I’m Taking a Photography Class πŸ“Έ

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I signed up for iPhone academy. My main goal is to get better at taking photos with my phone because it is really hard to haul a camera up the side of a mountain, without killing any of my family membersπŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

We have a lot of plans this summer, that involve outdoor activities. Some of those activities could be considered a tad dangerous,πŸ˜‰ but I still want to get some shots of all of us together. With college graduations, new jobs and boyfriends/girlfriends, it is getting tougher to corral the family for these special moments.

Last night it was as if the sky was on fire! I wanted to take a panorama and catch both the moon and the sun.

Here is the original:

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I used Snapseed to warm it up a little, the goal was to make sure it still looked natural. Can you see the moon? Hope so!

Wish me luck as I try to figure out all these apps!!

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Roda’s Critter Connection Challenge

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Now that spring is in full swing, I am actually finding some critters again!

Believe it or not, this is the same hummingbird in all three pictures! Apparently, this species will “flash” his colors when he is irritated, or trying to find a mate. I am guessing he was mad, as opposed to attracted to me😳

My iPhone8 camera was fast enough to capture him as he went from green to fuscia, and the transition color in-between! The hummingbird accomplishes this cool trick by flipping some key neck feathers at break neck speed (see what I did there, 😝)

Have a great week everyone!Β πŸ’•

Roda’s Critter Connection Challenge, Winter Edition!

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Ok, so spring officially begins tomorrow, but I am still searching for critters in the Tucson area. My hubby and I were out walking in our neighborhood, around 10 am. We were walking on the lower road when a coyote casually went the opposite way on the upper road. Do you see him? By the mailbox?

Unfortunately this was the best pic I got as I was using my cell phone and shooting into the sun. This is a really healthy looking canine! We are just now starting to see chipmunks and lizards scurrying around as the weather has warmed. Clearly the coyote population has found plenty to eat this winter! Perhaps feasting on the many roadrunners we have nearby😊

Roda’s Critter Connection, Winter Edition!

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I really lucked into this one! I was sitting in our front room and this roadrunner hopped up on the wall in the back yard. He ran along the top and hung out just long enough for me to grab a picture.

It has been cold, by Tucson standards, and we have not seen a whole lot of critters, so this was a gift!

Have a great week everyone πŸ™‚

Roda’s Critter Connection Challenge, Winter Edition!

Another Monday, another critter! I was lucky enough to catch this desert toad while we were hiking Saturday. Well, I didn’t have to try too hard, he is in a terrarium!

There was a children’s animal program at Catalina State Park, near the trail head. They brought in quite a few critters that are commonly found in the desert here, near Tucson. It was a warm day and the animals were quite active inside their enclosures, but these two toads appeared kinda bored with the whole deal! Check out his fingers!

The feature image is where we ended up at the top of the hike. It’s a beautiful park πŸ™‚

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I hope I can find an interesting critter for next week πŸ™‚

Standard Route on Mt. Lemmon

Ryan and I first climbed on Mt. Lemmon near the base, at “the wall of the flying scorpions”. This was a single pitch crag and near 1500ft. elevation. We had fun, even though I did split open a couple fingers in the process.

This time we decided to head up near the 4000ft area to a multi pitch climb named “the standard route“. This climb is located on Chimney rock and is only a 200ft climb, divided into 5 pitches. Perfect for me but pretty lame for Ryan!

It was a gorgeous day when we got to the base of the wall.

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Ryan placed his rope and some gear near the base and we “suited up”.

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There was a party of three ahead of us, so we waiting our turn. I watched the two women ahead of us in the hopes of learning the best way to maneuver the route.

Then Ryan lead up to the first anchor.

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There was a big ledge here to sit and wait for our turn on the second pitch.

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The view just keeps getting better!

This is the start of the second, and my least favorite, pitch. This is the chimney, which is just large enough for your body to squeeze into the gap. You can see the last climber in the group ahead of us as she tries to work her way up the rock face.

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Eventually, Ryan and I got up, through and over this pitch. Below is the top of the chimney and the start of my favorite pitch, number 3.

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We waited here for a bit while the other group made their way up.

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Helmet hair!

 

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Ryan was tired of waiting at this point and was ready to head up.

The view from the top of pitch 3.

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After talking with the group ahead of us, we all decided to combing pitches 4 and 5 and went to the top!

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This rock teetering on the spike, was another 1000ft or so above us. Would love to climb in that area!

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The obligatory Summit Selfie!

 

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We waited for our turn to rappel off the top.

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Ryan goes first and I wait for him to yell clear, then I head down. When we are both on the ground, we pull the rope through the anchor.

But the rope did not cooperate this time. Ryan had to climb back up and retrieve it!

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This happens sometimes! Luckily he knew what to do because that rope is $300.00, Yikes!

After a fun climb there is only one thing left to do!

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Happy Hour at Zona78!

Our next climb will be with the whole family!

The Climbing Adventure Continues on Mount Lemmon

Ryan and I have been climbing in the Southern Arizona area, and have been to the Cochise Stronghold area a couple times. We like that area, but it is a two hour drive from our home in the Catalina foothills and makes for a pretty long day. We decided to head over to Mount Lemmon, in the Coronado National Forest, which is only 40 minutes away.

The day was perfect for climbing with the temperature at 73F and no wind. And, since it was a weekday, we would not have too many other climbers to contend with on the wall.

There are many crags here, mostly single pitch climbing, all well bolted with “lower offs” in place.

We chose the “wall of the flying scorpions” because it had several routes, some low enough for me, and most harder, for Ryan to climb.

This is the view from the parking area and our routes are on the far right rock wall.

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We had a bit of a hike to get through the gully and over to the crag. One thing I have learned about hiking in the desert is that the cactus are not the worst offenders. I used to believe that the cacti, with their sharp spines, were the only foliage to be avoided. But the cactus are not the biggest problem! Β The brush and bushes, none of which are the iconic saguaro variety, are the real danger. Look at the spikes on this bush!

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This, and the many large aloe vera plants with their razor sharp leaves, are the real obstacles along the path.

We made our way to the other side of the valley and found the wall.

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These are the easier routes, so just a warm up for Ryan! I made it up this first, 5.8 just fine.

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But, 1/3 of the way up the second wall (5.9) I had a little problem.

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Turns out this rock was a little sharper than I had hoped. As I pulled up on a finger tip hold, I sliced my index finger. It wasn’t too bad, but the blood made the rest of the route a little slippery and I then took a larger piece of my thumb off.

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That was ok because these were the only two routes I was going to attempt on this wall anyway. So I finished off the climb and we moved down the wall to Ryan’s routes, 5.10b, 5.10b/c and a 5.11-.

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Ryan’s routes were longer and obviously harder. At this point I was just belaying him and taking some shots from the base of the wall. A pretty view!

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The view from the base of the wall, looking back on the road leading up Mount Lemmon

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Ryan’s favorite climbing shirt. Last year’s Christmas gift from his sister.

We were not alone at the crag, a few other duos were there working the wall as well. We caught a glimpse of them as we drove away.

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Zooming in on the wall, you can see one of their back packs (circled) where the belayer is standing and the arrow indicates the climber on his way up.

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This must have been how Ryan and I appeared from the other side of the highway.

There are so many other crags to explore on Mount Lemmon and we will be heading back to check them out!