Scottsdale Waterfront Photo

Ron Niebrugge Arizona, Phoenix, Photos, Travel 2 Comments

Scottsdale Waterfront, Scottsdale, Arizona.

Scottsdale Waterfront, Scottsdale, Arizona.

Any water feature seems to really add to a community whether it is a river, lake or ocean.  Towns like Scottsdale and San Antonio, where such things don’t occur naturally have had to get creative in creating a “waterfront”.

This area of Scottsdale has changed a lot since we first visited this region 4 years ago.  Back then, this area was completely under construction.  Last year it was finished, but not much of the landscaping had grown in.  Now, it really is a nice little waterfront with outdoor restaurants, galleries and residential towers.  It is a big change from the sprawling, low density development that has typically taken place in this region.

Downtown Phoenix has changed even more.  Four years ago everything was torn up thanks to the addition of a mass transit rail system, construction of additional convention facilities and office buildings.  Today, all those projects are complete, and it is a nice improvement.

Lesser Goldfinch

Ron Niebrugge Arizona, Phoenix, Photos, Travel 9 Comments

Lesser Goldfinch, Fort McDowell, Arizona.

Lesser Goldfinch, Fort McDowell, Arizona.

I noticed a few people having good luck with bird feeders at this campground so I decided to put one out.  Well, it only took about an hour before goldfinches began to show up!  These colorful birds are a lot of fun to watch and photograph!

Arizona Sunset

Ron Niebrugge Arizona, Phoenix, Photos, Travel 8 Comments

Sunset, McDowell Moutain Regional Park, Arizona.

Sunset, McDowell Mountain Regional Park, Arizona.

We have now moved a bit east into Arizona.  As you can see, there aren’t any wildflowers.  We are here a tad bit earlier then normal, but the lack of wildflowers has much more to do with a dry and unseasonably cold winter that included some freezes.   In some parts of McDowell, many plants appeared dead, hopefully they are just damaged by the freeze.

It is possible that late rains, and now unseasonably warm weather might give us a few flowers – but we definitely won’t be seeing the hills of solid color like we did in 2008.

On The Road Again

Ron Niebrugge Arizona, Phoenix, Photos, Travel 10 Comments

Sonran Desert wildflowers, near Fountain Hills, Arizona.

Sonoran Desert wildflowers, near Fountain Hills, Arizona.

You may have noticed the photo blog activity has slowed down a bit, partly because this rainy, snow-less winter has had me concentrating on office work, and has not provided me with new material for the blog.  But, mostly because we have been trying to get everything wrapped up before our next trip which we leave for on Monday!

Where are we going?  At first we fly to Palm Springs and then head down to Anza-Borrego where we will stay for about a month, and where I will do my Anza-Borrego photo workshop.

After that, believe it or not, we haven’t decided.  With all the rain the Southwest has received, there is a good chance we will chase some wildflowers possibly to Arizona.  But, we have kicked around a few other ideas and may go a different direction.  For now, we have not booked a flight home – we will pick our departure city and date later which makes it kind of fun.

Photo Rescue to the Rescue!

Ron Niebrugge Arizona, Phoenix, Photos, Travel 17 Comments

McCormick Ranch Golf Course, Scottsdale, Arizona.

McCormick Ranch Golf Course, Scottsdale, Arizona.

Here is a mistake I have never made before – I went out one evening to photograph sunset in the hills above Scottsdale, and noticed my card was nearly full.  I did a quick look – perfect, these have been downloaded and backed up, so I formatted my card and began shooting.  It wasn’t until I got back to camp that I remembered that I had photographed Scottsdale and the McCormick Ranch the night before and hadn’t backed up or downloaded those images – I just wiped out that evenings work!

I couldn’t believe it – I’m always so careful.  I told Janine that if we ever get any requests for photos of McCormick Ranch, don’t tell me!  I didn’t lose anything that was going to win awards or solve world peace, but it is still a bummer to lose a nights work.

So I decided to see if I could rescue the images – even though the card was formatted, as long as the new images weren’t written over the old, I thought there might be a chance, and I had nothing to lose.  I downloaded a recovery program, and didn’t have any luck.  I then thought of Photo Rescue.  I noticed that I could download a free version that would search your card and tell what it found before you actually had to buy the program – so I would know if it could work before parting with the cash.  Well, sure enough, I believe it found every photo from that night!  I couldn’t believe it, and happily paid the $29 for the actual program.  It successfully recovered every image.

The ironic thing is that this same SanDisk Extreme card came with Photo Rescue on it for free, so I’m sure I had a copy at home – this is just another reason to use  SanDisk Extreme cards.  In the future I will make sure I have that program on my laptop when I travel.

So if you ever unintentionally delete, format, or just have a card go bad, don’t give up until you try Photo Rescue!

McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Ron Niebrugge Arizona, Phoenix, Photos, Travel 7 Comments

McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Scottsdale, Arizona.

McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Scottsdale, Arizona.

The Brittlebush is finally coming into bloom!  The mountains are sure green for the desert, hard to believe this is a desert.

The residents of Scottsdale have voted a number of times to increase their sales tax rate in order to raise money for the purchase of  private land in the mountains near town, thus forming the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.  It is a wonderful Preserve – beautiful scenery and wonderful trails.  When we weren’t mountain biking for exercise, we would come to this area for a trail run.  Thanks Scottsdale!

We are moving on for a brief visit to Tucson before heading back to Alaska.  It was a bit tough leaving Fort McDowell.  We had the best campsite tucked way off in the corner with no one around.  We over looked the Verde River and could see an active bald eagle nest – it was a great, quiet little location.  We received nearly daily visits from a road runner pair, some baby rabbits, flickers and a wide variety of birds.  We even had a brief visit from javalina.