Saturday, March 31, 2012

Jacob's Crosscut trail

Gary and I went for a hike on the Jacob's Crosscut trail. I felt a little guilty for all the cholla he got into on the last couple of hikes we've been on, so I thought we should try a regular trail. I was a little worried that we would be hot out there, but it was overcast and there was a nice breeze.

Since it was overcast, I wasn't going to get any good landscape pictures.

There were a lot of people. Some were on horses.

Not only was it cloudy, but it was hazy, too. I don't know if that was moisture or pollution in the air.

I've taken several pictures of this rock, but I think this is the first one that has people in it for scale.

There were lots of brittlebush flowers but they just don't look as good without sunshine.

Click below to see all of the pictures.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Near Canyon Lake

Gary is in town for his annual visit to the valley. We went for a short hike to the top of a ridge with a view of Canyon Lake. It's off-trail, so it was kind of steep and rocky. I should quit doing that to Gary.

View of Canyon Lake, with the Dolly Steamboat.

It's a short climb, though, to a very nice view. There are places with a view of the lake that are easier to get to (like pulling into a parking spot), but I don't think they're quite as pretty.

The hedgehog cacti have been blooming. In fact, I think they are about done blooming. I was going to try to get more flower pictures this year, but it hasn't worked out that way yet. The saguaros and cholla have yet to bloom, though. Maybe I'll get some pictures of those.

Hedgehog cactus flowers.

Gary has trimmed down.

On our next hike, I'm going to stick to trails. Click below to see all of the pictures.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

The annual Bulldog Canyon get-together

A group of guys from work had the annual get-together at Bulldog Canyon this weekend. It was beautiful out there on Friday afternoon. I went for a short hike and got a few pictures from the top of a nearby hill.

View of the camp site.

I took a 360 degree panorama.

I didn't camp out this time, either. It's just hard to do that when I'm so close to a hot shower and a soft bed. I took the Ranger out there on Saturday and we took a tour of Bulldog Canyon. It was an overcast and gloomy day, so I didn't get many pictures. I saw four snakes during the day.

A gopher snake.

Rattle snake.

Reminds me of honeysuckle, but I wonder if it's that poisonous plant that just looks like honeysuckle.

It was supposed to rain on Saturday but I don't think it ever did. It did rain during Saturday night. Hard. Glad I wasn't camping out there. I hope Vincenzo did OK. He was in a tent, and had ridden a motorcycle out there. It kept raining off and on all day today, too. There was snow down below 4000 feet, which means the Superstitions got some. It looks like Four Peaks might have had a lot, too, but there were too many clouds over there to tell for sure.

Snow on the Superstition Mountains, and people taking pictures of it.

Click below to see all of the pictures.




Thursday, March 15, 2012

Busy pictures and Klingons

I was admiring somebody's picture on Panoramio and saw that the photographer had made the comment that he almost didn't post it because it was so busy. I've noticed that there is a characteristic of a lot of my pictures that annoys me. Maybe it's that they're "busy", though I'm not really sure what that is. I'd wager that it wouldn't be easy to find a definition. And I'm not sure what I can do about that busy-ness. I think I just take pictures of busy places. Yes, this is a busy desert, and since I try to capture everything that's there so I can show it to other people, my pictures must be very busy. Anyway, I decided I would go out to the Crosscut Trailhead and see if I could get a picture that wasn't so busy.

I'm off to a bad start. This looks awfully "busy" to me. I wanted to show you what the view is like from the parking area, though.

Again, busy. I think that's unavoidable when you take pictures of things like this, though. This thing, by the way, was constructed either by druids or drunken teenagers. Or maybe by drunken teenage druids.

Since the "busy-ness" seems unavoidable, maybe I can counteract it with something substantial in the foreground. This still seems busy, though.

Maybe with excessive "busy-ness", and a few substantial foreground objects, it would all blend in to monotonous nothingness and allow my subjects to stand out. Or maybe not. I can't tell.

More along that theme, except is the subject the saguaro or the mountain? No matter. I like it, busy or not.

I took this as an example of what I think "busy" is. Can you put this in words that would make sense to an engineer?

After a while, I wound up in a place with very few brittle bushes or those other little bushes whose name I can never remember. I thought this might be a good chance to get an un-busy picture. That's where I came across what looked like coveralls. They were pretty torn up, as if some scavengers had shredded them to get at what was inside. I looked around the area for bones but didn't see any. Then I spotted a patch of ground that was mysteriously devoid of all plant life. It had a very sharp border. It was then obvious what had happened to the owner of the coveralls. He had been standing where that bare patch is now when he had been zapped by a Klingon disruptor ray and was vaporized. This is what's cool about hiking off-trail. You just don't find stuff like this on the heavily traveled trails.

To be sure that's what happened, I continued searching for bones. Lack of bones would prove the disruptor ray theory. Either that or trying to figure out this "busy" stuff is affecting my ability to think logically. Anyway, I considered the possibility that a murderer had hid a body in the nearby wash and scavengers had gotten to it. I headed down into the wash.

In the wash. Yes, it's busy. And possibly contradictory.

Down in the wash was a pile of large rocks, about 2 feet wide and 5 feet long. Just the kind of thing a lazy murderer would do to hide a body. The same lazy murderer that carried the body half a mile from the road. Wait, that doesn't make a lot of sense. The lazy bum also put cairns around the rocks, so he ... could find what he was trying to hide ... Oh, the Klingon theory is starting to make a lot more sense now. Besides, I never did find any bones. Yep. Klingons. Click below to see all of the busy pictures.


Sunday, March 04, 2012

Oak Flat

When I was trying to decide where to go hiking yesterday, one of the main considerations was that I didn't want to do a lot of walking on level ground. It's easy to find lots of places that satisfy that requirement. I wound up in the area near Oak Flat that's going to be a copper mine soon.

There are lots of interesting rock formations in the area. This one looks sort of like a duck to me.

I wandered slowly around the rocks, with no particular destination in mind. I was wondering how many people might have been where I was and thinking that it couldn't have been many because there aren't a lot of reasons to go there. As is usually the case whenever I think that, I find evidence of people having been there. In this case, it was survey markers for the future mine.

These are all over the place out there.

There's a drilling rig site near the center of this photo.

It can be difficult to hike off-trail in this area. Sometimes the only way to get over all the jumbled boulders is by crawling. In places where it's flat enough to walk, the ground is often covered in chest-high oak bushes and catclaw. The bushes are sturdy and difficult to push through, and you do NOT want to push through catclaw. I was wondering if leather hiking clothes would be comfortable. Probably too hot.

There might have been some interesting views up there, but it would have been too much of a struggle to get up there.

A military jet roared by pretty close to the ground. Haven't see that before out there. Looked like it might have been an F-4. Click below to see all of the pictures.