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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Short Days in the Desert

On the first day of our trip, we drove most of the day and arrived in our campsite late at night. Before we went to sleep, I admired the wide open sky, the bright moonlight, and the stars. I quickly set up my tripod and camera, programmed the camera to take photos for the next several hours, and went to sleep.

For such a fast set-up, I was very happy with the outcome! This is a series of exposures spanning 3 hours. It's easy to see how people who lived a long time ago didn't know whether the universe was spinning around the Earth or vice versa.
We woke up the next morning to see that we had the area to ourselves. We were beyond thrilled. We've been visiting this spot for many years but it's been "discovered" recently. It seems like the cold short days of autumn are the quietest ones there!

It was about 17°F when we woke up so we stayed snuggled in the sleeping bags for a long time until the sun warmed our campsite a little. This was our view as the sun rose.

When we finally got moving, it was time to break out the dog boots. That is not Shyla's favorite part of the desert. I might try, yet again, to find a kind that she likes better.

When she got moving, she tended to forget about her boots and have fun!

We knew that the area had received a decent amount of rain over the year. Yet, I was still very surprised to find desert "pot holes" filled with water deeply enough that Shyla could swim in them! Actually, if I'd been on my toes, I would've stopped her. These pot holes have delicate organisms in them that lie dormant for long periods of time waiting for water so that they can live. It's bad to mess with the pot hole water because it hurts those organisms - and, thus, I usually keep Shyla out of it.

This time, before I was aware of what was happening, Shyla actually broke a thin layer of ice to go for a swim in a pot hole. It was her one and only swim during our trip. I was on my toes after that!

She shook and then ran to me, her "desert swimming" fun over.

As we descended toward camp, I looked up behind us. The butte where we'd been playing had cool wavy clouds above it.

Alas, we didn't plan that first day very well. It was almost time for sunset by the time we'd biked and then had lunch. There were still stars to be watched...
...but we learned to make better use of the short daylight hours for the rest of the trip.


  1. Magical photos, guess the DSLR is in use again, handy to the camping wagon as well, Cold water, no wonder there was a huge shake afterwards.

  2. Really loved those last couple of photos! Maybe Shyla thought those were swim fins she was wearing BOL!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  3. It's so beautiful there! Lol about Shyla not liking her boots. Zoe and Phoenix don't like their boots, either!

  4. What a beautiful place! That last photo is stunning.

  5. Just beautiful. Momma says someday she will take me to this area like she did with Goose. Be sure that I would not take a dip in the pools of water. I am still not a fan of the wet stuff, well not so much. Your photos are breath taking.

  6. Such a gorgeous night sky! I've never seen one like that.

  7. We cannot stop looking at these amazing photos!! Oh the clouds, and color of the sky.. and stars,, and the beautiful rock formations! I think we can hear the quiet, and feel the cold,, and then the warmth from the sun.
    Its good Shyla did not loose her boots in that cold water! What a silly girl.

  8. Oh boy it sure looks beautiful. I have a pair of boots you might want. Send me your address and I will send them to you
    2frenchbullys (AT)gmail (DOT)com

  9. What an amazing day and amazing pictures. Shyla looks like she is having the time of her life

  10. We just love the photo of you smiling in your boots, Shyla! Beautiful, beautiful photos!

  11. It's surprisingly cold there. I always think desert, warm, but not always. Great shots, love the redrock.

  12. Always such beautiful photos!
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  13. I am seriously in love with those boots!! And your pictures are really amazing.

  14. Spectacular views - thank you so much for sharing them. In addition to the photos, one of the many highlights that keep me coming back to your blog is little bits like the one here where you display your respect for the tiny creatures in the potholes. How many people even notice they are there, and how many of the people who do, care about leaving their little ecosystem intact? Thank you for sharing that with us.

  15. maybe handknit socks would make the boots more comfy? ;)


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