Are you here to photograph or are you here to help me find deer?
Poof! Just like that, at the sound of my husband’s stern whisper, my hair-brained thought about entering that mine shaft evaporated. And it was a good thing.
Of course, I answered. I just wanted to get a shot or two of this mine.
And so back to work I went, in search of that flick of an ear or a tail.
The sun continued to rise and the desert started to come to life.
Birds of all kinds sang their morning melodies.
A few black-throated sparrows hopped and flitted from bush to bush cracking seeds. I managed to quickly snap a picture of one of them which was quite a challenge–its pretty little head peeking out of the brush and prickly pear cactus. Can you spot him in the photo below?
I was surprised at the number and variety of Butterflies that danced from flower to flower which carpeted the desert floor (owing to the warm weather)–so delicate they seemed in such a harsh environment.
The beauty of what appeared to be a variety of purple thistle also caught my eye and was quickly framed by my camera.
But as the sun started to make its ascent into the sky and things started to warm a bit, my wonder and allure with all God’s magnificent creation was rudely interrupted with the other side of the creation coin–the incoming of the dreaded no-see-ums (those annoying black gnats that dive-bomb your ears and eyes) were swarming.
Did you bring any bug spray? I asked my husband.
Nope, he said. I forgot it.
Like it or not we would have to endure the hardship of these winged devils and it wasn’t easy–the evil little creatures were more than maddening–even my rough-and-tough husband had trouble fending them off.
No hill for a climber, right? So with stiff upper lips we carried on.
At about 9 a.m., it was so warm, I was forced to strip off that long-sleeved Camo shirt I had borrowed from my husband. I had a long-sleeved thermal shirt under it which I immediately regretted wearing. I would have been better off being outfitted in a tank-top and shorts on this trip. But who knew? Until that morning, I had no idea where we were headed. I would have benefited from a check of the weather in advance. I assumed it would be freezing cold–isn’t that what it’s supposed to be like on a fall hunt?
After glassing the same mountainside since sunup, my husband finally decided it was time to move a bit and hike up a primitive road to see what we could see.
And so we did.
I was grateful for the change in scenery and for more opportunities to photograph.
As we snaked our way around and up the mountain side, we came upon this lovely gorge where all the mountain ranges meet–a heavily wooded giant wash at the base.
Once again, I replaced my field glasses with my trusty camera and started snapping pics as my husband steadfastly glassed the hills.
Despite the annoying no-see-ums, the mountains and the terrain were just beautiful. I had forgotten how beautiful.
I sat down on a rock formation behind my husband. He was pretty much oblivious to what I was doing. He probably assumed I was doing my job.
Had I been doing my job, I would have missed capturing the following marvelous images of my husband at work–his passion–to hunt. The morning light was perfect–the setting incredible. I thought: how handsome and rugged he looked. I was seeing him anew, as if for the first time, as if I had never met him and I was suddenly struck at how truly blessed I was to have such a dedicated Godly husband of 26 years, a man who loves me and has Christ as the center of his life and marriage. A man that actually desired that his wife make this trip with him–he wanted me by his side. Right then and there, I whispered: Father God, thank you for this man.
It was now after 10 a.m. and not a single deer was spotted–Doe or Buck! Nada! No wildlife moved on that mountain range, not a Javelina or a Coyote, nothing that we could see.
I was told it was time to move on…
Things were about to get exciting.