Thursday, June 5, 2014

National Geographic presents Papago Camp

Not really, but I did use my time at my mandated time living in squalor on the border to good use: I played with my camera taking night photos and learning the capabilities of my long lens on wildlife.  Oh, I did work too.

My first stop was the Lesna Mountain chain.  I fell in love with the morning light (by morning light, I mean the sun did not even crest the horizon yet) on this lone rock formation.  I really wanted to wait for the sun to actually hit it while I was parked in front of the Saguaro skeleton, but the waking bee hive residing at what used to be it's root base shooed me away.

After spending a good amount of time enjoying the sunrise from atop a small rock outcrop, I got back into my truck to explore some more.  I did a loop and while heading back up Secret Road, I spotted this owl.  He was a ways out and refused to look at me. This was the best shot I got. I took some action shots while he was flying away, but his coloring camouflaged him against the rock color.

And then I got yelled at by a crow.

I almost missed these beauties.  I threw the truck in reverse.  Small white flowers that I have never seen in my 7 years as a desert resident.  I did some research later on and I believe they are Night Blooming Cereus. If the internet is to be believed, this cereus only blooms one night every year before shedding its white flower and replacing it with a fruit.  If so, I feel very fortunate to have spotted one.

 After my love affair with the flowers waned,  I made my way westbound.  Stopping only for birds atop cactus.

This hawk was less than thrilled with me.  I was cramping his hunting time.

My next night out, I was stationary on the border.  What better way to protect our nation than to experiment with long exposures at the night sky?

The sunrises this past week were....weak.  It figures.  A few days later I explored further north and west.

Dead things are always so pretty.

During a pit stop of FR1, I found another dead Saguaro.

And then the hawks.  I'm not sure if they were a nesting pair, or if they were in the same area together.  But they flanked me and one fussed at me until it realized that I would win the battle of will and flew away.

What little time I had out and about, I took full advantage of.  Relearning areas I haven't seen in years and exploring new areas I've never been.  Eat your heart out Nat Geo.