Monthly Archives: November 2012

Photography: Pattern

patterns web

 

In the last post I featured a photo that caught my eye based on the texture of the plant.  This plant was right next to it, also in a concrete wash next to Jay’s parents house, but in this case I was struck by the interesting pattern of the leaves and their shadows.

Photography: Texture

fuzzy plant close up web

 

My style of photography is one in which I focus on the basics of texture, color, contrast, and patterns in nature.  Rather than capturing a scene, I usually prefer to compose a close up image that highlights one of these characteristics, sometimes obscuring the actual subject.  In particular, I like to draw attention to something beautiful or unique in the day to day landscape.  For example, the plant pictured above is probably just a weed, which was growing out of the concrete wash next to Jay’s parents house.  The plant drew my attention with the great contrasting textures of the thin stiff green stems and the fluffy soft exploding seed pods.

The Attention Getting Hummingbird

hummingbird close up web

The exact opposite of the quail, the hummingbird is surprisingly easy to photograph.  Their high pitched call is very attention getting, and as soon as you learn it you will be able to spot hummingbirds darting around the desert.  Although most people think about hummingbirds as quick creatures in constant motion, they actually spend a lot of time just sitting on Ocotillo or Palo Verde, practically posing.  I wonder if the quail and the hummingbirds have worked out a deal, because it seems like when I am stalking quail for a picture, I get dive bombed by hummingbirds diverting my attention.  A high pitched squeal, a bright flash of color, and a small bird whizzing by your head is very successful at distracting you from the bumbling bird hiding in the bushes.  I wonder what the quail offers the hummingbird in return?

The Elusive Quail

quail

 

As long time readers know, I enjoy bird watching and have spent much of the last year and a half learning how to photograph birds.  Throughout that time I have never been able to get a clear decent picture of a quail.  This photo from the Phoenix Mountain Preserve is the closest I have gotten.  Quail look goofy and walk around on the ground in a way that suggests that they would be easy to catch.  Not so.  For how unsophisticated they seem, they are actually masterful at hiding in the bushes and quickly darting from one safe cover to another, successfully avoiding predators as well as birdwatchers.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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We enjoyed this first Thanksgiving a married couple with Jay’s family. As we toasted to family, our thoughts were also with our family members who have passed away. Hope this holiday found you well and surrounded by love.

Bacon Pecan Waffles

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It all started when Sharon and I were at the Original Pancake House and I saw bacon waffles and pecan waffles on the menu. I immediately thought, “Why no bacon pecan waffles?”. I even tried to order one and they said it would not turn out right.  Jump ahead to now and Sharon and I have a Belgian waffle maker that was a wedding present from our friends Matt and Julie. I used the recipe for pecan waffles that came with the machine and just substituted some fresh cooked bits of applewood smoked bacon from Bashas for some of the pecans.

Tasty.

Trails that are very close to home

Living in Flagstaff has its perks.  A huge perk of our new house is just how close to trail we are now. How close is close?  Watch the video and see me go from our driveway to a short steep technical downhill in 40 seconds of riding on the road.

The video is three clips, the middle clip is a very nearby dirt jump at the bottom of the Shultz Pass/ Rocky Ridge area. The last clip shows another trail that is less than two minutes away from the house.