Saturday, April 2, 2005

Diary of a Day Trip, Part One

Carly (of Ellipsis) and I agreed to pose each other photo challenges for this weekend.  Carly's challenge to me was as follows:

Hi Karen  

I think for your photo challenge I would like to see you photograph your hometown. The place where you feel your best. A favorite coffeehouse or restaurant, park...wherever you find yourself feeling really good. Or to be different maybe a place in town you have always meant to go, but for some reason just never found the time. Any place. A clothing store, grocery store, theater...let your imagination run wild here. I can't wait to see what you come up with.  

Love, Carly :)

Carly later clarified that by hometown, she means the place I live now.  That's a relief--I can't afford to fly to metro Syracuse for this!

Even so, I cheated a little, because the place around Tucson that I most wanted to go is a few miles north of town and a few thousand feet up.  I went to Mount Lemmon.  I used to do this all the time, back during the brief period when I didn't have to work for a living. These days, I mostly make do by looking at Mount Lemmon from a distance. Just seeing those mountains, which is extremely easy to do in Tucson, refreshes me a little bit.  Actually getting there...that's the real treat! 

Other than the little sunset excursions to the first five miles up the Mount Lemmon highway, before the fee station, I haven't been up the mountain since well before my mom died.  Among other things, that means I haven't seen Summerhaven, the village at the top of Mount Lemmon, since half of it burned down in a major fire a couple of years ago.  So, Carly, the place I haven't found the time to go recently is to the rebuilt village of Summerhaven.  More on that tomorrow night, or possibly Monday night.  I have plenty of material here for a three-parter.

I took both photos and AVI movies on my four or five hour day trip, enough that I filled my 256 MB CF memory card, and kept dumping things to make room for more.  I made the AVIs mostly to record narrations.  I've transcribed most of those narrations for these entries.  Since this is supposed to be a photo challenge, though, I'll try to include the best of the still photos.  I may upload one or two of the shorter. AVIs later.  Becky, is there a way to extract the audio only from an AVI?  And is there a way to turn an AVI image 90 degrees?  I shot a little waterfall sideways!

Narration, MVI_806:
  Some thoughts about Molino Basin on April 2nd, 2005.  I used to come here in 1987 or so--1986, 1987.  They've "improved" it since then, which is to say, they've added more of a campground, and fees and trails.  More built up.  Not happy about that.  I'm also remembering now that it was an intermittant reinforcement thing.  There weren't always things [which is to say, visible, easily-photographed animals] to see, especially in the afternoon--and here I am in the afternoon.  And also, I used to come with hiking boots, and my bad ankle wrapped up--and here I  am in my office shoes.  But...uh, it's still pretty, and I'll do my best to have a good time, as I used to have a good time, all those years ago.  Message ends--for now!

Molino Basin

Narration, MVI_810:
  One other way in which I'm not adequately prepared today:  I didn't bring a bird book.  And I'm pretty rusty on my bird identifications, so....  I think I scared a towhee, but I'm only vaguely sure what a towhee looks like now.  Oh, well.  I'll do my best!

Molino Basin


Narration, MVI_0811:  I know there are birds here.  I can hear them, and occasionally see them.  Probably chickadees, flycatchers [I meant to say warblers], small stuff: verdin, maybe.  Can you hear that?

 Molino Basin lizard

(I completely failed to get any bird pictures today.  But here's a lizard!)

Narration, MVI_0813:  The significance of a place like Molino Canyon, or Molino Basin, is that it is riparian habitat. What that means is that it is by a course of water [usually a river]--which is important if you're a bird navigating through, or wintering in, or even summering in the desert.

Molino Basin

The dry riverbed at Molino.

Narration, MVI_0814:
  I thought I'd try to give you a couple of seconds of driving on this road, without killing myself over it, with the Chicken Dance on the radio--I don't know why.  It's challenging driving--but very, very pretty.

Near Windy Point

View from the road near Windy Point Vista, which is currently torn up and closed off with traffic lights.

Near Windy Point 

Both directions have to wait nine minutes to drive the single lane of torn-up road.

To be continued tomorrow night, with better photos.  Meanwhile, check out Ellipsis, and see how Carly does with my challenge to her! 



ondinemonet said...


Breathtaking! Simply gorgeous and the pictures, of course, are fabulous! This will be a tough challenge to beat!

Love, Carly :)

ryanagi said...

Even with signs of civilization and lack of wildlife, it's still a really pretty place.

deabvt said... arid!