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Author: Kevin (page 87 of 91)

Friday Fitness Hike

Today’s hike took us half way around the North Trail to the Chuparosa.  At that point, Ranger Amy headed back so that she could open up the Visitor’s Center on time.  Bob, Janet, Nancy, and I continued on the Chuparosa to the Pemberton.  From there we made our way over to Lousley Hill and hiked to the top.  We then found our way over to the Verde Trail and then back to the North Trail and our vehicles.  Total distance today was 7.1 miles.

Sunrise at the North Trailhead:

I think this is just one saguaro, below.  It’s kind of weird how it grew up a very short ways and immediately branched off with some very sizable arms.

Bob, Janet, and Nancy:

Kevin, Janet, and Nancy:

A view of Four Peaks from the top of Lousley Hill:

Resting at the top of Lousley Hill:

Lousley Wash:

Three Saguaros that we came upon shortly after leaving Lousley Wash:

Buckhorn cholla with saguaros in the distance:

A hummingbird.  Unfortunately, the camera that I used today couldn’t zoom in very closely on it.  These shots were taken less than half a second apart.

Recent rain has brought some of the flowers out again.  This one is on a creosote bush.  (Thanks to Ranger Amy for the identification.)  The Sony RX100‘s aperture was set to f/1.8 for this shot.  Note that it does a pretty good job of providing a short depth of field.



Darrick’s Kitchen Remodeling


Today (2012-08-02)…

Darrick says he’ll send a new photo once it’s done.  I’ll update this post when that happens.

Tiger and McGonagall

Below are a few photos of Tiger.  There’s even one where he’s with his mom, McGonagall.  When Tiger was younger and smaller, they looked even more alike.  But now he’s huge and his mom is quite small.

McGonagall was the first cat we brought in from outside.  We were worried that we were feeding her too much because she started getting really fat.  It took us a few days to realize that she wasn’t getting fat, but that she was actually pregnant.  She gave birth to Tiger, Freckles, and three other siblings.  (We found homes for the other three; they were named Aggie, Clementine, and Kalamazoo.  We still see Aggie from time to time, though she’s since been renamed.)

McGonagall is very reclusive.  It is hard for a visitor to the house to catch a glimpse of her. In fact, there are a lot of days that go by when I don’t see much of her either.  But on this particular day, she was curious about me crawling on the floor with my camera.

Marie took this photo of Tiger while setting up her new room:

I got this photo of him sniffing at the camera:

Marie, by the window, with flowers

Marie took this photo of herself yesterday.

She’ll often look for photos of people, animals, plants, etc on the web to use as references for her artwork.  E.g. if she needs to draw a horse, she’ll look for a photos of horses.  She usually doesn’t copy them exactly – she’s interested in the shading and the proportions of one part of the body to another, things like that.

She told me that it’s sometimes hard to find good references because of the lack of resolution on many of the images published on the web.  This is one of the photos that she took of herself to use as a reference.  She put the camera on a piece of furniture and used the self timer to take this photo.  Aside from cropping and scaling, I’ve done no editing on it.

At Sunset, from the Rooftop

Four Peaks, after a Storm

Friday Fitness Hike

There were five of us today for the Friday Fitness Hike, me, Marilyn, Bob, Janet, and Pat.  Bob did indeed get a new bird, but he says it’s loud and that he needed the solace of a hike for some peace and quiet – or something to that effect anyway.  Bob brought his friend Pat along this time.  Pat says he’ll be joining us next week too.

Today’s hike started at the Trailhead Staging Area.  We hiked a very short ways on Pemberton to the Tortoise Trail.  We hiked all of the Tortoise Trail, crossed the main park road and got on the Wagner.  We hiked all of the Wagner and then turned right on Granite. When we reached Stoneman Wash, we hiked the wash, downhill, back to Pemberton.  From there it was less than a mile back to our vehicles.  Total distance was just under six miles.

We had some nice cloud cover today which kept the hike somewhat cool for this time of year.  The clouds also made for some nice photos…

Bob, as he often does, spotted a good photo opportunity.  The sun was hiding behind some clouds showing some interesting rays of light.  We’re in Stoneman Wash here.  You can see Four Peaks off in the distance.

Another view of Stoneman Wash with the rest of the group hiking on ahead of me.  I had fallen behind while taking some photos.

There’s the shell of an abandoned car from the late fifties or early sixties in the wash, but sometimes you have to look around to find it.  We found it easily today as I had a waypoint set for it on my GPS.  It’s amazing that the chrome is still very shiny after all of these years.  Sue looked at this photo and told me that she thinks it’s a Chevy.

Another photo of Janet near the car.

Bob and Janet examining the car.  They made them really big back in the day.  It looked to be as long and as wide as one of today’s full size vans.

Nearing the end of Stoneman Wash:

A view from the Pemberton Trail:

The photo below is a late addition.  I had worked on this one, but was not sure how well I liked it.  I took another look at it today and decided that it’s not too bad.  There was some bad lens flare off to the right in the photo.  I spent some time using the clone tool and the healing tool, trying to touch it up, but in the end I just cropped it away.  I think there are still a few lens flare spots in this photo that I did touch up, but I can’t tell where they are anymore.

The major problem with shooting into the sun without using some sort of filter (e.g. a graduated ND filter) is that the sun ends up blowing almost everything else out.  For this photo, I had clouds obscuring the sun, but the sun is very bright and that area is still blown out.  The foreground was very dark.  I took this shot using the RX100’s auto HDR mode, but the foreground was still very dark.  It took a bit of work to lighten it up – it doesn’t look great, but it’s acceptable.  (I had this same problem with the first photo posted for this entry too.)



Joe came over yesterday to help his Mom with some chores.  In this photo, he was helping his Mom move the futon from the workout room to the new guest room (which is Marie’s old room).

Marilyn’s Photos of Bow Tie Arch and Corona Arch

I made another pass through some of Marilyn’s photos last night and found a few that I like of Bow Tie Arch and one of Corona Arch.

Marilyn took this photo, in which I appear, on our hike out to the area in the morning.  It appears that I was taking a photo of Marilyn at the same time as she was taking a photo of me!

This photo of Bow Tie Arch was taken late in the day.  It shows more of the area than the rest of the photos.  Corona Arch does not appear in this photo, but is only a short ways off to the right.  When hiking out to Corona Arch, you pass in front of Bow Tie Arch, going from left to right in this photo.  One of the things that I immediately found interesting about the scene was the discoloration or perhaps growth (lichen, perhaps?) where the water runs down when it rains.  The dark streaks are either black or a deep blue depending upon how you view it.

Here’s a closer look at Bow Tie Arch and two of the small dry waterfalls below it.

Finally, here’s a shot of Corona Arch.  What surprised me about this photo was how bright and golden the arch appeared even though the sun was on the other side.  We had gone back later in the day to get photos of the arch from this angle thinking that the photos would be better.  But this one was taken in the morning.


Marie, at the Piano

She was practicing the Maple Leaf Rag at the time.  She’s beginning to work on The Easy Winners too.  Minutes earlier, she was listening to John Arpin playing it to get a feel for how it goes.  (She listened to a different version, one that we have on CD.)  When Marie begins working on a piece, she tends to play it very softly, even though her Dad would like her to play it louder so that he can hear it too.

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