Opportunity Knocks

While sitting around the courtyard recently listening to music from the 60’s my eyes found a group of guys with glasses, hearing aids, round stomachs and rough faces. Red wine seemed to be a staple and complaints about aches and pains were constant. My brain told me that I’m fit…. in good shape. It told me not to worry. “You’re not one of them!

A close listen though reveals that within that group was experience… pilots, engineers, managers of huge farm operations, teachers, professors and writers. Retired but still wanting to learn and be involved. All with great stories.

In the gym later, a different sorry came from the mirror! The Truth….! I am one on them. I’ve changed, I didn’t notice! How did that happen? Must have been blind. My wife is right. I am a true blue geezer. I guess I do fit that picture.

A few days ago one of my geezer friends asked if I wanted to go 4 wheeling in the desert. I jumped at the offer. It would be a great opportunity to photograph the desert landscape.

Departure was set for 9:00 AM from Apache Junction. After a short drive down Route 60 we turned north onto a side road that quickly became rocky, dusty and rough. Fortunately, our early model Jeep Cherokee was dented and scratched. Overhanging thorns and brambles only added to its character.

The saguaros were magnificent. As were other species of cactus. After we passed through areas used for camping and target practice we were in the uninhabited desert. Two old windmills attracted birds and other animal life to the water they still brought to the surface. At some point, hardy individuals tried to raise cattle here. There was water but the harsh reality of the desert I’m sure was overwhelming.

The road wound through canyons and desert meadows. Gaining altitude we finally stopped at an outlook where we could see the undulating desert floor and far in the distance beyond the mountains, Phoenix.

Oasis surrounded by Saguaros

Oasis surrounded by Saguaros

I had only taken my ‘walk about’ lens with me, a Nikon DX 18mm to 135 mm and a spare battery. There would be no time for lens changes and my tripod on this trip.

I set my camera at aperture priority, ISO 200 and f11. These settings, I felt would maximize the capability of the lens and provide me with the best possible depth of field.

It was a great day trip. I learned a lot about the desert and I was very happy with the images I had captured.


This entry was posted in Education, Travel.

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