Thursday, April 30, 2009

the Tree

We took a walk today and came across this tree. As luck would have it, I had my camera!

I was immediately taken with the look of the bark.

The same shot,
cropped and desaturated
with a slight sepia tint.

The bark had such texture.

And the color!

These look much better at a larger resolution
so remember to click on any image.

And because I can't resist,
just one more sunset.

Isn't it amazing
how you can be in a place
for months
and still
find parts of nature
you've never noticed before?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

the Blue Bird

We have these little tiny birds here at the campground and they are the most intense shade of blue, they look like they've been dyed.

As near as we can tell, they are called Blue Buntings.

I took some photos,
and Terry told me
they looked fake,
but honestly, these are the colors!

So I got these pictures, and decided to to play around a bit with my software to see what kind of variations I could get.

By the way, in my previous post, I said that the three photos were all from the same original, when in fact, they were shot in series! My bad, I do apologize!

Now on to those birds . . .

This shot is the same
as the one above
with all the color removed
except for the bird.
I didn't enhance the color
of the bird at all,
it just looks so much more blue
against a gray background.

And here's the same shot
with just a hint
of the background color
brought back in.
I like this look a lot.

Here's one more shot,
straight out of the camera.

I warmed it up just a bit,
it looked more like real life this way.

And just a bit warmer.

A crop of the original shot.

Desaturated with some of
the original color brought back in.

This one has been run through
the "Dry Brush" filter.
Make sure to
click to enlarge to see the detail.

Here's the same shot
run through the "Watercolor Filter".
Again, make sure to
click to enlarge to see the detail.

So that's my Bluebird series.

Wonderful little birds.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

ABC Wednesday-O

Here it is ABC Wednesday AGAIN!

This week we're supposed to do the letter O, hmmm . . .

The sunsets have been particularly striking lately and I just can't seem to quit shooting them. Every day, I think to myself "Don't be taking any more sunrises or sunsets, because you have thousands already . . .".

But then I look out the window and I just can't help myself.

The following pictures are all from the same Original, but I couldn't decide how to tie them in with the letter. I thought about it and finally asked an online Apple board I frequent and they all helped me come up with all these "O"s.

So maybe I'll call this

Three from one Original
Oooooo! Sunsets

Look them up! They all relate to these photos in one way or another.

These sunsets,
what can I say?
I really haven't messed with the colors,
this is what we see.

Then I looked at the photo
and decided that it might look better
if I cropped it just a bit.

Then I noticed the backlighting on the bush.
Even though the sun is blown out,
I loved the flowers so much
I had to include it here.

Remember that you can click on any image and see a larger version of each photo.

Once again, I've had to sort of cheat for ABC Wednesday , but it's the best I could do!

Monday, April 27, 2009


Regular readers are most likely aware that I rarely do pictures of people. It just hasn't occured to me, I get so caught up with the vistas I see around me.

Lately, though, I've become sort of interested in portraits. Since I couldn't find anyone who was willing to be my guinea pigs in this new endeavor, once again, the wonderful man in my life has stepped up to the plate.

So, mostly just as a record for me, below are my first attempts.

I like the black and white (well, sort of sepia)

I like his eyes.

I like catching him when he isn't posing

That's all folks!

Friday, April 24, 2009

We Have Birds!

Hummingbirds to be exact.

We saw a few of them around and knew it was time to get out the feeders.

Now these wont be the extreme closeups
I was capturing at Manzano,
but I like the looks of these just as much.

This feeder is out under the casita,
allowing the silhouette of the mountains
to be included in these photos.

We also put a couple of feeders
on the windows of the rig.
Pardon my incredibly dirty windows.

I decided to include this shot.
While it's not really sharp
(it was taken through the
dual pane, tinted windows of the rig),
I liked the lighting and shadows.

It would seem that not just
hummingbirds are visiting our feeders.
We've had several rosy finches
and even an oriole,
but he wouldn't pose for me

Remember to click to enlarge,
these look a lot better at a larger size.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

ABC Wednesday -N

I guess I will be in the running for one of the last people to post on ABC Wednesday (again!). Oh well, better late than never.

This week the subject is supposed to be N. This one was a toughie, and I had to go way back to 2005, when we visited
Tonto National Monument

OK, I know it's a bit of a cheat. but it's the best I could do and it is a lovely, out of the way place.

It's certainly worthy of a lot more attention than it gets.

Located outside of Globe, Arizona, it's just a few miles from Roosevelt Lake. Roosevelt Lake is a wonderful place to stay, wide open with majestic saguaro cactus leading right down to the water. Saguaro only occur in a small section of North America, and once you've seen the stately beauties, you gain a whole new appreciation. In our travels, Roosevelt Lake was the only place we saw saguaros so close to water.

This is a sunrise shot, and yes, it was this color.
I haven't seen quite this shade since.

Just a few miles up the road
is Tonto National Monument.

To reach the ruins, you have to hike up a hefty trail,
but look what awaits you at the top.

A closer shot of the ruins.

This shot is taken from right outside the ruins.
If you look down in the middle right,
you can see the roof of Cholula Red.

I wanted to get this shot
to prove we had hiked up this hill!

If you can't see the rig,
click this, or any image for a larger view.

The vista was certainly worth it.

This was actually
the first set of ruins
we had ever been in.
Little did we know how lucky we were
to have the place all to ourselves.
It was akin to being taken back in time

Imagine living here, bringing everything,
your food, your water, your self
up this hill.

And they certainly didn't have the nice path we enjoyed.

People lived here for many years,
farming the valley below.

Again though, they did have this.

Tonto National Monument
is certainly a spot I would recommend.
Secluded and serene,
it offers an opportunity for reflection
on how people used to live.
Much simpler, and very much harder.

After your visit, you can go and camp here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Wind

I remember so clearly the first time I saw Star Wars. It was in one of those domed theaters that, for the time, had incredible sound. There was a scene when Luke Skywalker was still living with his Aunt and Uncle. He stepped outside and looked off into the vast expanse of the desert.

The sound made it seem so real, I was transported.

A memory that has stayed with me for years.

Today, I was sitting outside reading. I stepped over to the solar oven to check the stew and a slight wind came up. I walked around the rig, the sun was bright, the horizon was shining and I heard exactly that same sound.

Sometimes I think I'm the luckiest woman in the world.

Monday, April 20, 2009


I love Ocotillas.
Just this week
I saw the first coral blooms
bursting forth,
so I had to take a few pictures

There's something about
their color and shape,
when viewed against the bright desert sky . . .
they seems to produce magic.

At least
that what it feels like to me.

While I could go on
about these gorgeous, unique plants,
I'd rather let these beauties
speak for themselves.

(Remember that you can click on any photo to see more detail)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Have You Seen This?

I try not to blog too much about items that are all over the internet, but this time I just couldn't resist.

In case you've been living under a rock, or completely out of communication . . .

Click HERE and prepare to be amazed.

This strikes a chord with me on so many levels.

I am a huge fan of show tunes, and this song is a particular favorite.

But this goes way beyond that.

I love the fact that this is a REAL woman of a certain age. Full of talent and passion.

When she first walks out, you see all the snarky people in the audience, obviously amused that someone of her age and demeanor has the nerve to even tread on a stage. And the look on the judges face when she says she wants Elaine Pages carreer, priceless.

Real talent has nothing to do with how you look. Yet more and more outer beauty seems to be the standard by which we are all judged.

Go Susan, you are the real thing,

Off my soapbox (for now).