Sunday, February 4, 2018


Yes, I was a sucker for punishment this week.  I did four major rides, three as leader.  Covered a lot of ground doing so.  In addition, I took the car out into the desert the night before the full moon and spent several hours working that.  I went out midafternoon and looked for the best location.  I took some scenic images then it clouded over for a while.  I sat and read and hoped the sky would clear and it mostly did.  It was still daylight when the moon suddenly popped over the mountains so I had to get busy.  I had all three of my cameras in action.  Good thing for having backup as my SX50 which is better for distant objects is having difficulty focusing at times and after two shots, decided to take rest.  Out with the Canon 5D with a 100-400 lens with a 2X doubler on to give me 800mm.  I stayed out past 7 pm so I was able to use my 6D and 24-105 lens to capture the railway tracks in the moonlight.  I also use the 6D for the scenics.  Of course after five photo sessions in one week, that entailed quite a bit of computer time getting them edited and sorted.  Whenever I go our with a group, I send my edited images out to them.
We also played cards and had potluck suppers with out Colorado friends twice this past week.  Aileen's knee is getting a bit better but it is sure taking its time.  That's three of the ladies in my extended family that are down now.  One had surgery and another severely broke her ankle a few days ago.

North and South Buttes framing Grayback Mtn from where I set up for the moon shots.

This is South Butte taken a few days later from further south

And suddenly the moon popped up

These top two were with the 100-400 on the 5D

These next two were done with the SX50

So then I stumbled around among the prickly cactus and other desert nasty plants, trying to place the moon in different scenes.  It is amazing how fast the moon actually moves in a short time.  I would get the tripod positioned and before I could squeeze the shutter, I would have to move it a tiny bit again.

Moonlight on the rails. Taken at 7:17 pm 28mm, f8, 1.6 sec, ISO 12,800 for those who might be interested in exposure details 

Mitzy and I spied this American Kestrel on a morning walk 

On Thursday, I went with a large group, twenty machines, to Montana Mtn.  When going with another group, photography is very challenging because they tend to move faster to cover more ground and they don't necessarily stop at a good photo op.  Luckily, Rick made this a rest stop.

Being suitably frustrated over the day, Richard who was riding with me and I went back in the afternoon to pick up a few that we had missed in the beginning.  These two images show a bit more of the great scenery.  We plan to go back on our own one morning to more thoroughly explore the first five or six miles.

After climbing up out of the valley, we were rewarded with this view.  Greater Phoenix is down on the flat land to the right out of the photo.

Another break at the highest viewpoint

After driving along the top of the mountain for a few miles, there are a large number of switchbacks to drop you about 3,000 feet in a hurry.  That's Rick and June, our leaders passing below me.

An old stone cabin that may have been a line shack in the old days with a brand new windmill

Spotted this hawk having breakfast on our Friday ride

Had a couple new to ATVing with their new RZR1000 out on Saturday and they got to see some bighorn sheep below Box Canyon

Along the Martinez Mine Road

There were just three of us on Saturday which was nice

Up at the end of what we call Top of the World.  There is a brush fire down south that's causing the smoke.