This past March we spent a week in Tucson to get some vitamin D sunshine! And it was J’s first trip to the desert, ever! We went on a couple of hikes, went to the amazing Kartchner Caverns, went to a desert botanical garden and bistro, Tohono Chul, and just hung out drinking tea at The Scented Leaf, where I picked up some nice green tea to take home.
Unfortunately, they don’t let you take pictures at Kartchner Caverns except on certain days and then you have to pay a lot of $$ so I don’t have anything to show you from our walk in the caves there but we did go to a great Mexican restaurant for lunch in a town close by. We asked the Cavern staff where to go and the woman said “Lucky for you that I’m a total foodie and you have to go to this hole in the wall place, Mi Casa Restaurant, in Benson. So we went and were not disappointed. It’s literally a Mom and Pop place; she cooks, he waits the tables. The food was great and we were satiated and happy.
We also “lounged” through an evening at Gates Pass to watch the sunset. Again, just perfect. I have lots of great shots from the trip; here’s just some of my favourites. Hope you enjoy. (Hint: click on a photo to see the full size image)
A recent trip with my husband to canyon country included a visit to iconic Monument Valley in addition to exploring less traveled back roads. I have always wondered what Monument Valley was like so while in the area we paid the $20 fee to drive the Navajo Tribal Park loop. It was a bumpy, dusty road and a cloudy afternoon with a fair amount of tourists and tour jeeps. My favorite images captured the iconic Mittens. I thought them to be the most attractive ‘monuments’ in the park and no wonder why they are so popular. The rest of our three days were spent exploring areas outside of the popular and often crowded national parks near Moab. Borrowing our sons truck camper we camped for free on BLM (Bureau of Land Management) Land below our very own pinnacle one night. It was fun to be on location to shoot it…
Since my last post about panoramas, I’ve made several more that I really like. This post I’ll focus (pun intended) 🙂 on ones from my local neighbourhood. I’ve also made it so you can click on each of the images and see them up close and personal in a new window. Without being too conceited, I think you’ll enjoy the extra details you can see in the larger versions! I always do.
First, one I stitched together from 2 photos taken in July from a walk at DeBoughville Slough with J and my sister, in Coquitlam, BC.
Next, a pano taken in October, from 2 photos taken with my LG5 phone camera on the the Bluffs above Admiralty Point in Belcarra Park, Port Moody, BC.
Another October stitch, from 7 photos taken from a hike to the White Rock viewpoint in Coquitlam. If you look at the centre land features in this one, you can see the same hill and towers and point of land you saw in the previous picture. This is up higher and a more expansive view. Vancouver Island way in the distance.
Here’s one I made from a 3 photos one cloudy December morning while walking around the inlet. I’m on the North side shooting South. Another set with the LG5.
Not perfect but it made Explore on Flickr with almost 6 thousand views and that is saying something!
One from Maple Beach on a January hike to Admiralty point. A stitch of 5 shots. It was a “dreary” day so black and white was the way to go here.
Here’s one at the Rocky Point piers in February, looking North towards the mountains. 2 LG photos stitched to make this.
Last but not least, 2 panoramas I made a few days ago during a walk around Buntzen Lake. It was cloudy, the lake was perfectly still and I was, as they say, in the right place at the right time. The first one is a composite of 4 shots.
This second one is a stitch of 10 photos! That’s right, 10. It took a bit of processing time but was totally worth it. It also made Explore and as of the writing of this post, was about to break 7,000 views! As you might imagine, I’m very proud of this one.
So there you have it, my latest local panorama compositions. Can’t really call them photos because they are always put together from at least 2 and often more, captures. Hope you enjoyed the show.
“I believe in the power and mystery of naming things. Language has the capacity to transform our cells, rearrange our learning patterns of behavior, and redirect our thinking. I believe in naming what’s right in front of us because that is often what is most visible. Eve Ensler
I love to put names on things. When I was an undergraduate at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse, (more years ago than I care to remember!) I took many many courses that involved using taxonomic keys to find out the common and scientific names of plants, animals, fungi and lots of other organisms. It was one of the things I most loved doing and when I graduated from ES&F, I asked my parents for a copy of Britton and Brown’s Illustrated Flora. This was in 2 volumes at that time and I was in heaven when they actually found it and gave it to me.
Over the years I have accumulated naturalist guidebooks for birds, fungi, ferns, lichens, plants, seashore and you name it. When I see something, I want to know what to call it. That’s how it becomes part of me and part of my sense of home and belonging. If I can name you, you’re a friend. For example, on one of the hikes I go on with my partner, J, we pass this old growth Douglas Fir and it is our favourite tree on that trail. The last time we went up I asked her, do you think it’s a grandmother or a grandfather. J, being the practical woman she is said “It’s just a tree.” Hmm. I like to honour these older trees when I pass by them and they often seem to have genders to me and since it was Just ATree, and to me it was obviously a grandmother, I have named it Grandmother JAT. Now it’s also a friend 🙂
So wy did I tell you all this? Well, I have been taking pictures of plants and animals for years and lately, I decided to go back through all my photos and use Photoshop to create my own attractive taxonomic pages. Because that helps me to remember what I’ve seen and named and adds to my circle of “friends”. I thought I’d share them with you in this blog from time to time. My ultimate plan is to print them out as full size photographic pages and make a scrapbook from them. There’s no order to them right now, just images I liked with their names and some other details. Here’s a few of those images.
These are some of the flowers I’ve photographed on hikes in the alpine. And the feature image at the top is one of the slime moulds I captured, Trichia decipiens, on a hike on Grouse Mt. a few years back.
Hope you enjoyed meeting and making some new friends.
The Survivor makes a powerful first impression. It’s one of the more unique trees that I have known
In a cool, quiet, forest glade in the North Shore Mountains sits a most venerable tree. Surrounded by a healthy stand of Pacific Silver Fir, this Western Red Cedar makes a daunting first impression. As you approach it from the south, the first thing you notice is the gaping wedge that has been cut from the trunk that almost resembles a mouth, of sorts. The many burls and aged trunk bely its centuries of growth, and its top thrives brilliantly, likely well into a seventh century of growth. Countless folk cruise within 40 metres of it it unwittingly every day without noticing it, on their way to Norvan Falls and points beyond. I call this tree The Survivor, and its narrative is well worth sharing.