Friday, January 23, 2015

Just Me and My Camera

Yesterday I hiked out into the desert horse-free in order to find the deer that seem to have been out there two days in a row.  They are always far enough off in the distance that I wonder if I'm hallucinating.  I took my lightweight point-and-shoot with its outrageous telephoto capabilities just in case I spotted them.

Of course, despite hiking all around the same area I saw them previously, bushwhacking and hiking alongside tree-lined arroyos where they could hide, I didn't see a single living soul beyond a hare.  I was thinking, "Where are all the hikers, bikers, and horseback riders?  They are always out here when I bring a horse with me."

I suspect they mostly exercise and ride on weekends and holidays, and then try to be consistent and keep doing it for a day or two after, and then their efforts peter out by the end of the work week.  So, I guess I should be riding my spookiest horses on Thursdays and Fridays if I don't want to work on exposure and just want a relaxing trail ride.

I did take a few pictures of various things that I suspect would spook, or have already spooked, my horses on the trails.

I'm not sure what was going on here, but we occasionally run into vehicles from the power company.  This was actually way off in the distance -- not anywhere near where I was hiking.  But it reminds me -- we discovered that the city installed a stop sign on one of the roads we ride our horses across.  I usually avoid that road, because people drive 45 mph on it with blind hills, even though the speed limit is 35 mph, and it is a pretty busy road year round.  Now with the stop sign, it will take drivers a while to get back up to speed, so horseback riders will have a fighting chance.

From this view, I was walking on a trail and knew that if any of my horses saw that fallen cactus out of the corner of their eyes, there would definitely be some teleporting sideways, because this anomaly was almost unidentifiable to me.  It was as big as a prize winning hog.

This is what it looked like when I walked right up to it.  The poop-in-your-pants factor raises and lowers by the angle a horse sees it from.

This fallen cactus sent Gabbrielle into a tizzy all of last year.  It looks like a seal.  I could understand why a horse would be concerned.

And here are just some pictures of the desert you don't usually see well with my GoPro snapshots.

I've spent the majority of my life hiking among pine trees, large boulders, and blue lakes, still I find the desert to be so enchanting and mysterious.  It is constantly changing from one day to the next.  Some days I see wildlife everywhere and wonder how it all survives with so little water.  Other days I see nothing and wonder where all those animals went to hide.  Pretty soon we should be getting an array of wildflowers blooming, and I am determined not to miss it.  It's been a wet past six months, so photographers are predicting that this will be a great spring for wildflower shots.

I am also fascinated by the mountains.  I take close ups of caves, nooks, crannies, peaks, rock formations, and whatnot with my telephotos lens in search of interesting hiking spots and perhaps the Lost Dutchman's gold mine.

I've actually only gone hiking in these mountains a handful of times, and I took a lot of water, some food, a trail map, and made sure that either a relative or a ranger knew of my plans.  I also took the shorter, easier or more populated hikes, because those who venture far, especially those in search of the mine, often don't come back.  There are so many things that can go wrong and have gone wrong -- everything from getting lost to getting dehydrated to overexposure to getting bit by rattlesnakes to falling into crevices to getting shot to getting decapitated.  Throughout the mountain's history, men have been killed by the natives, or by greedy gold miners, or by Mother Nature, or just by modern day psychopaths.

On February 8th, the History Channel will be airing a show called "Legend of the Superstition Mountains".  I'm really looking forward to it.  The trailer for it looks awesome.


Brenda said...

My parents once encountered some unsavory people while out hiking there. Fortunately they turned their attention somewhere else and my parents got the heck out of there.

You have some great pictures there.

achieve1dream said...

Dang I don't have t.v.... That show about the mountains sounds really interesting. Maybe I'll be able to find it online somewhere.

I love all of the pictures and I can't wait to see the wildflowers when they bloom. The desert is definitely a pretty place. :-) I used to be obsessed with deserts when I was a kid. I hope I can visit you someday and experience it in person. :-)

Stacey C said...

Beautiful pics, NuzzMuzz!

Cheryl Ann said...

What beautiful trails! Heck, if I didn't have horses, I would still want to hike up near those mountains!

Once Upon an Equine said...

Nice photos. I loved the big cactus we I lived in Arizona. I'll try to catch the show on the history channel. Sounds interesting.