A few weeks ago I had in mind to photograph a particular saguaro, arriving before sunrise so I could be ready to go when the sun crested the hills. WIth my gear in place I took in the sights around me, I so love this moment in the morning when the sun arrives in the desert. Fortunately I looked behind me as well as a familiar face decided to share the moment with me. Since I’m only shooting with one camera right now I had to decide whether it was worth switching lenses and camera settings and the tripod location and risk missing the shot I came for. Because it was a Harris’s hawk I couldn’t resist the opportunity and took a quick picture, set up my original shot again, then waited with my beautiful friend until the sun arrived.
I am amazed how effortlessly and silently mammals move through their home while I stumble down the trail. The jackrabbits seem like spirits floating through the desert, I often first notice the black tips of their tall ears moving while the rabbit itself is blocked from sight by the many plants of the scrubland. This lovely creature I found not on the trails but at the trailhead of Brown’s Ranch, we shared a quiet moment before sunup.
The rabbit you are most likely to see at the trailhead, and on the trail, is the desert cottontail (below). They too move silently through the desert but are so much smaller than the jackrabbits that you see them when you see them, there are no tall black tips dancing in the early light to catch your eye. Like all the mammals your best bet to see them is to arrive early, here also at the trailhead but just as the sun began peeking through to send one of us onto the trails and one to bed.
Walking in the Sonoran Desert at sunrise, seeing the desert both wake up and go to sleep, is a joy and a treasure even to this lifelong night owl.
One of my favorite images but I can’t explain exactly why. It’s not my typical subject matter, my typical angle, or my typical lens.
Life on Oregon’s coast is generally pretty peaceful and quiet, but the dawn especially so. It was a cool spring morning, the sun not yet risen, and little could be heard apart from the waves on the shore. As I looked out of my hotel window, a handful of people were out on the beach, exercising, walking their dogs, or just enjoying the beauty of the coast.
As I soaked in the tranquility of the morning, I wanted to stay in the moment, but the sun always rises.