The text below is the record (for me, primarily) of the circumstances surrounding the images captured this year.
January 7, 2012 -- Four camera-toting women went out into the 23° F day to find ice and snow for the photo club critique meeting. Edson Fichter Park kept us busy until lunchtime, and Ella and Kathy went home; Tracey and Ruth went back out to East Fork Mink Creek, where we played with an enthusiastic flock of at least 4 bird species and then caught the last of the sundown light coming under the cloud layer onto the west side of China Peak.
February 4, 2012 -- Others had called, but Roger and Ruth didn't see them by 9:10, so off we went, moving about 2 blocks before stopping outside the nursery to play with the tall grasses and eastern white pine that our friend Gary babies along. Then up into the hills we drove, stopping by the water tank that overlooks the freeway and new neighborhoods east of it. Roger enjoyed the low angles his nimble Nikon lets him have, and Ruth was pulled in by the rolls and folds of the juniper-dotted hills.
March 4, 2012 -- Newcomers outnumbered stalwarts on this miserably cold, breezy, low-overcast day of brown light. Cathy, Jay R., Ruth, Sandi, and Tracey decided to go south, with the first stop being at Sandi's house to trade boots for the slippers she showed up in. We worked maybe half the distance toward McCammon, and then hightailed it to the Chevron station for lunch. Two deserted three then, and Sandi, Tracey, and Ruth pulled images out of the now-abandoned former Indian Rocks State Park.
March 25-31, 2012 -- Ruth got a road trip! Visited Valley of Fire, friends in Yuma, friend in Buckeye. NEW CAMERA: Fujifilm Finepix S4000, with over 2x the mpx of my Rebel, and a much more versatile lens. Feels weird, insubstantial, small; but I guess I'm getting used to using it; this series of adventures brought in by far the most images, and for the rest of the year, this was the camera more often in my hand. It really doesn't like COLD appreciably more than the Canon, though!
April 7, 2012 -- Wayne, Roger, and Ruth set out headed north. Ended up going south, after spending a little time in the ravine that R&R had passed up two months before. My AMI Trail (Kirkham Trailhead) gallery got lots bigger.
May 6, 2012 -- After only an hour of highway clean-up, Mel decided we could drive up the Malad Summit (Power House) road to check out the progress of Spring. We met a hoard of snow fleas (look them up) out cavorting on the Indian Mill trail, and saw at least seven plants in bloom.
May 10, 2012 -- Played hooky from work to go with Roger and Peggy to visit a 5-acre desert plants garden 2 hours west in Twin Falls. Glorious colors beginning to show up there!
May 12, 2012 -- Roger, Tracey and Ruth in one car, and Archie and Ella in another, stopped first at Idaho State University's Administration building to prime our powers of perception, and then proceeded to Inkom. Roger remembered a purveyor of ponds along the old highway, so we stopped for a most enjoyable morning at Idaho Pondmasters. This involved at least an hour and a half of wandering among outdoor nooks created with ponds, fountains, gardens, and trees, all a-twitter with yellow warblers, orioles, cowbirds, and house finches, punctuated by screams from a mostly-unseen sentinel peafowl.
June 1-2, 2012 -- I began June with a 2-night solitary campout at Craters of the Moon National Monument that was part of leading a Native Plant Society outing with two eastern Idaho chapters invited. Having fully expected 30 or even 40 participants, I was surprised and relieved to welcome only 8. A thunderous and spectacular rainshower preceded them by three hours, allowing the sun and wind to pull things together before they came.
June 9, 2012 -- I led another Native Plant Society trip to Knox Canyon in the Deep Creek Mountains in the next county west. At our first stop, we learned things would be briskly windy, but were undeterred, adding a significant percentage of new plants to our list. At the top of the ridge, we were quickly persuaded of our foolishness, and hightailed it home. But then, never one to miss an opportunity, I noshed in the icy wind with the local Audubon chapter as they celebrated another successful birdathon, and visited work-friends' annual open house to see the storm from yet another direction.
June 12, 2012 -- I learned a name for why I can't see well: "Macular pucker." It could be diabetic or idiopathic. The "treatment" sounds barbaric at best.
July, 2012 -- My summer adventures again included California and Nevada. The theme was mountain lions in both states. I didn't see any, or any "evidence," as I have in some years (my brother and niece did get to watch one bounding away from them), but I felt it prudent to turn back during one hike when I heard SOMEthing screaming ahead of me. I realized that COULD have been the Himalayan snow cocks I was hoping to see, but since I wasn't sure, I left. It really didn't sound bird-like.
October 6, 2012 -- Patty, Sandi, Wayne and Ruth ventured into the frigid morning to gather in some Idaho autumn. In the front seat, there was talk of Alaska, and we heard that yes, Alaska has the auroras and the equinoxes, but has nothing over Idaho when it comes to mountains. Now THAT's big talk!
On the 13th of October, a passel of photo club members headed for Soda Springs to meet the Montpelier club's adventurers for the World Wide Photo Walk (but never saw them). The day was blustery and miserable, so we had more fun over the lunch table, but still got a few images. I found my best ones, though, on the way to Soda and on the way back.
On November 3, 2012, it was Roger, Wayne and Sandi who joined me; we spread out across Centennial Park in Pocatello and found plenty to keep us focused around its periphery while some other group took over the center of it for a dutch oven meal. Wayne went on his own way afterward, and R, R, and S investigated the greenway path north of the park.
December 1, 2012 -- This day's safari had Roger and Ruth scampering southward toward the sun; we got only as far as the lower University campus, which hosted us splendidly, although for a very short time; Ruth had an extra choir rehearsal that morning. We had fun searching harder for images, as autumn had rendered barren what had been verdant.
And that sums up my year. Can you tell I enjoy writing at least a much as photographing? May this find you warm, well, and watching for every chance to share what YOU love about life on this magnificent planet!