BTA Reunion

Tom and I really wanted to get together with our black nose tribe (code for photographers) while in Phoenix.  Greg suggested we meet at Boyce Thompson Arboretum, not because he really wanted to photograph that wonderful venue, but because he wanted to go into Superior afterwards for a hamburger at Porter's Cafe! There were 11 black noses and a couple of us spent more time chatting and catching up than taking photographs! Steve had not been to BTA before and was impressed by the variety of cactus.  Ann took off to hike the Arboretum's high path.  We had lunch at Porter's and then some folks walked down Main Street in Superior and took a few more photographs.  Here are the images sent to share.

Ah, it appears Steve made it to the upper path as well.

I have no idea what the blue object is but it caught the attention of two photographers.

We all love Porter's Cafe and were happy they could handle our large group, even if it meant eating outside.

The bar at Porter's.

Yep, this place goes back in time . . .

This door leads you into the restaurant from the patio.  S&H Green Stamps?  Remember those?

Greg and Ann wandered into an art gallery after lunch. They ended up having a 20 minute conversation with the grandson of A J Bayless, of grocery store fame.  He owns a large ranch south of Superior.  He and others are working hard to eventually turn Superior into a major tourist destination.

Superior is still a mining town.

Love the idea.  Love the design.  Love that John noticed.

This looks like a photo taken on the way home, looking across the desert towards the north.

A special thanks to my black nosed friends for sharing the day and their images.

Boyce Thompson

Greg sent a note along with his photos. "Best thing about this trip was shooting with Tom and sharing a burger @ Porter's."  I miss shooting with both of them.  I am so grateful they shared.

Looks like there are lots of photo opportunities at Boyce Thompson, even though there is no fall color left.  Thanks guys for sharing!

Joshua Tree National Park

A short stop on our way home.  This Park is huge, slightly bigger than the state of Rhode Island.  It encompasses two distinct ecological zones and these can actually be recognized as you drive through the park.  This was my second trip through the park and I am still amazed at how few Joshua Trees are in the park!  The AZ Joshua Tree Park has more trees and they appear healthier than their CA counterparts.  The rock formations are interesting and the desert views are outstanding.  The Cholla Garden is a must see.

We got up early, it was still very dark when we checked out of our room in Twenty Nine Palms. Given that we had not scouted for a sunrise shot, we opted to wait for some light and have breakfast first.  When we stepped outside the restaurant we found that the sky was ON FIRE!  I hate that when it happens!!!  Dang it!!!!  We drove very quickly to the Park while asking the goddesses of sunrise for the sunrise to last long enough for us to find a Joshua Tree.  Any Joshua Tree!  Near the road (please)!  A foreground (big enough we could see).  Anything!!!  Miles down the road, or so it seemed, a single smallish Joshua Tree.  Whew!  We took it.  We had missed the incredible red that was there just minutes before this image was captured.

Just four minutes after my first shot above.  Mother Nature waits for no one!

Looking south . . . round the bend.

The band of darker clouds was not going away any time soon.  We kept hoping for some breaks in the clouds.

Better light to the south.  Not so good overhead.

Ah!  Big break for a few seconds!  This is a situation where you really begin to appreciate the term 'chasing light'.  Notice how all of a sudden we have shadows, DOF, interest!  Ah, Father Sun, stick around!

Just a bit of life in a harsh environment.  A blossom on a long stalk to improve its chances.  The beauty in something like this is missed when looking skyward.

It is alive.

What to do when the sun won't come out and play?  Shoot flowers and other macro shots.

All macro shots taken handheld with the Nikon Df and the Nikkon 55mm f/2.8 manual focus lens.  Have not seen a cactus quite like this.

I wonder what their flowers look like.

These were the tiniest flowers I have seen in a very long time.  They were so fragile.  I was not successful at getting a good DOF with them, especially hand holding and manually focusing.  Sharing anyway.

Leaving one ecosystem with Joshua Trees and getting into the Cholla Garden.

Only a mother could love them.  So ugly they are gorgeous.

How about that for a leading line?  Not walking down there!  We tried to be so careful and not pick any up on our shoes.  We were not successful!

Grandeur!  Expansive!  Think fisheye!

As we neared Twenty Nine Palms I admitted to Tom that I had not been so tired in years.  Years!!!  The following morning I asked him if, just perchance, we were too old to be keeping up the schedule we had chosen recently.  "Maybe." was his response.  Nope!  Not!  Negative!  That was my response!  I am sure once we get rested up we will be just fine.  Until then, two tired minds are better than one tired mind so we will stick closely together.  We are a team!!  Thanks for joining and sharing our teamwork.