©Bert Gildart: Temperatures here at Agua Calienta in California’s Anza Borrego Desert State Park continue to peak slightly above the 100 degree mark. For the desert photographer, the challenge is to illustrate the torrid conditions that result.
Knowing that telephoto lenses compress the scenery, this morning, just before sunrise, which here occurred at 6:56 a.m., I attached a 600mm lens to my Nikon D7000, then mounted the combination on a tripod. As the sun began to rise I focused on a nearby ocotillo bush, then stopped the aperture to f-22 to maximize depth of field.
Quickly now the sun began to emerge from behind the distant mountains, creating as it rose a brilliant red glow. The extreme length of the lens dramatized the power of the sun and hopefully suggested the challenge to which life in the Colorado Desert (a subdivision of the Sonoran Desert) is subjected in this torrid desert.
At the surface of the sun some 149.6 million kilometers away, scientists have calculated temperatures average about 6,000 degrees K, and later in the day, it seemed as though we could feel each and every one of those gradations.
Janie and I are camped at Agua Caliente with our Airstream friends Bill and Larry of San Diego, and I must report that the four of us also seek shade and the comfort of our very efficient air conditioners. Nevertheless, Bill and I have made several early morning and late evening hikes. Later, we shamelessly gather around the epicurean delights which Larry takes such pride in creating.
Believe it or not, dinner conversation revolves around the beauty and charm of the desert, which despite the torrid sun, has drawn us all.
NOTE: Agua Caliente is a historic hot springs and offers no internet connections. To post this blog I’ve had to drive about four miles to Vallecito, an old stage coach stop where I set up beneath a sheltered picnic bench. There’s no electricity at the stage stop so I write the blog at our campground and then quickly make my connections at Vallecito. I don’t linger as it seems my poor computer might bake – and me too. For some strange reason there is absolutely no one else around.
AIRSTREAM TRAVELS TWO YEARS AGO: