Posted in Sunday photos

My photography journey 11Oct20

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.

Posted in Sunday photos

My photography journey 4Oct20

You might have noticed there was no post last week. I hadn’t taken any pictures. I hadn’t done any learning. I had nothin’.

I’m happy to have pulled out the camera this week and have some shots to share with you!

My son was going swimming and wanted me to take some pictures. He had a head full of ideas, and when he finished sharing them all, he declared, “Now let’s make this dream a reality!” before running off to put his swimsuit on.

Here’s some of what we ended up with:

Some other things hanging around the area where I was shooting from:

The hibiscus has been blooming like crazy and while he was drying off, I took some shots.

A flower that was no longer thriving was still beautiful. I have three photos; the biggest difference between them is brightness. I can’t decide which I like best.

And when we came back in the house, The Kid said, “Mom! Do you still have out the Nikon? You have to take a picture of this! Look! With the reflection, it makes a heart!”

Posted in Sunday photos

My photography journey 20Sept20

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:

And finally, I like the bits of web here.

Posted in Sunday photos

My photography journey 13Sept20

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…

Posted in Sunday photos

My photography journey 6Sept20

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.

Maybe it was a cholla? Not sure.

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!