Thursday, August 13, 2009


Due to the rare occurrence of cloudy night skies over Tucson, the well developed plan to try my hand at photographing this year's much lauded Perseid meteor shower was thwarted. So, I am sorry to report, no fabulous (or otherwise) photos by me of shooting stars are available. Blast.

However, in an effort to quell your disappointment, I thought I would post some of the photos of my most recent meteorite hunting trips. The most successful portion of the recent Arizona trips has been the photography since the little (or big would be OK) black rocks have been elusive, as elusive as those Perseids. So, though the photos don’t contain any little (or big) black rocks, I’m still pleased with them; they remind me that lately I have visited portions of Arizona previously un-seen by me, talked with interesting people and shared their eyewitness accounts, and met people I am proud to already call friend.

weirdest moth ever

I love watching the trains

yet another beautiful Arizona sunset

standing proud


The wildlife has been putting on a show for us: Cabaret possibly. With this little guy, however, there was no musical number. He just sat there; hoping that if he didn't move, I wouldn't see him. Apparently he has been talking to the meteorites.

too cute for words (well a lot of words)

The comment I get most is that I'm never in any of the photos I post. That's because I typically look like this when someone takes my picture -- a little disgusted to be on the other end of the viewfinder.

Oh no you didn't just press that button

Saguaro, king of the cactus

The first day in the field saw my sisters and me crammed in a pick up and driving through southern Arizona. My sisters thought it would be a great idea to stop in Elgin at the various wineries to look for any eyewitnesses. Conveniently there was wine tasting available.

little chapel in Elgin

I've decided meteorites should adopt the ways of the desert flowers: attract as much attention as possible with bright colors. I would be OK with a little standing up, waving of the hands, and even a possible "yoo hoo, I'm right down here" yodel.

distinct lack of camouflage

The most significant day spent in the field so far was the trip one of my hunting partners, Brad, and I took to the US-Mexico border trying to get an eyewitness account from a Border Patrol agent who saw the bolide. The agent wasn’t there, called away to some emergency or another.


So there we are standing at The Fence; one side the United States and the other, Mexico.

It was a pretty small fence.

I thought it would be a bit more substantial. Possibly due to the times when I have crossed the border into Mexico it was big with the guards, questions, gates, tourists, vendors. Or maybe because it is such a large political, emotional and passionately debated topic in southern Arizona. But all that didn’t exist here. Here it was quiet, peaceful, haunting and incredibly beautiful.

dividing line

a slightly different view

And during all that nothing this is what I noticed: the land didn’t know. It didn’t know the importance of the barbed-wire fence; of the railroad tie barrier; of the difference in language, currency, traditions. There was no abrupt change indicating this should be another country. It was all one flowing continual panoramic vista. The geologic features; the rocks, soil, mountains and valleys, the flora; grasses and delicate flowers; the land, didn’t know. And I felt infinitesimally small.

the land doesn't know

It was a quieter ride back from the border to where I had parked my car. Brad humored me (“it would be a great photo”) and took a small detour to Parker Canyon Lake where we enjoyed the sight of water in the desert, birds nesting, and fish lurking in the reed-filled water.

unusual Arizona transportation

Mom protecting the nest

We were abruptly reminded of the importance we as territorial people have placed on that physically insubstantial fence just to the south when reading a sign that reminded us that this is an area of high drug and people trafficking and please use caution. I wanted to return to the spot on the border, have it all melt away to nothing and let the land take over.

These photos are available as either free desktops, fine art prints, or stock photography. Please email me if you are interested in any of them. These photos are not enhanced and in fact have been reduced in size and quality for posting on this blog.

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