The Kid discovered that pushing the water towards the wall of the pool would make it splash out. It seems this took a long time to discover. I was fresh out of the cold water, sitting in the corner on the deck, trying to stay dry = good incentive to figure out how to splash without splashing.
We agreed that it would be fun to take some shots of the water splashing, and we were right!
His jaw dropped when he saw this one—by far his favorite. (It is pretty neat.)
And one from a cannonball:
Also, the garden is much happier since our temps have gotten out of the 110s and since the shade cloth went up. Here, we have cucumber- and corn-to-be. The lead photo is pre-tomatoes.
This … I wish you could smell it. Basil smells so good…
Marigolds to help keep the tomatoes happy, and lavender just because:
The Kid and I went for a walk in the neighborhood.
“If you see anything you’d like me to take a picture of, let me know.”
“How about this tree?”
It’s a nice tree. And I like the howling coyote on the window grate in the background.
I really like this tree. I’ve lived here for almost 20 years and the palo verdes are still just so cool.
“Mom, I bet you want a picture of me walking up here, because that’s the kind of person you are.” I’m not entirely sure what kind of person that is, but yes, I would love pictures of you walking up there…
“Look, there’s a cat by that house.”
“Take a picture of it, Mom!”
“I want to take a picture of the cactus.”
“Take a picture of the cat, then take a picture of the cactus.”
Nearing home, I noticed the remains of a sign post in a yard that I’ve walked by at least hundreds of times. I’m always surprised by what I don’t notice…
I love the desert. “I wouldn’t go there; it’s just brown everywhere,” a friend back east told me before I moved out here.
It’s different, for sure. And beautiful. In the seasons when more plants are thriving, it’s more conventionally beautiful. Even now, as a brutal-even-for-Phoenix summer is gasping its last breaths (we hope!), and most plants are not thriving, there’s a beauty about it.
Maybe it’s because I know that when the weather cools and rain comes (will rain ever come? It’s been a very dry monsoon…), many of the plants that appear dead will come back alive. (Zombie plants?)
Maybe I’ve just developed an appreciation for dead plants. Who knows? I’m just still in awe of the flora and fauna and landscapes here, whether in full bloom or dried up.
So when The Climbing Daddy suggested we go hiking this morning, taking Sir Nikolas Cameron along with for photos after hiking, I was game.
Of course, the most famous of the local cacti is the saguaro. Rabbits like to snack on their bases, and birds peck holes and make nests in them, finding safety from the sun and predators.
I love the saguaros and their imperfections:
Another thing I love about cactus? Dead cacti, leaving behind just their skeletons. I can’t get enough of cactus skeletons.
Also? Cactus has three acceptable means of pluralization: cacti, cactuses, cactus. Fun!
There are always at least a few things that aren’t plants that are interesting to shoot. On this trail, it was this interesting bit of rock (“Mom! That looks like a face!”) and one of many bolts on a sign at the trailhead.
I love the layers of mountains. I’ve shared a couple of photos of Four Peaks before. Here they are again, trying to hide behind the ascending foreground. When I eventually learn editing, I’ll be able to have a photo similar to this with the foreground properly exposed. The camera can’t do it on its own, and I can’t do it in post. Yet.
The Climbing Daddy was at the (west-facing) kitchen sink the other night and suggested he take over making dinner and I go out with the camera to capture the sky. I got a bit of it.
Enjoy the beauty in the bits around you, and I’ll be back next week!
This morning, wanting to take some photos but also feeling very lazy and uninspired, I said to The Kid, “Hey! I haven’t taken pictures all week. Do you want to make a scene with your LEGO that I can take pictures of?”
He was enthusiastic! After setting a few parameters on size, he went to work and came back with a mountain with a crown of clouds in a jungle. After seeing a shot of it, he added two trees in the background. Then took the backdrop to his work space and added a cloud. Finally took the mountain to add a waterfall and a river. The low shot of the river is his favorite (left side, second from the bottom).
While he took parts and modified them, I took pictures of other things on the porch (where we were shooting).
We have quite a few potted plants. Most of them are plain old terra cotta pots, but only because outfitting the whole lot of them in pots like this isn’t cost-effective. A couple of pots at a time, the yard will be transformed…
And the errant extension cord…
We have an outdoor papasan, and in an effort to keep it usable for longer, it has a cover. The Kid is endlessly delighted that water beads up on it and he can race the beads across it just by tilting it. So we played with water just a little.
Finally, there was a shot from last week that I forgot to share! I had been out in the front yard, attempting pictures of lightning. I didn’t get any that were worth sharing but I did get a neat shot of our front door before I came back inside.
People who exercise a ton on the weekends and not at all during the week are often called Weekend Warriors.
Lately, I’m a photography Weekend Warrior.
Last weekend, I had the honor of photographing this cutie pie. She lost both her front teeth, and her mama was lamenting the loss of school pictures this year.
They’re not school pictures, but they’re pretty cute.
Last night, we had a rainless lightning storm. I’ve never tried to shoot lightning before, and all of my photos came out very dark, a combination of user error and the lightning somewhat obscured by clouds. I had them here initially and decided that if you need to crank the brightness on your screen to see anything besides a black rectangle, perhaps they’re not worth posting…
A friend has an amazing huge saguaro in front of her house. Unfortunately, two of the arms broke off. We’re hoping the rest of the plant can stay healthy. (The image at the top of today’s post is my favorite from this lot.)
Their yard has other plants as well—mostly cactus.
I’m always impressed by the tenaciousness of desert plants, especially with this summer’s record heat (and not much relief in sight yet).