We have been wanting to try out a backpacking trip with REI Adventures, and with the Superstition Mountains being local we thought this would be a good opportunity. Since the Phoenix area is already starting to warm up, this was the last scheduled trip till after summer. Being less that two weeks after the Alaska trip, we were prepared for a bit of temperature shock – it turned out to be a record setting week with highs in the 90’s, which is only 120ºF warmer than our coldest outings up north. Fortunately, we had time for a couple of day hikes to get re-acclimated to the desert prior to starting out.
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…
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.
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.
Most of the time photographing wildlife is done at some distance. Depending on the animal and the environment that may be as close as a few feet, but more likely twenty feet would be considered close and 50 to 300 feet not unreasonable. While most of the animals we photographed were free running on game preserves, there were some that were captive and allowed for closer shots. The male White Lion above is at Shambala and is fenced in at the owners property along with two females. They’re fed and cared for, but are certainly not pets. Their human interaction consists of being fed from a distance and being hopeful that one of those tasty looking photographers will fall into the enclosure.