Saturday, November 23, 2013

Ironwood Forest National Monument

Last Saturday, November 17, I drove out to Ironwood Forest National Monument. I had been here a few other times, but today a group of people from the University of Arizona were giving presentations on the flora and fauna found on this section of Bureau of Land Management property. My pictures don't show any Ironwood trees unless they are dead. On this trip, I found the cacti more appealing. On my first trip here, since I didn't see many Ironwood, I joked to my friends that there are more Ironwood trees in Mission View RV Park than here.

I can't resist dead trees; they seem to be saying something about not giving up.

Here the speaker has a snake that looks similar to a coral snake, and he explained the differences in detail. I didn't get too close to see if he was correct.

The Gila Monster here is the only poisonous creature that he had with him. In order for this ugly guy to bite you, you almost have to stick you finger in his mouth; he didn't give any fatality statistics, but said most people recover with a little medical aid. No one volunteered to disprove him.

Here's a cactus arm that looks like someone's bad hair day. I think he was reaching out to hug someone.

I'm not even sure that's a dead Ironwood in there with all those cacti. It could be a mesquite; there are several different types in the area.

I titled this The Scar; an arm was lost for whatever reason, and the site scabbed over.

Here's Mr. Tortoise. The speaker is trying to make him hurry along. It took quite an effort. Perhaps he should have offered a treat.

As you can tell, these two shots are identical. I wanted to experiment with making it black and white and perhaps more dramatic. I guess I'll just keep experimenting. I took a class at the Desert Museum for Elements and have been playing with Light Room and Photoshop. Why would someone take on such a daunting challenge at my age? Always looking for trouble, I guess.

There is so much I haven't shared. Playing with the pictures is too much fun, and fun is what I do best. I explored a little on my own, and found three roads that I want to check out when I have some friends with me. I think we can use flagging to mark our way instead of cookie crumbs.