Sep 082013


beach 1789

Last weekend I went on a solo camping trip to Buckskin Mountain for a trial run with my new tent and camping gear.  I grew up tent camping and continued well into adulthood but abandoned it when I met Carl twenty years ago.   Fellow photo blogger Storki  and her solo trip to Alaska awoke a yearning within me and inspired me to plan my own solo camping trip.  Next Saturday  I will camp in the Hualapui Mountains near Kingston AZ one night (following a company picnic at the same location) and then I’ll drive to the Grand Canyon for 3 nights and then onto Moab, UT for another 3 nights – and then a stop in Williams, AZ before returning home.  I have been researching and planning now for the last two weeks…. expect some phenomenal photos in after I get back!


Aug 112013

the pass 1769 (1)

Many Saturday afternoons, we head to Blythe, CA to get a coffee & snack at Starbucks.  It’s a twenty minute drive on I-10 each way;  I never tire of looking at the scenery and after a week of working inside, it is good to remember why I’m here.  This is my favorite part on the return trip back to Quartzsite, AZ.  I love the colors and I like to imagine what it was like before the highway made it easy to get to through the pass. This section is part of the Colorado River Indian Tribes, a.k..a. CRIT land. I love living here.  (And I love Saturdays!)

This was process with Topaz denoise (very light) and Clarity.  Nothing else.  And it was taken through the car windshield.


Jul 142013

NIght Ride Home 1753

I have not been using the Topaz setting Spicify. I know lots love this tool but I always found it too severe. Well after my week of tutorials (I know how to have a good time on vacation!) I decided to not be so afraid of it. If the tutorials have taught me anything, it is that the settings are just a starting point. I tweaked this one within Topaz and then more in Aperture. I’m still more comfortable adjusting colors in Aperture than in either Topaz or PSE.

Last week of June, Carl and I set out for a night ride on the ATV to see if this was a way to enjoy the desert without the heat. Anyway, we decided this was not such a good idea as one can not really see all that well in the dark… we realized the dangers when we mistook a landmark (remember this tree?) and just veered slightly to the right rather than to the left and could have gone crashing down a cliff-like embankment.

The title refers to one of my favorite Joni Mitchell songs, which always comes to mind around the 4th of July.

Jul 142013

wet 1750

Monsoon season eventually brings buckets of rain… at least for a few hours. This was taken on Thursday… no chance to go out and play in the desert on this day!

Even though we have an awning over the front and side of our home, everything gets wet when it rains this hard, including our front windows.

I have been working on thinning out old photos within Aperture (goal is delete 5000 photos before I return to work on Monday) and also doing a better job of organizing the photos, including adding keywords.  There is a lot of personal history being unearthed and was surprised to learn that it was  approximately one year ago when the washes last filled. For some reason I thought it occurred in August each year, but photos reveal that had I looked at my photos before taking my vacation I would have know that this two week period is the time of record highs and record deluge.

Jul 042013

bunny bath 1743

bunny bath 1744

Remember my “BIRD BATH” images from a few days ago?  Well, it looks like this bunny spied a good thing and decided to try out the spa himself.  Sorry that the photos aren’t better but we were fairly sure that if we raised the window blind, the bunny would take off, so I had to shoot through it.  In the bottom image, the bunny is so relaxed he’s sleeping, albeit with one eye open.

Jun 302013

ordinary 1737

Day 2 of my two-week “staycation” and so far all is ordinary.  We ran up to Parker, AZ (35 minutes each way) to pick up a few extra extra groceries and a case of water. I took this one of our groceries while  standing in line, which we did for an extra-ordinary amount of time. It looked like the shortest line… did not realize that the food on the conveyor ahead of  us was divided into separate sales with separate food vouchers, which the cashier had trouble running. After awhile, we put the above  groceries back in our cart and moved to a new register. If there is a slow line, I am an expert at picking it!

Anyway, here are some of ordinary groceries. Strawberries and Blueberries were on sale 2 for $5.

Jun 162013

grass 1735

You can’t imagine how great this feels to us desert rats!  Carl and I took a drive up to Lake Havasu City today and ate our to-go lunch from Panda Express  at Rotary Park… and walked both in the water and on the grass after lunch.  What a treat!