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April 6th - 15th

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Offline ambersdad

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April 6th - 15th
« on: April 21, 2012, 08:47:24 PM »
Drove down with some friends that had visited the park years before, but it was just a drive through.  They did Lost Mine and then headed to another national park on a 2 week 12-14 national park outing.  They stayed through Wed morning and then headed out to Guadalupe.  (Some of these photos have been posted in a couple other threads)

We spent Friday and Saturday night in the basin campground.  It wasn't bad.  I'm not real big on campgrounds because of all the humans. :icon_wink:  My 1st trip to the Bend in 2010 I stayed in the desert every night. 

The sunset through the Window on Good Friday.


Saturday we went down to the RGV and did the Hot Springs trail.  They enjoyed that a lot.
 
Sunday morning Bobby and I headed out for our over night on the Marufo Vega.  Eli stayed at the basin to keep our campsite there occupied.  She's not really a backpacker and didn't want to do the trail after seeing the topo.

The ranger hinted it might be a very hot trip.  I asked her would she recommend we not do it and she just said she wouldn't.  We decided to git r done.






She was right.  It was pretty hot when we got to the river.  We hiked up and down the river a few hundred yards in each direction looking for the best shade and then stayed in it until shadows covered the river.

We ate after dark after it cooled some.  A burro on the Mexican side woke us up every couple hours braying.  We made a decision to get up early and hike out of the canyon by headlamp and be on the ridge before daylight.  Timed it about right.   There were some nice sunrise photos to be taken, but we wanted to be further down the trail before the heat kicked in.  Our luck was good that morning. It stayed cloudy until we got to the wash the trail follows back to the trail head. 

Got back to the basin, broke camp, and then drove over to Dugout Wells to eat lunch and relax in the shade.  We ended up sitting there for a few hours before heading back to the basin and getting our room up on the hill in the 4plex.  We stayed there 2 nights.  Monday and Tuesday we did a number of hikes, the Window, Grapevine Hills, Croton Springs, etc.

Wednesday morning they headed out and I started doing my thing, looking for critters.

A few shots from grapevine Hills.











And a few from the river.













Took a lot more photos than this, but narrowed it down to some that I liked.

Had a great time.  I've made two early April trips now.  Thinking the next one will be in December or January.
Having decent gear is nice, but wildlife photography is knowing your subject and getting lucky, and I love getting lucky.
https://www.facebook.com/randy.jones.33234
http://randyswildlifeandnaturephotography.com/

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Offline Al

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Re: April 6th - 15th
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2012, 09:05:49 PM »
ambersdad, great trip, report and beautiful photos.  Thanks!

Al

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Offline mule ears

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Re: April 6th - 15th
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2012, 06:44:00 AM »
Sweet!   :icon_biggrin:  Another full spectrum trip.  I need to get down the Marufo Vega trail soon.  :icon_mrgreen:
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Offline ambersdad

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Re: April 6th - 15th
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2012, 07:43:28 AM »
Thanks. 

It rained on us two times, Saturday afternoon and Monday night.  On Thursday afternoon a storm passed just to the southeast of me when camped at Grapevine Hills site #2.

My NeoAir held up just fine to the desert.  I used my tent footprint as a groundcloth and put the NeoAir on top of one of those cheap blue foam pads you buy at Walmart. 

On Tuesday I ruined a tire driving Grapevine Hills.  That screwed up my plans to spend 4 days on the west end of the park.  I wasn't going to drive long stretches of gravel without a spare.  So I cut my trip a little short and stayed in areas I could be easily found if I got down to 3 tires.

I'll try to add more photos to this thread as I go through them.  A Checkered Whiptail under the large palm trees at Hot Springs.

« Last Edit: April 22, 2012, 08:27:24 AM by ambersdad »
Having decent gear is nice, but wildlife photography is knowing your subject and getting lucky, and I love getting lucky.
https://www.facebook.com/randy.jones.33234
http://randyswildlifeandnaturephotography.com/

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Offline Lance

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Re: April 6th - 15th
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2012, 01:59:19 PM »
Way to go man!  We got some calendar contenders in there for sure.  I love the range of photography from landscapes to wildlife..

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chisos_muse

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Re: April 6th - 15th
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2012, 04:12:49 PM »
Beautiful photos!!!  :eusa_clap:

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Offline jim2

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Re: April 6th - 15th
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2012, 05:23:40 PM »
well done! love the lizard shots.

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Offline RedBuffalo

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Re: April 6th - 15th
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2012, 06:47:59 AM »
How were the wildflowers that time of year?  BTW - awesome photography!  Really like those close-ups of the lizards.  Takes some patience to bag those pics!

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Offline ambersdad

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Re: April 6th - 15th
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2012, 07:01:05 AM »
Thanks everyone!

How were the wildflowers that time of year?  BTW - awesome photography!  Really like those close-ups of the lizards.  Takes some patience to bag those pics!

Saw a lot of different wildflowers in bloom.  Especially after both rains early in the trip.  Need to go through those photos.

Thanks.  Kind of hard finding spots where you can get eye level in the desert with a small reptile. ;)
Having decent gear is nice, but wildlife photography is knowing your subject and getting lucky, and I love getting lucky.
https://www.facebook.com/randy.jones.33234
http://randyswildlifeandnaturephotography.com/

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Offline steelfrog

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Re: April 6th - 15th
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2012, 09:58:38 AM »
Bravo AD--question--what is your "stalking" technique for the animal shots?  In Grapevine Hills, e.g., do you hike in and choose a spot and sit?  For hiw long?

Also, I assume you are using an SLR?  What's your zoom lens?

Thanks.

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Offline ambersdad

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Re: April 6th - 15th
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2012, 03:09:32 PM »
Bravo AD--question--what is your "stalking" technique for the animal shots?  In Grapevine Hills, e.g., do you hike in and choose a spot and sit?  For hiw long?

Also, I assume you are using an SLR?  What's your zoom lens?

Thanks.

Thanks.  At Grapevine Hills I got there before sunrise and drank some coffee while sitting at the trail head watching the hills around me.  Spotted the javelina one morning coming down the west side on a game trail and moved down the trail a little for a few pics. Mainly I like slow stalk.  Maybe cover 100 yards in 30 minutes.  In the Wichitas I wear a cammo long sleeve tee or fleece pullover in cold weather and neutral colored hiking pants. At the Bend I didn't mess with cammo.  Had a few shirts that worked well color wise.

One morning I got there real early and walked the ridge line on the east side of the canyon on a heavily used game trail.  Looked like it headed over towards Nevelle Springs. Spotted some type of cat and 6 deer, but could never close the gap for decent photos.

I have a Canon DSLR and use a 100-400 lens.     
Having decent gear is nice, but wildlife photography is knowing your subject and getting lucky, and I love getting lucky.
https://www.facebook.com/randy.jones.33234
http://randyswildlifeandnaturephotography.com/

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Offline lighter fluid

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  • Sitting on the South Rim enjoyin the sunrise.
Re: April 6th - 15th
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2012, 04:52:06 PM »
Great pics ambersdad!  :notworthy:
Thanks for sharing!
"...There is a pessimism about land which, after it has been with you a long time, becomes merely factual. Men increase; country suffers. " John Graves 'Goodbye to a River'

 


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