Month: December 2013 (page 1 of 2)

Friday Fitness Hike

Friday’s hike started at the Wagner Trailhead.  We hiked Wagner to Granite, turned left on Granite, and then hiked up the wash paralleling the Bluff Trail until we got to Pemberton. From there we hiked a short ways on Pemberton, hiked down Bluff, turned left on Granite, and returned on Wagner.

We had a fairly large group.  This is a view from the Granite Trail (I think):

20131227-DSC01205-Edit-mediumIt was a chilly morning (for Arizona).  Some of us shed some layers just before scrambling into the rocks.

20131227-DSC01208-Edit-medium Bill helps Ellen and Vinnie through the most difficult section.

20131227-DSC01213-Edit-medium The wash stays narrow for a time prior to opening up.

20131227-DSC01226-Edit-medium From left to right are Deanne, Linda, Vinnie, Janet, Allen, Sandy, Bill, Ellen, Marilyn, Doug, Nick, and Bob:

20131227-DSC01235-Edit-medium Janet holds a branch aside for Marilyn through the brush.  (It’s not necessary to go through the brush — that’s just the way I went and most of the others followed.)

20131227-DSC01243-Edit-medium Hiking through more rocks in the wash…

20131227-DSC01253-medium A view of the wash looking towards the McDowells:

20131227-DSC01256-Edit-medium A view of Four Peaks from the Bluff Trail:




Tiger, in the Wild

Actually, it’s only the back yard…


Prickly Pear


Sigma 180mm f/2.8 Test Shots

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Panorama from Last Friday’s Hike

Today’s hike was rained out, so here’s a panoramic photo from last Friday’s hike:



More Barnhardt “Snow and Ice” Photos from 2012

I took these photos about a year ago.  I wasn’t especially happy with the way the original edits turned out, so I decided to edit a few of them again.  Only one of these, the first one, is sort of an re-edit of one I had done earlier.  It’s not technically a re-edit, since I used a different set of exposures, but it looks very much like one of the photos I had originally posted.

20121223-DSC01843-Edit-medium 20121223-DSC01867-Edit-medium 20121223-DSC02011-Edit-medium

Friday Fitness Hike

Ranger Amy had scheduled two consecutive Friday hikes at the North Trail.  She suggested that I and those wanting to do a longer hike take a look at the newly opened Escondido Trail.  We started our hike from the Lousely Trailhead while Ranger Amy lead the scheduled hike on the North Trail.

Bob, Sarge, Janet, Doug, and I did a 9.2 mile loop.  We started at Lousely Trailhead and made a left on the Escondido trail which now crosses the Lousely trail perhaps 200 yards from the Trailhead.  We followed Escondido to Cinch, took Cinch to Scenic, Scenic to Pemberton, Pemberton to Escondido, and Escondido back to the Lousely.  The Cinch Trail has been around for a while, but I didn’t know the name until recently.

The map below shows our route.  If you look at the top (north) part of the map, you’ll make out a short spur coming off the loop; this is where we started.  The Escondido Trail zigs and zags a lot, but the first leg of our journey lead us generally southward.  The Cinch Trail heads northwest to join the Scenic Trail.  If you zoom the map, and you know what you’re looking for, it’s possible to see where Cinch intersects the Scenic.

View hike-131213-track-only.kml in a larger map

This is a view from the Escondido Trail, shortly after turning off of Lousely:

20131213-_DSC2163-Edit-2-medium A view to the west (I think) while traveling south on Escondido:


Bob, Sarge (the dog), and Janet on Escondido.  The trail is set in from the road somewhat, but has minimal elevation gain or loss.  In order to achieve this, the trail builders cut the trail into the sides of the many hills in the area.  There was an old road nearby which used to follow a much straighter path.  It, however, went fairly close to the McDowell Mountain Road.  Satellite photos show that this old road briefly crossing McDowell Mountain Road.  20131213-_DSC2232-Edit-medium Janet, Doug, and Bob, at the intersection of the Cinch and Scenic Trails.20131213-_DSC2255-Edit-medium

A view of the newly cut Escondido Trail near Pemberton.


This area was ravaged by the Tonto Fire of the mid-90’s.


We encountered two cyclists on the Escondido Trail.


A glimpse of a saguaro with lots of arms:


A closer view of this same saguaro:


Four Peaks: A View from the Nursery Tank


2015-05-06 Edit:


Original Edit:


Owl Release at McDowell Mountain Park


Amy released a pair of owls at the Nursery Tank on Saturday night.  These were young owls who had been either injured or abandoned.  Amy hopes that these owls will stay in the park, hopefully near the Nursery Tank.

This is Nick, the male owl.

20131214-_DSC2432-Edit-medium 20131214-_DSC2442-Edit-medium 20131214-_DSC2449-Edit-medium Holly, the female owl is bigger, though I didn’t get a shot of her spreading her wings.

20131214-_DSC2455-medium 20131214-_DSC2461-medium 20131214-_DSC2466-medium 20131214-_DSC2473-medium 20131214-_DSC2480-medium 20131214-_DSC2486-medium Holly was reluctant to leave.  Amy had to try a few times to get her to go.

20131214-_DSC2497-medium 20131214-_DSC2499-mediumThis shot was taken a moment or two before she flew away.