Posts Tagged: desert

The Coyote’s Ode to the Full Moon

Thursday, March 1st was the full moon. Late Thursday night / very early Friday morning, the local coyote society decided to yip and howl out an ode to the Full Moon.

It started with one coyote making a low keen, a second joined in with a howl, and before you know it a number of coyotes were yipping, keening, and howling – of which started off several local dogs to barking.

The dog barks were in a low, fierce tone. The coyote yips, keens, and howls were at least an octave higher on the musical scale and more delicate. It was as if the coyotes were singing a love song to the full moon.

The Vermilion Flycatcher

Vermilion Flycatcher In flight, I Vermilion Flycatcher In flight, II Vermilion Flycatcher In flight, III

03.01.18 – I have a new-old ambition that I am going to do my best to start and continue as of today: daily blogging (regular public writing) – even if it is only a little tidbit or bio bit or photo.

Let’s start from the photos of the Vermilion Flycatcher that I took two days ago at the La Paz County Park, Parker, Arizona – which is in a manicured riparian zone next to the Colorado River. Photos were taken by Ms. Jen with her Nikon D800 and a Nikon 70-200mm f/4 lens.

Ms. Jen’s Travel Video: Kofa, Palm Canyon, and the Kokopelli Spiral Labyrinth

This was originally posted as Early Access at my Patreon account.

I have received requests for videos on the adventures of RV living, so here is the first.

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Feb. 20, 2018 – On Saturday of President’s Day weekend, I drove to the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge to camp and take some night sky astro photos. When I arrived, I found the Kokopelli Spiral Labyrinth on the road to Palm Canyon.

The afternoon was beautiful and the earth art spiral was beautiful.

Video taken by Ms. Jen with her Lumia 950 camera phone.

The Tale of Two Cameras, Part I

This was originally posted as Early Access at my Patreon account.

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Olympus Pen - The View From Palm Canyon

Feb. 12, 2018 – I am finding that the differences between the photos that my camera phone, the Lumia 950, and the new Olympus micro 4/3rds Pen E-PL8 mirrorless camera are both evident and very subtle.

As my previous post states, I had hoped to replace a camera phone photo practice with a very small mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses. The transition is coming along in fits and starts.

The immediate difference between the two example photos taken yesterday while on a hike to Palm Canyon in the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge is the way that the cameras handle color. The Lumia 950 is rather famous for its yellow-tinted take on the world and the Olympus Pen E-PL8 for its lack of neon saturation.

My eyes have become so used to the vivid to neon saturation that most camera phones produce that the subtler colors and tones of the Olympus Pen appear almost desaturated (top photo) until I look at the Pen’s photo carefully – wherein a world of beautiful tones opens up – esp. at the dusty horizon.

Lumia 950 - The View From Palm Canyon

In the Lumia 950 photo (directly above), the sky, plants and rocks are much more cheerful in color and the horizon is just a few volcanic cones peeping up from the dusty, windy day.

For what the Lumia photo lacks in contrast and strong shadows, it makes up for in bright color. For what the Pen photo lacks in saturated color, it more than makes up for in mood, contrast, contour edges, and shadows.

What do you think?

Scruffy Watching the Burros Across the Road

Scruffy watching the burros across the road

Sun 01.31.16 – On our Sunday drive this afternoon, I pulled over at the Echo Point vista point on the Parker Dam Road – California side – and rolled down the window so that I could take photos of the burros across the road. Scruffy used this opportunity to sit in my lap and watch a young burro standing directly across the road – a stare down between canine and equine proceeded.

Photo taken by Ms. Jen with her Nikon D800 and a Nikon 50mm f/1.4G lens.

The Moon and the Puddle

The Moon and the Puddle in the desert

Mon 01.11.16 – While driving just after sunset eastbound on California highway 62, I knew that the new crescent moon would be setting soon behind me. As the dusk deepened, the road turned to Vidal Junction and out of the farside of my left side vision, I could see the moon. I pulled over as soon as it was safe to do so and saw this large puddle from recent rains in the desert and was delighted.

I pulled out the Nikon D800 but could not unearth the tripod from under the luggage, so here is my photo of the Moon and the Puddle.

A Visit to the Galleta Meadows Sculptures

Mom and the Eagle's Nest sculpture, Galleta Meadows
Elephants, Galleta Meadows Cactus, Anza-Borrego State Park Detail of the Eagle's Nest sculpture, Galleta Meadows

Photos taken by Ms. Jen with her Nikon D800 and various lenses.

Sun 01.19.14 – Yesterday, my Mom, Scruffy, and I drove to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and Borrego Springs via a circuitous route through Oceanside, Pala, the Pauma Valley, Julian, and then finally over the mountains eastbound to the Anza-Borrego State Park and Borrego Springs in northeastern San Diego county.
I wanted to see the desert and its flora, my Mom wanted to go see the Galleta Meadows sculptures that ring the outskirts of Borrego Springs.
We started out from Huntington Beach at 10am and I dropped my Mom back off at 10pm. While a bit of a whirlwind, and yes we probably should have stayed in Borrego Springs, but I am glad we went. The Galleta Meadows sculptures were fun, the food at Carmelita’s was good, and the stars / Milky Way we saw driving east towards the Salton Sea were amazing.
Next time I want to spend more time exploring the upper Anza-Borrego desert and go hiking in the Palm canyon area.

The Great Butterfly Massacre

The Great Butterfly Massacre
Photo taken by Ms. Jen at Chiraco Summit with a Nokia N79.

Every butterfly and its brother must have been migrating today across the desert today. As I was driving home from Arizona about 15 miles before Desert Center on Hwy. 177 until Chiriaco Summit (about 34 miles in total) on I-10, waves and waves of butterflies were flying low across the roads and highways.
It was beautiful and sad. Beautiful to see hundreds and thousands of butterflies all at once. Sad to see so many meet their deaths on the grill of my car.