I want to apologize for not posting more often, but for the past year I’ve been dealing with a major health issue. Unfortunately, I live in the Verde Valley of Arizona, which includes Sedona and Cottonwood. The Verde Valley is well known for its subpar quality of medical care, so my condition wasn’t being dealt with or even identified.
Then a couple of months ago everything went nutz. I had two trips to the Verde Valley ER in two days and one trip to the Barrow ER on one of those days, and encountered a neurologist at the Verde Valley hospital who actually knew what he was doing. He diagnosed my issue as a brain tumor. A couple hours later he had me in an ambulance for a two hour ride to the ER at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. Barrow is one of the best neurological facilities in the country.
I finally received the proper tests and evaluations. A team of doctors was assembled and a treatment plan was created. I have a long road ahead that includes chemo, radiation and possibly surgery, but I’m finally getting the treatment I need.
The problem is that the condition, medication and treatment leave me constantly tired, weak, unmotivated, dealing with balance problems and brain fog. I have to use a walker on the sidewalks in our neighborhood because of the balance issue. So no carrying my camera pack, hiking or going on any trails for a while.
It’s time for me to adapt to the situation. I will be doing more photography with my phone of what I find around, and in, my home. For example, today a bud on my Venus flytrap opened. That has only happened once before, and it’s so cool. I will also be doing composite photography.
But during all of this I’ve been working on a plan to put more content on my blog and monthly newsletter for you.
To that end, I will put at least two posts a month up that will both show you my work, the beauty of Arizona and help you to improve your photography.
These posts will include:
- My photographs – How I took them and why I took them.
- Videos – Showing my equipment, How To, DIY and more.
- Memes – Inspirational to help you stay motivated.
- Business tips – To help you improve your business.
- Articles – On various topics.
Let’s start off with this photo.
I took this photo of a Saguaro cactus in 2010. What I love about this shot is that I was able to shoot the buds and flowers at eye level. You almost never get this kind of shot because the tops of these arms are often 10 – 20 feet (3 – 6 meters) above the ground, so you usually only get a profile shot. These make great shots, but getting the entire end of the branch is something special.
What most people don’t know is how slow growing these saguaro cacti really are. They won’t start to grow their first arm until they are 95-100 years old and aren’t fully grown until they are 200 years old. Some saguaro will produce dozens of arms, and some produce none. I would assume this is a 200 plus year old cactus and the arm may be 100 years old.
I took this shot because I wanted to immortalize this rare chance to shoot the arm at this angle, and to record its beauty.
A couple of years later, I went back to this cactus hoping to get some more shots, but that was now impossible. Probably several months before I returned, someone had hacked the branch off the cactus and chopped it into four pieces that were lying on the ground.
Because of someone whose heart and soul was filled with hate and pain for themselves, nature and beauty, this cactus was damaged beyond repair. No one will ever be able to take a photograph of this beautiful cactus arm again. It’s really so sad.
Besides this damage, I’ve seen graphite scratched and spray painted onto rocks, pictographs and petroglyphs defaced, Native American ruins torn apart, and more. People really need to respect the nature and beauty that is around us, and to protect it for future generations.
We all have our reasons for taking the photographs that we take. But once in a while, something happens at the hand of people or nature that destroys something we have photographed. Thanks to our work, we have immortalized it for future generations.
Do you have a photograph of something that has since been damaged or destroyed? Show us what you saved for future generations.