Diamond Pure Purple Crepe Myrtle

There were impatiens in bloom still too.


My friend, Donna, made a new set of 3 totem poles this summer and had just put them up in her yard. She’s the one who taught us how to make the quail.

Pottery Totem Pole

Down near the bottom of the lake there are now a pack of metal sculpture coyotes too.

Metal art coyotes

Thursday September 24th, we drove to Scott Reservoir. There’s a campground there that has been closed all summer and we wanted to see if you could access the lake. The reservoir still had a lot of water in it and a few folks out enjoying it.

Scott Reservoir

These folks were out in a kayak and we could hear kids around the bend playing in the water.
 Scott Reservoir   
The creek on the far side of the dam makes for a nice little wet land.

Scott Creek

There were White Prairie Asters (Symphyotrichum falcatum) in bloom.

White Prairie Asters (Symphyotrichum falcatum)

Wright's Goldenrod (Solidago wrightii)

Wright's Goldenrod (Solidago wrightii)

Spear Globemallow (Sphaeralcea hastulata)

Spear Globemallow (Sphaeralcea hastulata)

And Prairie Sunflowers (Helianthus petiolaris).

Prairie Sunflowers (Helianthus petiolaris)

The ponderosas here are pretty happy too along with junipers of course.

Ponderosa and junipers

We went on to Woodland Lake Park for our picnic. It provides irrigation water to farmers and this year they were going to do work on it so it was drawn way, way down. It’s a bit bigger than a puddle but not much.

Woodland Lake

There were still ducks though.



I spied some Slender Goldenweed (Xanthisma gracile) but that was about it.      
Slender Goldenweed (Xanthisma gracile)

We found a picnic table in the shade (it was in the mid 80’s) but we fled before we’d finished lunch because the wasps gathered too quickly. Trying to protect yourself and your lunch at the same time takes the fun out of it.

September 26th, the last of my kitchen utensil holders came out of the kiln. For this one I’d gathered herbs from a friend’s herb garden and pressed them into the clay before I made the cylinder. Once it was fired, I dabbed cinnamon-colored glaze into the impressions and sponged off the excess and then put clear glaze over it all. I really like the way it came out.
Herb Garden Cylinder Herb Garden Cylinder
September 28th, I caught the nearly full moon rising over the lake.

Moonrise at sunset

The next night the moon was fuller and the lake was just as still.

Moonrise at sunset

And to close out the month, here’s the moon (the night before it was totally full). I’ve found it is easier to photograph the full moon the night before it’s totally full.

Here it is just peeking over the trees at sunset.

Full moon rising

And here it is reflected in the lake.

Full moon reflected

In between those shots I caught the big yellow moon in all its golden glory.

Full moon  
It’s been a full month—as always. There have been 4 more cases of Covid-19 here in the park stretched out over a few weeks. This week, one of the office staff came up positive so our administrative offices are closed.

We’re doing fine. We’ve been avoiding gatherings and keeping our shopping to a minimum. I have continued to go to the pottery studio but try to avoid the busy times. That will be closing up for the season this coming week so everyone has been busy finishing up as much as they can.

We’ll stay here at Juniper Ridge Resort until November 1st.