Night of the turtle

Today I went out for another sunset walk, but this time I was prepared.

Camera. Telephoto Lens. Tripod. It’s my last night in Tucson, and I want to make it count.

It was already golden hour as I stepped outside. The sky was still a bright blue, and it contrasted beautiful against the orange of the sun-soaked desert.


I took the nearby trail, walking quietly, to avoid scaring away the animals.

The sun was getting low, giving the cacti that signature spiky glow.


I walked with my eyes peeled and my camera at the ready. If I saw something, I couldn’t waste precious seconds fumbling to get my lens cap off.

Suddenly there was a flicker of movement; a jackrabbit running between bushes.

Instantly I locked on with my camera, zoomed in… but I was late. The rabbit was far, I couldn’t get the shot I wanted.


I saw a flock of birds sitting on a fence. Redemption!

But by the time I raised my camera, most of them had flown off.

I got a shot of the stragglers, but still wasn’t satisfied.


I came out the other end of the trail, but not before noticing how the golden light made even a barbed wire fence look pretty.


As I reached the road a little shape caught my eye.

A desert tortoise, frozen in place, just 10 feet away.


It had seen me first, and now it was waiting, hoping I’d pass by.

I crouched down, set my tripod low to the ground, zoomed all the way in, and got the shot.


While I watched the tortoise, distant clouds were dumping rain somewhere lucky.


The fiery orange of the sky softened. It started getting dark.


Just then, the moon peeked out from behind the nearby mountains. I watched it rise, perfectly round and amazingly bright.

It’s a “supermoon” tonight, meaning it’s the brightest night of the year. I took a lot of pictures, but none of them did it justice, so I’ll just leave you with a selfie.


Finally, I packed up my gear and headed back home, the city of Tucson twinkling on the horizon.


I might send a newsletter sometime.