Coconino National Forest, Flagstaff, Arizona

I’ve been visiting my friends Elaine and Randy in Flagstaff, taking in huge breaths of fresh mountain air, surrounded by majestic Ponderosa pines. At 8,000 feet I need all the air I can get as we wander the forest paths with Rudy the rez dog.  Rudy is an example of a local mixed breed, some of which are used by the Navajo nation and other ranchers as livestock guardians for their sheep. These dogs appear to be a multi-purpose ‘landrace’ of various breeds, including the traditional European livestock guardians, adapted to this arid environment and herd management style.

Rudy, pondering his path on a Ponderosa forest trail in Flagstaff, AZ
Rudy and Elaine pause for a break
Mt. Eldon, just behind Elaine’s home
Claret cup cactus blooms on the forest floor; aka crimson hedgehog, heart twister strawberry cactus and spinemound
I’m standing next to a hollow Gambel oak, aka Rocky Mountain white oak and Utah white oak. Note the giant boulders behind me, at the base of Mt. Eldon


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