The Kid and his friend had a masked playdate at a park. They’ve been friends since they were two. While they played quite a bit, they did sometimes just walk and talk.
They indulged my requests to take pictures through the drain holes in the wall.
To the side, there’s a plot of grassy plants. They obliged my request to pose in there, as well. (It’ll be a good place to shoot portraits when the sun isn’t right overhead.) The first shot, my settings were way off. The Kid and I played with it later and had fun coming up with:
Some birds were willing to pose as well.
I took another walk to try to catch the sunflowers at dusk. Came closer to catching what I wanted this time, but still a few minutes later than I needed to be.
I noticed some other flowers near a fence in slight disrepair, so I continued on to get some shots of those:
The properties along this walk have animals—mostly horses and goats—and a fair amount of land relative to being this deep in suburbia. They receive irrigation, which means they get flooded on a schedule. I saw the water running just recently—the first time I’ve seen that—and the standing water made for a nice shot.
This cat was laying (behind a chain link fence and across the small irrigation ditch) on my way out and had moved to a better perching spot on my way back. Just watched me, not quite completely disinterested.
The Climbing Daddy had picked up a few cactus clippings that he was planning to root. They sat in a cardboard box on the table on the back patio for a week or less, waiting for attention. He went out to do something with them and found a friend in the box:
She’s the fifth one we’ve seen since moving to this house three years ago. Not even red yet in the hourglass. Kind of neat that the hourglass matches the box.
They’re loners and don’t really want to mess with you any more than you want them to mess with you. And I wouldn’t care too much, depending on where they’re hanging out, but they’re going to make babies, and we really don’t need a whole bunch of them. They’re already coming from somewhere, and that is probably enough.
The lead photo is of a flower that landed on a cactus in the box. Fun lighting.
It’s finally not hot (it was 99 three days ago, 77 yesterday, 64 as I’m writing), and it’s overcast. There’s so much sun here—overcast days are really nice. (I’m not complaining a bit about the sun! Just saying that the change is nice.)
This morning, The Kid and I walked to the park. I took the camera but didn’t end up taking any photos while we were there.
Birds sat on the streetlight on our way back. I pulled out the camera and took a few shots. Then messed with one of them when we got home. The first one is straight from the camera. The overcast sky really lent itself to this shot. I also kinda like it in silhouette. Which do you prefer?
The Kid avoids walking on the sidewalk whenever possible.
The Climbing Daddy saw a woodpecker in the neighbor’s tree while I was at work the other day. He grabbed my camera and took a few shots. Fortunately, the settings were such that the photos came out OK—a little overexposed in the background but the bird is in decent shape. (I’ve since showed him how to flip it to automatic, if he’s using it just because he needs a better zoom than his camera.)
A road nearby has animal properties, and along a long section, there are sunflowers. I noticed on a walk a couple of weeks ago that the sunflowers were stunning with the sun setting behind them, and I wanted to see what I could capture.
Finally, today, I walked up there with the camera. The sun was too far set for what I wanted to do, but I got some fun shots otherwise.
The challenge in this location is that everything pictured is behind a chain link fence, so I’m limited on what my angles can be.
First, the sunflowers!
Then, the dead sunflowers (and others).
Then, the sky.
And finally, as I was walking home, I noticed this little guy just sitting there. I was surprised he didn’t take off, even as I changed settings on the camera and took multiple shots. You can see the chain link fence in this one, but I wasn’t going to get any closer and potentially scare him off.
It felt good to get in a bit of shooting today. Would like to do it more often and would also like not to stress myself out, so leaving it as a hope and not a plan. For now.
We went camping at Roper Lake State Park for a few days. It’s a small park in southeastern Arizona.
Not much elevation, so it was not much of a relief from the temps at home (maybe a five-degree difference), but we had some shade in our campsite and the overnight weather was perfect for sleeping. Left the rain fly off the tent, looked at the stars, and slept in cool air.
This place is known for having a large variety of birds. Among others, we saw quail, roadrunners, and ducks.
The lake was small and sufficient. (I imagine at other times of year and/or other global health circumstances, it’s much more crowded, but we had the beach to ourselves most of the morning, then had just one other family at the other end.)
The reeds around the perimeter completely cut off field of view to the scrubby desert surrounding the lake. Very effective. We played on the beach a bit and did some kayaking. Fishing is also available; we didn’t.
The ranger warned us on the way in that there are raccoons and to keep all food and trash in our cars when we weren’t eating. We were slow on the first night getting our trash put away, and they took care of it in short order. We didn’t make that mistake again.
The dirt in the campsite combined with water available on site made for fun playing with mud for the younger among us.
On the island in the lake was a seemingly high number of tree stumps, many interesting to look at in their own right.
Around the lake and elsewhere in the park, plenty of other plants, most of them typical to the desert. (The first one here is a mama and her baby.)
And other bits and pieces
On the way home, we stopped in Superior, where there are some old mining bits on display at the visitor’s center.
The rock formations in that area are just stunning.
And the bathrooms were closed. The menfolk found a nearby public restroom that was open.
Fun to have a lot of opportunity!
I think my next lens or accessory will be for macro. I like taking close-up photos, seeing the details in things not usually examined closely. For now, I have plenty of work to do on skills that don’t have anything to do with the gear.