November Gone By

Nearly a month has come and gone since my last post, and it has been a busy one. unfortunately this business, paired with the lateness of the season, has kept me from taking any good pictures around Flagstaff lately. I did go out hiking on Black Friday when I was in Phoenix, however, and now I can present to you the 11.24.2012 gallery page for the Phoenix Mountain Preserve!
The hike started along one of my favorite routes, summiting a mountain on the north edge of the park by way of a steep, shallow canyon on its side. The afternoon sun does not reach this part of the mountain much if at all this time of year, so while elsewhere the plants were dry and begging for shade, this canyon-valley protects a good number of palo verde trees and other shrubs. At the top of the ridge I found a large flat slab of what looks like a reddish half-metamorphosed granite, possibly one of the older rocks in that area of the park. Who knows how many uncounted ages it has sat there, facing the sun and sky?
Reach for the Sky
From the peak I made my way down the south face, into the central basin of the park. Piestewa/Squaw Peak is visible to the south here, and my trail took me a little ways in that direction until I turned west, just following the low sun and dark shade. If the day hadn’t been so far gone I might have taken a beautiful southern loop I found some time ago, which resulted in one of my more productive hikes (see 3.19.2012).
Upward It Grows
I rambled a ways farther west than I have been before, enticed by the yet-untraveled network of trails that stretches out to and past highway 51. I turned back south and west then, chasing the last of the daylight, when I came across a surveyor’s mark embedded in concrete, right in the middle of the trail. A name search brought up no interesting information, apparently Maddock & Associates is now an insurance firm.
Surveyor's Mark
Along the way home I spotted a small barrel cactus, one of my favorite subjects, and decided to try something new with its picture. The technique is called split-toning, and it gives a subtle shade of color to the shadows and highlights of a photo. I rather like how it came out, it reminds me of the darkroom prints I made years ago.
Old Growth
That essentially concluded the hike, and unfortunately I haven’t gotten out since. The weather in Phoenix is in a bearable range now, though, so keep an eye out for more over the holiday season. Apart from that, the only news I have is more of a whisper at this point, but one which could foreshadow very awesome things to come. It will need to wait until after Christmas, but I think the results will be pleasantly surprising. With that note I bid you farewell until the next post, which may be in a week or two, or sooner, depending on the coming days.
Last Light


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