I don’t have a “Bucket List” per se, although there are things that I would like to get around to doing. One of those things has been to see the Aurora Borealis. This month the Missus and I spent a week in Alaska where we had the chance to do just that at a Northern Lights workshop presented by Beth Ruggiero-York along with Arizona Highways Photography Workshops . There is an element of luck involved in viewing the Northern Lights. The closer to the pole you are the better the chance, and of course it needs to be dark enough to see it, which means winter. The weather needs to be clear, and finally the sun has to cooperate by being active.
Last March we went camping at White Sands National Monument for the first time. The weather was fairly mild although a bit brisk in the morning. The winds were impressive. It turns out that 50 mph gusts are not unusual in the windy season. We enjoyed the trip, but since we only stayed the one night we didn’t get to do as much hiking as we would have liked, so we decided to return during the off season. With our schedule it turned out the second half of January was a good time, and watched the weather and the launch schedule for the missile range to plan the date. This last week the weather was perfect for photography – cloudy with rain in the forecast and temperatures unseasonably warm with to lows above freezing, and no closures scheduled. Off we went…
Enjoying the sunrise with my coffee this morning…
The Missus got me an iOptron SkyTracker for Christmas, so I had to try it out… I’m really looking forward to summer and some Milky Way shots.
Earlier this month we took a trip to Acadia National Park in Maine for a taste of autumn. Living in the southwestern desert as we do we were expecting uncomfortably cold weather, but to our pleasant surprise it generally didn’t feel as cold as the temperature sounded.
We’ll be traveling to Acadia National Park in Maine shortly, to photograph the colorful fall leaves. From my trip to New Hampshire last week, I think our timing is going to be right on.
When you live in the southwestern desert you learn to accept that much of the summer is just plain too hot for outdoors activities. That’s not to say one is housebound the entire time, but aside from morning and evening walks hiking is not on the schedule.
In late September the weather starts to change, and we start getting out a little more. The town we live in has opened a new park recently, so we took an hour or so to take some pictures and enjoy the weather.
Some final thoughts in closing out the South Africa trip posts… While the animals are fascinating, the country itself is beautiful. One thing seasoned travelers frequently notice is that when you go to a new region, it smells different. Usually the first impression is slightly unpleasant, but you quickly adjust and no longer notice. South Africa is the first place I’ve been that immediately smelled good. I associated the smell with good earth, the kind you could plant a good crop on.
I’ve been trying to post to themes on our South Africa trip, but I still have some photos that didn’t fit in. We had the opportunity to get up close and personal with most of the animals we saw throughout our trip.
Most of the animals we saw on our trip to South Africa are grazers. The Red-billed Oxpeckers on the back of this giraffe probably aren’t, although that’s what it looked like to me.