The 11° temperature one recent morning in Deming New Mexico tested everyone’s fortitude as the southwest experienced their toughest cold snap in years. Looking to capture a few shots of hoarfrost on the foliage at sunrise, I was treated to this roadrunner sunning behind our RV, and to a woman walking her dog in a golf cart. Seems the cold was keeping both of them from moving very fast!
It has felt good to exercise my camera again after the four month break due to thumb surgery. Check out the Frosty departure album to see a few pictures of the chilly winter we left behind, and the Cactus & cranes album for some from our visit to Wings over Willcox and the wintering spot for 20,000 sandhill cranes.
We are blessed to have many friends and family nearby, so it almost seems like folks live our daily ups-and-downs with us. However, for the sake of those further afield, here is a quick recap of our most recent year.
We were delighted to see trees, water, and, yes, even snow on our visit to Mount Lemmon today. About an hour north of Tucson, the Catalina Highway winds 26 miles through Coronado National Forest, climbing about 6,000 feet up the Santa Catalina Mountains to the village of Summerhaven atop Mt. Lemmon at 9,100 feet. Ski Valley, the southernmost ski destination in the USA, was closed for lack of snow, but we enjoyed a chat with the caretaker who cheerfully filled us in. The big story was the Aspen Fire of 2003 which destroyed over 90% of the area’s buildings, leaving only 20 residents today compared to some 2000 before the fire. Touring with friends Terry and Sue is always fun, and pizza at The Cookie Cabin was great. You can see some of the pretty vistas in the 12-02-29 Mt Lemmon album.
Continuing my HDR experiment (see previous post), I made several images that, as seen in the side-by-side comparisons below, Read on
March warmth and last fall’s rains have popped lots of flowers up in the desert, as we found on our final hike through Saguaro National Park (West). The Hugh Norris Trail provided Susi a spot to paint while Sue, Terry and I walked a couple of miles and gained several hundred feet for some impressive vistas. Pictures are in the 12-03-07 Saguaro West album.
The 12-03-03 RCW Villageaires album contains pix of the chorus’s concert 100 Years of Broadway. Susi sang the final solo, which was from There’s No Business Like Show Business.
Our visit to the Pima Air & Space Museum on Friday produced the usual (for me) dichotomy of feelings: awe and pride for our country’s military prowess and accomplishments, interwoven with a profound sadness that we do not find ways to direct more our formidable ingenuity, resourcefulness and will toward the good of mankind instead of its destruction. Sigh.
The time was enhanced by good friends Terry & Sue Baughman and Jim Zimmerman. Jim further spiced up an already interesting day by sharing many of his experiences as an Air Force mechanic before the start of his farming career, and as a restoration volunteer at this museum since his retirement.
The day also produced lots of photos. I frequently thought of Susi’s dad, Tom, who has taken me to many an air museum throughout the years, which further pushed me to try and get the best images I could. Tom, I hope you enjoy the images in this 02-24 Pima Air Museum album.
Several of these images were produced with HDR photography (i.e., High Dynamic Range, Read on
The University of Arizona promoted a walk through their ecological research facility on Tumamoc Hill on Sunday, enabling some sweeping views of Tucson and the surrounding mountains. Check out a few photos in the 01-29 Tumamoc Hill album.
The Tucson Botanical Gardens offers a Butterfly Magic exhibit that delights everyone from youngest children right on up. Check out some photos of these beauties in the 01-28 Butterflies album.
Susi and I have worked fairly extensively with Habitat for Humanity in in at least a dozen places such as Columbus, Ohio; Bay St. Louis, Mississippi; Tucson, Arizona; Molepolole, Botswana; Tarija, Boliva; Phang Na, Thailand; etc. It is always comforting and encouraging to us that no matter where we go, we find the same formula: Along with other volunteers, work side-by-side with families to build simple, decent houses that they purchase with the help of an affordable mortgage, providing secure shelter and myriad other benefits that come from enabling people to dream and grow.
Nonetheless, some differences are very notable. For instance, try as you might, you simply cannot make this picture with the mountain as a backdrop in Columbus, Ohio! This is one of many photos that show the gorgeous settings in which we get to work. You can find them in these three albums: the 01-19 RCW Habitat Build album, the 01-26 RCW Habitat Build album, or the 02-09 RCW Habitat build album.
Susi and I tend to invite and encourage just about everyone we meet to get involved with Habitat for Humanity. But, right now, we especially wish you could join us to work here in this beautiful place!
Our blog got a bit text-heavy for a while, but we finally regained the ability to post photos once again. We post our pictures in “sets” on our Flickr site, and then list them in the sidebar shown on the right of every blog page under the heading “Photo Albums 2012”. Click an album link to open a post right here in the blog where you can see the photos by clicking on one of the little thumbnails. For a better viewing experience, click on the “View slideshow >” link and you will be transferred to Flickr for a full-featured slideshow. Naturally, you can see a larger version of the individual photos included in these articles by clicking on them.
Those of you in the software world won’t be surprised to know that it was a “dreaded upgrade” of the WordPress blog software that caused a break in the Flickr Photo Album plug-in we use to tie photos from our Flickr site to our blog. As usual, although a bit of rooting around on the Internet found a workaround, there is no word about an upgrade to the plug-in to handle ongoing WordPress upgrades. So far, so good, but always a bit uncertain when working with open source and free software.