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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 22,435

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White Sands/Chihuahuan Desert: A Photo Memoriam (PHOTO HEAVY)

I last hiked the Alkali Flats "trail" into the White Sands National Monument dunes late in the day on July 12, 2015. I carried two cameras, a tripod, lots of water, a Sylvan Ranger compass and a map. Shadows were long with the sun low in the west, and outflow from some distant monsoonal thunderstorms cooled the Chihuahuan Desert. I have been on the Alkali Flats Trail before, either early morning or late afternoon (and usually in a cooler month than July or August).
I always count "trail" markers, and then - usually - turn due south by the compass and count paces (as best I can in the soft sand), until I find a good spot to shoot the sunrise or sunset. Hiking back by compass puts me right on the trail markers (there is no well defined trail in the constantly sifting sand).
The man and woman from France who died at White Sands a few days ago were hiking near the Alkali Flats Trail, very close to where I hiked last month. It is a sad story that well illustrates the dangers of the desert (as did the death of British actor David Legeno - "Harry Potter" - at Death Valley, California, in July 2014).
I post some of my White Sands collection (all photos I have taken between 2012 and 2015) in their memory. Good people doing what they thought was a good thing. In the desert, one just cannot be too careful.

Fire Season 2015 in Photos (Part 1)

My Arizona fire season ends on 7/24. Here are the first of several groups of photos from this 2015 Fire Season.

Fire Season 2015 winds down as monsoon flexes muscles. I scramble for photo ops.

My boss told me today that we close the lookout on July 24. Tentatively. But with the rains we are getting, most likely. I am way behind on my "photo-quoto." But today was good. The hawks must have heard my lament. They showed up at the lookout early, and played all morning. The monsoonal sunrise was great. As was sunset during a storm.

Fire Lookout Rainbow .. just now! (6/26/2016 at 6:45 PM)

Incredible! What a day! What a sight over the Wilderness of Rocks in southern Arizona!

"Rachel's Righteous Rant"

I'm in Tucson on a required day off, tomorrow. I had a steak across the street, and came back to watch a little TV: MSNBC. Rachel Maddow. What a righteous rant! All about SC, and the secessionist flag, and the Citizens Conservative Council (ersatz KKK). And the history of the rebel flag over the SC state house (raised first over 100 years after the start of the Civil War, in 1962, as a message to the Civil Rights movement). If you did not see it, check it out on the innertube. I'm sure it is there.

Ironically, I post this tonight from the most western outpost of the ill-fated Confederacy. Old Pueblo (Tucson) flew the Confederate flag for a time. The CSA dream was a coast-to-coast, southern tier, break-away nation, with an economy propped up on the backs of African (and maybe others, later) slaves. That dream faced reality at a place northwest of Tucson called Pichacho Peak. Unionist sympathizer troops from California met the Confederate sympathizers from Tucson. Several times. The Californian's repelled the Confederate advance

So lower this obnoxious symbol, wherever it flies in government or public domains. If you love it, and the specious times it represents, display it in your home. Revel in it. Put it over your basement bar, where no dark person will ever venture (except maybe the "help"). Toast it with your friends from the club. Party like you are at the Dallas Country Club on the night of November 22, 1963 (and a friend of mine was, and disgusted by the celebration over JFK's death, resigned the Club).

Or put it in your front window, and display your ignorance and racism to the world. Because, if I see it I will shoot it. I promise.

Godamn, Rachel Maddow is steamed tonight!

The South's CCC (Citizens' Conservative Council), as an ersatz KKK. Great stuff. I'm watching it at 9PM PDT, so it might have been posted before. Go Rachel!

BOHICA - the moon-ass photos guaranteed to get me banned At DU

Painted Hills of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Oregon

Bend over. Geological pornography, in color.

And some moon shots ..

Hosmer Lake Moonrise
Cascade Range High Lakes
Deschutes National Forest, Oregon

Floating Moon
Coronado National Forest

Moon Over East Butte Fire Lookout
Deschutes National Forest

Pale Moon Rising
Central Oregon High Desert

High Desert Moonrise
Central Oregon

DUers know my western fire photos. Here is something different ..

Most of these are entries into "Slow Exposures: Photos of the Rural South"

Apalachicola Oyster Boats in a February Rain

Rich Mountain Road, Transylvania County NC

Grayton Beach, Florida

Cemetery - Apalachicola, Florida

Gulf Coast Sunset - Alligator Lake Cut
Grayton Beach, FL

Gulf Bounty

Festive Barn - Transylvania County, NC

Gulf Coast Sunset - Alligator Lake Cut
Grayton Beach, FL

Western Lake Heron - Grayton Beach, FL

My PBS documentary (with AZPM) has been nominated for a regional Emmy!

I did 100% of the still shots, and a lot of B-Roll video for this piece. I am humbled by the nomination.

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