|"The Raven" watching the sunset|
It’s getting cold here in the mountains; temps are often in the low 20s overnight with highs in the low 50s. I’ll happily deal with that if there’s fresh snow (soon I hope) but otherwise I love to camp and shoot in the desert where temps are 15-20 degrees warmer. Welcome to desert camping season.
Last week we were on BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land around the Maricopa Mountains. The weather was so lovely that I wore short sleeves one day. BLM is great for loose rules about dispersed camping and dogs. Gypsy approves, and this trip she returned from her explorations nicely smelling of creosote. I’ve certainly smelled worse on her.
I’ve been teaching Gypsy a command that our last dog, Luna eventually mastered. When I say “tripod,” she knows she’s meant to stay behind me so she’s out of the shot and doesn’t leave footprints in snow or sand. I’m convinced that she understands, but sometimes she just knows better. In this case she really did. I’ll add this image to a growing collection of backlighted Gypsy pictures – the best way to shoot a black beast.
The Harquahala Mountains have become a nearby favorite in the last few seasons, but G and my husband had never been there. This was also the dog’s first real experience with “jumping” cholla. They don’t actually jump, of course, but they do a good impression of a wild leap toward anything that moves. They are lovely with backlight. Just after arriving at our campsite, we followed her around, explaining the danger. There wasn’t much effect. Good judgement, they say, comes from experience and experience in turn from bad judgment. She did eventually learn, the hard way. We carried a comb and needle-nosed pliers in our pockets…
This shot was about as unplanned as they get. The moon was one day past full when it rose that evening, and I went dashing down the hill in my crocs (I have dubbed them the ugly shoes) to grab this shot. Speaking of cholla.
Though not technically desert, we did lose a bit of altitude and gain some temperature on a little outing the week before. The confluence of Sycamore creek with the Verde River was showing just the last bit of autumn color (gotta get there earlier next year). Marco fished, and I spent most of my time on landscapes, but also had fun with the Verde Canyon Railroad, nicely visible from the bluff above.
We landscape photographers welcome gifts of all kinds, and this morning the blessing was cold air, which brough fog over Sycamore Creek. This one was worth getting the boots wet for.
Desert Camping season is just getting started – check out the Winter 2022-23 Gallery on the website for more images from this trip and for what’s next.