Spider buddy on my hand, Kukulcania sp., sometimes called a crevice weaver. She looks a bit tarantula-like, but actually isn't closely related to that group. They do share one trait with tarantulas, though -- apparently the females continue to molt (shed their exoskeleton) even after they're mature, which I thought was something only done by tarantulas and their relatives. Anyway, she was a pretty and docile spider; after a few photos we put her back under the fallen cactus where she lived. #macro#spider#arachnid#anzaborrego#kukulcania#spiderfriend
When I was little, I felt lonely in the desert. Scared. I couldn’t handle the silent rocks, whipping wind, no trees. “Dad, I hate that everything is brown and ugly,” I told him many times. “But Leah, look at all the different colors of brown,” said Dad.
He camped in the desert often. He taught me to always bring water, a tarp, a whistle, a knife. Every trip, we hiked. Sometimes he brought carabiners and rope, and we kids rappeled down rocks.
Even me, even little Leah did.
Every time I go to Anza, I think of Dad. His spirit is all over, appreciating and encouraging me. It’s not lonely. I feel safe with those mountains around me, like a hug. I feel Dad, loving me.
I do stupid stuff like talk to him. I say, “OMG Dad how amazing is this rock, it has like 20 colors in it, can you imagine the heat and pressure and weather that made it that way?? It’s so beautiful, I can’t even.” Because no one but Wright feels this way about nature, because we both came from Fred, because it’s just me speaking to an imaginary ghost.
We talk about how the desert got to be the desert and all the fossils of the animals, and the awe-inspiring rock layers. (Dad gets it now, that he was right about the Big Bang, et al) I can only talk to Wright about evolution, and my Dad-ghost.
When I’m not talking to him, it’s god & my angels. Myself. All the little bugs, animals, plants, the singing mountains. And oh yes, the stops for directions from locals and my favorite Mexican cantina. ... Here at home, the noise of suburbia, the never-ending neediness of children overwhelm me often. I can’t hear my own thoughts. I feel not loved, just needed. Not seen, judged. Always on display or hiding away underneath my hats. Inside, my heart is as lonely as I used to feel around brown rocks all those years ago. ... So I go out there to be in the company of other simple, deeply feeling beings. My heart becomes full again. I can breathe deeply, smile genuinely.
Not alone, I’m never alone in the desert.
This weekend we had another Weekend Offroad trip. I always looking forward to hitting the trails and meeting some new off road friends.
1 416 hours ago
Online People's Choice Winner in the Animals Category goes to this beautiful shot of a Bighorn Sheep by Sophie Saucier! Titled "Fearless" by the photographer, this big guy is looking right at you! Congratulations, Sophie!! #anzaborrego#photography#winner
🎥 ▶️ Short Video of my trip this past weekend! 🔥👋
I decided to head out to Stargaze and Sunset Chase, however the nightsky was drowned out by the intense moonlight. I instead decided to hit up Indian Gorge trail in search of some fun light off-roading” .
If you like this short clip please comment below so I can start making more of my travels. 🇺🇸🏴☠️🇲🇽🤙
SALVATION MOUNTAIN! Didn't even know this place existed. I think the guy who made it might have been a bit of a believer, not sure yet.
I tripped a lot at this place, BUT I didn't fall, so I have that going for me.
California Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma californica). Spent about 20 minutes watching this individual hop around in desert scrub searching for insects around Peña Spring // Been dabbling more into wildlife photography since I got my new 70-300mm. If you’re into the outdoors and keeping track of what you see, or just have a general curiosity about identifying species, I highly recommend using @inaturalistorg to expand your knowledge on wildlife, and in turn contribute to citizen science.
Scorpion 🦂 star trails 💫 while waiting for the Milky Way core to rise with @surfnsnowboard . This image took roughly an hour and is my first star trail image I have shot(processed) in maybe two years— also the second that I have published. I am not sure why I do not do a lot of them. I look forward to doing more throughout the summer season, especially with the North Star (featured above) for cooler compositions. This was kind of a setup and run with type of shot— no initial direction going in. - - - -
-Canon EOS 5D Mark IV & Canon BG-E20 Battery Grip mounted on a Really Right Stuff BGE20-L Set L-Plate @canonusa@reallyrightstuff -Sigma 14-24mm F/2.8 DG HSM Art Lens @sigmaphoto -iOptron SkyTracker Pro Camera Mount @ioptron_telescopes -Vello ShutterBoss II Timer Remote Switch for Canon with 3-Pin Connection -Manfrotto MT055CXPRO3 Carbon Fiber Tripod @manfrottoimaginemore -Promaster SPH45P Specialist Series Professional Ball Head @promasterphoto @firstname.lastname@example.org - - - -
-Time of images: ~ 1:54 - 2:53 AM -Focal Length: 16mm -83 sky images each shot at 30.0 sec, f/4.0, ISO 400 so a total of 41.5 minutes of light/movement. Exported to PS as layers and “Lighten” blend mode applied for the trails. -Two blended foreground images of the scorpion sculpture each shot at 30.0 seconds, f/4.0, ISO 400. Each shot had modifications to the light painting. -Blended both composite images using select & mask. #startrails#space#astrophotography#anzaborrego#canonusa#sigmausa
I found this bee accomplishing his pollination duties via the pollen bath approach inside the beautiful spotted petals of Eremalche rotundifolia, desert five spot.
Can you imagine if humans had to depend on a third party to carry the male gamete from one individual to another in order to complete the cycle of reproduction? If a particular bee, fly, wasp, or butterfly were the key to producing the next generation? Think of the value we would place on those beings. The lengths we would go to in order to reward and incentivize that behavior and their survival. The systems that we would put into place to make sure they thrive and get all their needs met so that our needs would be served.
Another first for me during my #desert visits this year. Formerly known as Mohavea confertiflora (ghost flower), a genus that only contained two species, it recently got subsumed into Antirrhinum, resulting in a new classification - Antirrhinum confertiflorum. I managed to see the other species in the genus, #MohaveaBreviflora (now A. mohavea), near Death Valley during the “superbloom” of 2005.
Before setting off on my trip in 2005, I overheard some fellow grocery store shoppers talking about heading to Southern California for the bloom and as an excited botany graduate student I interjected myself into their conversation and said that I was going as well. The woman responded by saying “I think everyone is”. I felt awkward and giggled myself out of the situation.
Superbloom is an informal term that is commonly used by the media to describe a botanical phenomenon where an unusually wet rainy season results in a large number of desert ephemerals germinating at roughly the same time. Since I’ve lived in California, I’ve experienced this on three occasions in 2005, 2017, and 2019. Getting to experience this twice in the last three winters has felt exceptionally lucky since botanists often times classify these events as only being likely to happen in 10 or even 50 year cycles.
The 2019 #superbloom got a lot of press and there has been a lot of controversy over the hordes of people clamoring for the perfect selfie surrounded by fields of flowers, at the cost of numerous other flowers that have been trampled to set the scene. I’ve seen many fights on social media, people getting flamed for their posts, and post-ers claiming ignorance about the harm they are causing. One town in Southern California even closed access to their superbloom canyon because it was attracting “Disneyland-sized crowds”. So now, instead of just being admirers of this botanical phenomena, we are loving it to death.
Balance seems to be so incredibly hard for us as a species. Each person has an impact. We need to mindful and try to make it a positive one.