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June 2013 - Return to the Sierra de San Pedro Martir



Even though I was there a month earlier, I couldn't resist heading back to the Sierra de San Pedro Martir for another week of exploring... and photography with my $90 Canon SX150.

Most of the time I was hiking up to and along the edge of Canyon Diablo. And marvelling at how deceptively easy it looks to follow the ridge around the canyon past Botella Azul peak and over to Picacho.



Picacho del Diablo and Cerro Botella Azul
Of course when you hike closer or study it with your binocs you soon see how steep and difficult it is.
A section of Pinnacle Ridge
Cerro Botella Azul (Blue Bottle Peak) rising in the background.
Even on the plateau/park side it's precipitous and dangerous.
But there are great views to the desert and northern Sea of Cortez.
Across the Sea of Cortez to mainland Mexico
And even though you think you're alone, you're never really alone in such a wonderful wilderness.
Even by my campfire there was so much going on - including June beetles getting in a bit of mating.
Mating ten-striped or tenlined June beetles (Polyphylla decemlineata)
I was having nearly as much fun myself trying out the features of my camera...

The night of June 16 my water bowl became covered in ice... tried to capture that with a little fisheye effect.
Graham Mackintosh
And stars and constellations are always worth a photo in the San Pedro Martir. 
The Big Dipper
Even the clouds during the day seem inspired. 
Macro works pretty good too - aphids on a columbine.

San Pedro Martir Columbine
And coming down from the park I stopped a few times to scan the sky for condors. Eventually saw what I thought was a group hovering high above. Hard to be sure looking into the sun.
And really tough to get a decent photo... best I could do...
California condors over the San Pedro Martir
Then they seemed to take an interest in me and circled to check me out.
To my surprise four of them landed thirty yards away.
A pair of Baja California condors on the ground
And went about their condor business as if I didn't exist...

A little preening.
A little squabbling...
And sad to see, a little pecking at trash.
Forty minutes later, time to bid adios and head for home...
Condors take to the sky
And time for me to plan my next trip to the Martir to enjoy the wild summer lightning storms.