Boyce Thompson Arboretum: Nature Walk

Boyce Thompson Arboretum: Nature Walk

On Christmas Eve, my family and I went for a 1.5-mile hike in the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, a 392-acre botanical garden in Superior, Arizona.

There weren’t many people on the trail, so most of the time it felt like we had the place to ourselves – a peaceful trek through some of the most beautiful scenery you’ll find in the Southwest.

Yellow Cactus Flower, Boyce Thompson Arboretum
Yellow cactus flower; golden barrel, I believe.

I took over a hundred pictures, most of them good, but none of which do this magical place justice. As a result, I’ve since discovered that I’m as conflicted about prettying-up my pictures as I am myself.

Cave, Boyce Thompson Arboretum
View from inside a cave so shallow it’s probably called something else.

As much as I love the watercolor app effect, I hate to imply the real thing isn’t good enough as is.

Suspension Bridge, Boyce Thompson Arboretum
Suspension bridge over Queen Creek. I don’t know the date it was erected, but it’s not as old as it looks.

But it’s not the real thing, is it? They’re just photographs. The beauty I witnessed in person at the arboretum still exists and it’s the watercolor versions that capture the essence of the beauty I saw that day.

Ayer Lake, Boyce Thompson Arboretum
Lone duck in Ayer Lake, none too pleased we didn’t have food.

I like to think that’s what I’m trying to capture with makeup, hair, and clothes – the essence I see in myself. There’s nothing wrong with the original, and there’s nothing wrong with dressing it up.

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Graduate student at Antioch Los Angeles working on an M.A. in Clinical Psychology. Writing background covering mental health, financial literacy, and social issues. Creative writing, too--plays, screenplays, and currently chipping away at a short story collection.

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