Tuesday, August 24, 2010


The story goes something like this…

We had a wonderful daytime thunder and lightning storm today. A bit more than the standard monsoon, though we started with blue skies in the morning and the clouds building by about 1 pm. Once the storms rolled in I decided to take a little break from the office to enjoy the rain. The smell of rain was on the freshly kicked up winds, lightning was flashing and the thunder rumbling, bringing the promise of even more exciting storm activity in the future.

Though I thought to just sit and enjoy the storm, I couldn’t resist trying to capture the wonderful activity and retrieved my camera and one of the tri-pods from inside. I started playing with the settings, trying to capture the lightning flashes. No go, through the artificial dark of overcast monsoon skies it was still daylight, so the time exposures didn’t work, all I got was white. I tried some regular shots just trying to time the lightning flashes to my clicking of the shutter but the strikes were not the crawl leisurely across the sky type of lightning, they were of the sharp rapid strike variety and far too fast for my measly reflexes.

Then some lightning flashes from behind me caught my attention and as turned from the main storm activity I noticed the stalk of an agave plant, next to its fallen comrade which was leaning against a saguaro highlighted against the sky. Due to the overcast and weird storm lighting, the vegetation was nearly a silhouette against a stormy grey backdrop. Ohhh, fun with shadows and weird natural lighting, my favorite.

I removed the camera from the tri-pod for more mobility and with light rain falling and lightning all around I bravely stepped from the cover of the patio to play with the composition of the shot. About 5 minutes in to my venture, there was a bright flash and an enormous crack as lightning and thunder exploded around me virtually simultaneously. I’ll be honest, I let out a squeak followed by a swear word, managed to jump and duck like I was dodging gunfire at the same time and ran like hell towards the safety of the covered patio. As I finished my 20 yard dash, I realized the flash of the lightning happened about the same time I shot the photo.

Could it be? Nahhh. But just incase the impossible happened…I flipped the camera to review -

Woot! I caught the lightning strike. Talk about perfect timing!

So a bit about this photo: it was taken on regular auto camera settings, not on elapsed time exposure and without the use of a tri-pod on my Canon G-10. It is a color photo and has not been enhanced or digitally altered in any way, (including cropping). Since the image is not blurry, (and trust me I moved when that thunder cracked) all I can figure is that the shutter clicked closed in the split second between the lightning and ensuing startled movement from me that followed the thunder clap.

And least to say, this image is available as a fine art print. I actually had the settings on the camera correct so it can easily be enlarged to a 20 x 30 print.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


A small section of a lovely mural decorating one of Tucson's best and most secret historic sites, The La Pilita Museum and the adjacent National Historic El Tiradito Shrine are just a stone's throw from downtown Tucson. The Shrine is the only National Historic site dedicated to a sinner. I love Tucson.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


We had a wee tiny visitor in the office last night. He/she somehow managed to find a way inside, which couldn't have been overly difficult as he was only as big around as a pencil. I was closing up shop and getting ready to leave for the evening when I stopped short, after I came around a table, at this fake plastic snake my co-workers had left for me to find. You know the ones you see in tourist places usually represented by an entire bin of curving plastic and wavering tongues?

This one was in that classic 'S' pattern with head slightly elevated off the floor and not moving at all. No waver, period. No tongue flicks, not a movement of the eye, nothing. So as my brain is trying to process if it was actually fake or real, I moved in a bit to examine it up close. It was the best fake snake I had ever seen!

I had just made the decision to reach down and pick it up when he jetted away to safety under our tablecloth draped work table. OK, yes, I'll admit, I let out a surprised 'whoa' and danced backwards a few steps. Then I did the girlie thing and called my male co-worker, Tim, who had just left the office not 20 minutes previous, to come back please, please, please and help me catch him. Mostly because I realized there was no way I could catch that little guy by myself, the rest being, well --- snake!

Just so you know, chivalry is not dead and Tim, snake catching tools in hand, was back at the office in about 15 minutes. By that time the little guy had left the cover of the table and migrated to behind a big display cabinet. Tim gently prodded from one side of the cabinet and I set up a snake corral with a couple of boxes at the other. Within 5 minutes the little fellow was curled up into a snake ball in the bottom of the box and being relocated to the desert-like rear yard.

Whew, what an evening. I really don't remember snake wrangling being part of my job description :)

Our visitor after being relocated to the back yard.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I have mentioned before, I have another blog (Cult of the Greyhound) and I try very hard not to double-dip on the photos. But with this one, I just can't help it. One of my favorites to date.

Friday, August 13, 2010


Last night a group of us went to Gates Pass to watch the Perseid meteor shower and my good friend, and the most amazing photographer, Leigh Anne and I set up the cameras. Though I didn't get any shots of a shooting star, I did capture the flight of a helicopter. I had a great time with experimenting with the camera, since it was the first time for me to do time elapsed shots. AND we saw 215 meteors. Sweet!

I'm going back to bed now :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Juicy fruit of the hackberry.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I love historic buildings. There is so much character.

Monday, August 9, 2010


Just 'cuz I thought it looked pretty.

Friday, August 6, 2010


This is an old fish run we came upon after 2.5 hours of hiking near Lake Tahoe. We still had another 2.5 hours to get back to the car. By then I was wishing they had a people spill way that would carry me all the way out to the parking lot.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Purple prickly pear. How much fun is that?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


A surprise shot. I love it when I look through photos I've taken and realize one came out really well though not as intended. This color photo of an aspen trunk set against a lava flow background was one such image.

Monday, August 2, 2010


One of my favorite fine art prints. Prickly Pear fruit ripe to bursting, freshly washed in a summer monsoon. Mom used this as her Christmas cards last year: "Red, green and screaming of the desert. Perfect."

Sunday, August 1, 2010