A break in the weather, clear skies, no wind....not as interesting light but desert getting dry below. We had a nine-rainbow day driving into the park and was hoping for that to continue, but the clouds blocked the sun early and late on the previous days at all the critical moments.
Katie enjoying coffee on demand.
Beetle doing patio handstands. We saw him coming and going a lot, but never figured where he was coming or going from. He was always good for a handstand. It's probably a prelude to spraying some noxious substance.
Near Lacey Point with Pintura Peak at far left horizon. Beautiful slope in front of it descending to desert.
Like the 60s: hard to get high enough...or get enough lens.
Something like that. Separate art from scenery.
Previewing on iphone. I've got the various lens lengths noted on the zoom function, so I can use it like electronic polaroid.
Katie touristing into labyrinth. One trip was plenty but I wanted her to know what I was talking about. Rubble underfoot pretty loose and hard to pick the best way in. Plus it's got a "dim" mood inside, even on sunny days.
There's an eagle nest hanging out of the crack. About four feet deep. I circumnavigated the peak hugging the wall at the top of the talus slope. The wall overhangs so I saw the bone-scatter below but didn't actually see it until I worked off to the side. Park biologist didn't have this nest site on his list. He and assistant hiked out to see it the next day. You could actually access the nest site from inside, (if determined), so it had to be on Paleo-indian list. Park Ranger told me they had a Raven nest site dated at over 200 years near Puerco Pueblo.
Shadow along the escarpment.
Substantial cave behind a big block that sheared off the escarpment. At the threshold you realize you are standing on rubble blocking a much lower entrance. Flat dirt floor about ten feet down. I could chimney in....but pretty sporty. Cave extends in about 40 feet then turns a corner. Looks big. Needs a nice single step cut anasazi style ladder if you are going to use it. I'm sure it's bat heaven.
Under edge of the volcanic escarpment. Just a grey-phase Screech Owl for company. Always a question as to whether a route will "go," especially wagging a Zone VI bag of gear and a tripod. This did, barely, but not a level spot or a decent place to put foot anywhere. Had fairly sticky boots. Didn't want to leave much sign.
Cave back in corner shadow. This bench looks like perfect bighorn or deer laager, but the more I looked the more it felt like ambush site for big cats. Some deer sign, but I wouldn't drouse off in there if I was big and edible and there was even a outside chance of a local cougar.
Working the 5X7 with 450mm. Lots to shoot.....at scenery level. If I catch myself panning around, I know there isn't really a shot. Does good to warm up by setting up and looking, but saved film.
Eagle nest blocking the crack.
Among the standing flakes shearing off the escarpment.
Always an eye for the grey "tube" sections like the one in the top left. Very similar to the Dot at Shiprock. I finally was able to use a couple, but most were too high or low like this one. In sunlight they are usually disguised. There was a relative of this one far below on the slope that looked dramatic, but I didn't make the climb.
Packing out of the desert across a traverse that is getting more familiar.
Two deer on the skyline making for a seep/leak out of the park water system on top of the mesa. The park biologist has a camera set there. Deer, dove, coyote, porcupine, bobcats, owls using it.
Katie soaking up late light.
Taking me a while to get my toes dug into the desert, but determined to give it enough time. You could shoot through the holders every day at pretty good compositions. Missed a real light show in the clouds when I was on one side of the mesa waiting on clouds and an outrageous Jesus moment happened on the other side. Sorry I missed it.