It was the large setting moon low over the San Ysidro mountains that cast it's long, almost horizontal moonbeams through the windshield of our Motorhome & gently alighted on my waking eyelids. A new dawn was about to begin.
I was glad to see a clear morning with stars visible. Weatherman had been calling for a windy rainy day but so far in the early morn it had not yet arrived. Tossed my camera gear into the car & was out the door headed for Borrego Springs by 6:30. First time I've seen the night time lights of Borrego. There were a couple cars already parked in front of the Borrego Desert Nature
Center where everyone was meeting for the desert hands on photo class. Photographer Leo Larsen & wife Helen rolled in a few minutes later & introductions went around. Leo & Helen are from San Diego & Leo was a Park Ranger in Wyoming's Grand Teton mountains for 30 years.
Twenty minutes later all were present & we were in our cars with headlights on convoying 5 miles east of Borrego Springs to an area known as, The Dunes. Cars were parked & we headed out on foot across small sandy dunes to an area of larger dunes. The awakening sky was nothing short of spectacular. A weather front moving in over the San Ysidro mountains to the west had brought with it huge storm clouds loaded with darkened moisture. The breaking morning sun cast it's long tentacles of crayoned colors into the clouds & onto the mountaintops. Probably one of the finest mornings I have seen for a very long time.
We gathered in the lee of a large 15 foot sand dune while John gave a short talk on the importance of light, contrasts, composition, location, & preparation. I could tell by his words & his equipment, he was a true professional dedicated to the finer arts of photography. Leo still prefers to work in the film format & his technical knowledge was well beyond the rest of us mere mortals gathered there. With that having been said, about a dozen or more avid photo bugs scurried off in all directions in search of their own personal photographic morning.
LEO LARSON KNOWS HIS PHOTOGRAPHY
The 360 degree panoramic view across the valley was beautiful and especially so towards the town of Borrego Springs about 5 miles to the west tucked up against the San Ysidro mountains. To the south I could see all the way toward the Yaqui Pass probably 20 miles or more away. A slight rainbow in the San Ysidro's as clouds began to filter down onto the mountain tops & into the canyons. Rain approached in the dark gray & almost burgundy colored mists. This was truly an exceptional morning.
Leo had explained earlier that the mornings class was originally geared for photographing desert flowers but with the lateness of bloom this year the emphasis had shifted to a sunrise opportunity in the sand dunes. Nevertheless, after wrapping up our shoot in the dunes we all walked back to our vehicles, piled in, & drove the short distance to Henderson Canyon where many great desert bloom photographs have been taken over the years. But, as Leo & wife Helen explained, that was when the blooms were in their heyday 15 to 20 years ago. Those days are long gone now Helen explained because of several factors. The Saharan Mustard plant has somehow taken foot in southern California & is slowly choking out many native species. Environmental factors may have taken it's affects as well. The glory flower days may be gone but there is still plenty of color to see & plenty of color to come in the next few weeks. This morning's excursion took us to patches of Sand Verbena, Brown Eyed Evening Primrose, Desert Sunflowers, Desert Lilies, & Dune Evening Primrose. And amongst all these colorful flowers grew the dreaded spreading Sahara Mustard plant.
HELEN LARSON KNOWS HER FLOWERS
Our sojourn into the flower patches along Henderson Canyon road was cut short as sheets of graying rain clouds finally made their way across the valley to our very location. Camera's were quickly packed up, a few hasty goodbyes, a couple of handshakes, & I was back in my car with the windshield wipers going heading the short distance back to our rig. This mornings photo shoot will be one of those scenic memories in time which will remain with me for many years. It was a special morning with a group of people I will never see again & a canopy of moody morning storm clouds that will only ever remain in peoples memories & photographs.
LAURIE http://laurieandodel.blogspot.com/ brought up an interesting thought in a blog comment last night. She asked, "Is that REALLY why you blog? Would you quit blogging if you didn't get comments from readers? If you thought no one was reading?"
I guess my short answer to that question is yes. Blogs can be different things to different people. I have often been a person of logs & journals over the years so it came naturally for me to connect that with the blogging craze a few years ago. The blog is, amongst other things, a daily diary into the life of myself & those around me. I enjoy looking back over the years to see different events & times I have written about. It gives me personal 'way points' in my life. My first written recordings actually began back in the late 50's & I still have those. Blogging is also a great form of communication for friends & families. I don't write nearly as many emails to people anymore because everything is right here in the blog. I still write a daily blog even when we are not traveling because it gives me a focus & purpose each day. It's a perfect format for blending together my hobbies of writing & photography.
BORREGO SPRING'S MEDICAL CENTER IS OUT THERE IN THE COMMUNITY OF MONTESORO
For me, a blog is the perfect example of a two way street. Because of this blog my mind is alive each day thinking of ideas, events, & points of interest. A fellow blogger awhile back mentioned how much he likes windmills so now I watch for interesting windmills along the way. Some folks are bird people so my eyes & ears are on the hunt for birds. Flower people give me purpose & pleasure as I tramp around fields with senses more attuned to flowers than ever before. All of these things plus countless more give me purpose. It is the little things in some of the comments that give me ideas. It is the emails from people that give me the inspiration to get off my can & head off to a car show, or photo class, or a historical location, or to an event of some kind that I may not have ordinarily attended. It is the readers of the blog that I owe my re-newed interest in photography & It is the readers of the blog who have restored my writing interests. I may have included fellow bloggers in blanket coverage opinions before so I had better reel that in & keep those opinions directed at myself. Every blogger has their own reasons for their blogs.
This morning's early start led to a lazy afternoon. The weather closed in, temps dropped, rain came down & the winds picked up. Seemed like a good day for inside stuff so that's just what I did. Sat down in my chair & fell asleep. The dog alarms went off about 1 o'clock with the gang rumbling out the door & down the steps barking their heads off. My head had already fallen off in my lap so it took me a few seconds to get things reattached again. Kelly was out the door & I heard her say something like, "Hello Bill." Despite my sleepy state I knew instantly that WANDERING WILLY http://wanderingwillystravels.blogspot.com/ had just rode into town.
SETTING UP THE RIG
Well, what a great pleasure it was to finally meet another blogger who we have been in contact with for over a year now. WW is on our current blog list & we follow his adventures. This is a soft spoken mild mannered man & it was so great to finally meet him. Had ourselves a chat for bit & then he set up his rig just behind us off to the right. We were both out taking photos a couple hours later when sheets of rain could be seen descending on Borrego Springs down in the valley. It wasn't long & the cooling winds blew that rain in our direction & we all headed for our rigs.
After a long & sometimes difficult trip deep into Mexico this winter WW is only about 4 days away from British Columbia & anxious to get home. I imagine we will be getting close to that very same feeling in another month or so...............................:((
RAIN SHOWERS OVER BORREGO SPRINGS
I didn't get Friday's Christmas Circle photos into an album today but will try again tomorrow along with the rest of today's photos.
Just received a comment in our blog from a fellow by the name of Barney in which he said......"As far as I am concerned your posting of candid pictures of folks is far more intrusive in another person life than a few campers within what you consider your special space out in the desert. Legally in the USA you need a models release for those pictures taken without permission."
Well, looks like I've got myself into the soup again....:((
LATE AFTERNOON MOODY MOUNTAINS
GROANER'S CORNER:(( What do you call a country where the people drive only pink cars?
A pink carnation.
BLOGGER WEBSITE http://thebayfieldbunch.com/
OUR PHOTO ALBUMS http://picasaweb.google.com/stargeezerguy/
The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...... AL.