“The family is one of nature’s masterpieces.” —George Santayana
Family is a masterpiece indeed. I can’t think of anything else so precious and so beautiful…can you? I count myself lucky to be a family photographer and even more lucky that so many of my clients love to have their photos outdoors. We live in such a beautiful part of the world, and I love the forests and meadows and golden light right before sunset. I loved spending time with the Risi family! We played and laughed and captured some great smiles. Thank you for including me in your lives. xoxo
About the location, Buffalo Park:
Part of the Flagstaff Urban Trail System, Buffalo Park hosts a 2-mile loop trail through an expansive open space on the flat top of McMillan Mesa, an ancient lava flow. Most of the trail is on open, native grassland, but dips into a wooded ravine just to the west of the park entrance. The trail provides a magnificent panorama to the mountains north of town, including the San Francisco Peaks, the Dry Lake Hills, and Mount Elden. Buffalo Park also offers access to FUTS and Forest Service trails including the Arizona Trail and McMillan Mesa Trail.
As you enter the park, look to your right for a trail offshoot that takes you to a seasonal pond, where ducks and other waterfowl can be seen in winter and spring. Mule deer regularly frequent the meadow west of the loop trail. When the breezes blow, you are likely to see ravens performing acrobatic flights. The meadow and mixed forest vegetation mean that a broad suite of grassland and forest species visit Buffalo Park. Keep your eyes peeled for lark sparrows, among the most striking of sparrows in the area. Their heads are a rich chestnut color, with white or buff streaking. Some say their painted faces give lark sparrows a clown-like appearance. As they fly away from you, down the trail, you will notice white tail edges similar to those of mourning dove.
From downtown, drive north on San Francisco Street to Forest Avenue. Turn right on Forest, then left onto North Gemini Road until you reach an unpaved parking area at the end of the road.