Friday, August 5, 2011

Desert Snapshots

While we were on our family trip to Arizona, we held a service at the National Cemetery outside Phoenix for my father-in-law who passed away this past May.  The service was beautifully done, with a Marine Corps honor guard and bugler and local members of a volunteer group of VFW and American Legion folks who did the 21-gun salute.

I'll post a few pictures of the service down the road -- I'm not ready to write about it just yet -- but the scenery in and around the cemetery was just stunning in its desert simplicity and starkness.

We managed to get to the cemetery early, which gave The Peanut and I time to walk around and look at desert plants -- cacti and flowering shrubby bits and pieces -- and even find a lizard trying to run from shade to shade.  Thought you all might enjoy some of my snapshots of the day.

Above is a gorgeous coral-blooming plant.  I have absolutely no idea what that one is, but it's buds were so brilliantly colored that I had to get a picture of them.  And here's a closer look at leaves and stems:

We spotted a lizard that was running from shady spot under a plant to whatever other shady spot it could find, hunting for bugs, I suppose, or trying to find a place to bed down for the heat of the day that was not adjacent to a very curious 8-year-old girlie.  I managed to snap this of the curious little fellow right after we'd spotted him:

What follows are a series of images from the surrounding desert landscape -- some prickly pear and barrel cacti and a shot of the American flag folded for presentation at the service.

I'm particularly proud of this flag macro shot since I managed to get some of the stitching contrast.  I took a number of other photos at the service and am planning to put together an album for my husband and his brother -- the marines involved in the service had some information about my father-in-law's service record and were so wonderfully reverent and respectful through the entire time with the family.  It was incredibly moving, and I really can't thank them enough.

In any case, I knew both boys wouldn't have much of a memory of the day because burying their father -- who is to be interred with the remains of my mother-in-law who passed away three+ years ago -- was very tough on them both.  It seemed to me they would want something to look back on, and I am awfully glad that I'm doing something with all of the snapshots for them.  (But that's a post for another time, because I still get choked up typing this.) 

I'll just do these as a series for your browsing.  These images are all copyright to me, but can be used in other posts so long as you link back to here and give me a name credit as the person taking the photos:

(All photographs by Christy Hardin Smith.)


David Rice said...

Great pics, Christy!
Sorry about your father in law.

Christy Hardin Smith said...

Thanks, David -- the scenery was really lovely. And the lizard was entertaining for the wee girlie (if not for the lizard, who was not keen on having a small person stare at him).