Let's Go To Flag

It is fair to say that there was a lot of anticipation of a fun day by all photoggers!  We all had agreed that it had been too long since we had been out shooting together.  We had a good reason.  Karen was returning to teach.  This would be her last weekend before going back to work.  We love her and wanted to be with her.

So, off we go.  One difference is that this time we had my grandson, Anden (10) with us.  He uses my D300s and brought along his skateboard.  The day started off with the usual, "Pull over.  I want to get a shot . . . !

Sunrise from Verrado.

We made it as far as the McDonald's on I-17 and Carefree (usual meeting place for northbound treks) before our first serious "We were not planning on shooting this but . . . this is good!"  Anden spotted some premium cars and those are of great interest to him these days.  He was joined by Tom (ya'll know about Tom and his relationship to cars . . . . right?).

But, every Saturday that we have been to this McDonald's on our way out of town we have found a most interesting vehicle.  We must have a dozen photos of this old pick-up, from close ups (the spark plug wires are made from barbed wire).

After a reasonable delay, we headed up the hill with Lake Mary and then Mormon Lake in our sights.  Bummer!!  Controlled burns made photography challenging!  First stop is the west end of Lake Mary where we knew there would be no water but were hoping for flowers. There were some shots taken.  Tom and Rick can make anything look interesting!!  Some of us settled on Anden showing us the latest skateboard trick that he was working on.

Ummmmm . . . Rick, are you so desperate that  . . . . well, a tree trunk? Well, as it turned out, he was not focused on the tree trunk.  Much better than that in the image that follows this one.

Such macro photography reminds us that the world is bigger than we might imagine.

From that site we checked out several others along the lake.  Nah!  On to Mormon Lake.  Nah!  So we decided to head to Hart's Prairie for a picnic and more shooting. We found a number of these seemingly abandoned cattle loading chuts.  We were all over them as if we had been stymied for shooting ops for centuries!!!

We found the hill we climbed last time.  It has grown taller since then but we are a determined group.  The grass is taller and the flowers less frequent.  Up we go!!  I had in mind a time-lapse of moving clouds.  Others agreed.  The view from the top is worth the effort!

Anden climbed the hill with us (not without some discomfort of bugs, bees, grasses, etc.). Once his camera was set up for a time-lapse, he struck up a conversation with Karen.  She is teaching 6th grade this year and was interested in his view of what kids his age appreciated in a teacher.  I was listening in and caught that one important thing, according to Anden, was fairness.  She listened and he appreciated her sincere inquiry.  He told me later that he would like to have a teacher like her.  Karen was counting for her time-lapse (Canon cameras lack built-in intervolumeters).  Anden suggested she simply click after his camera goes off (built in).  She smiled and we both agreed that was a pretty smart idea!

Tom passed up the opportunity to climb the hill and instead headed back down the road to an Aspen stand.

TD Hart's Prairie 11.jpg

There were a few flowers on the hill.  Plus, several people took photos of flowers but I really don't know where they belong.  Enjoy them anyway.

Rick is killing me with his 180mm Tamron micro . . . I love this image!!

There is logging in this area.

Fences are often used compositionally to add interest, a leading line . . . there are plenty to choose from in this area.

Whenever Elaine is along we are treated to the unexpected. Elaine is our birder.  Quiet. Patient.  Then I get this image from her!!  I cannot promise that she was with us, that these birds are up there!!  Just excellent.

The managed controlled fires were really getting bad by late afternoon.  Storm clouds were building to the east and south.  We decided to go into Flagstaff and have dinner.  Some of us headed home to interesting skies along the way.  Karen and Dave stayed back, hoping to capture either lightning or the Milky Way. Their images of lightning are awesome!

Long post to celebrate a long day.  Fun day!!!