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Photo Essay: Front Yard Tuneup

Well, my plans for a quiet 4th of July afternoon at the computer were rather rudely interrupted. Our teaser of a monsoon season decided to let loose on drought-parched Tucson, Arizona. Loud thunder. Lots of lightning. Photo op… The sight of a flood near my front porch did not fill me with joy. But the…

Event Photography: Tucson’s 2012 July 4th Celebration

Well, Happy Birthday, USA. You’re looking pretty good for a 236-year-old. I started my Independence Day too darn early. Woke up around 4:45 a.m. Pretty soon,  it was light enough to do things like harvest mesquite beans and turn the compost. Such is the life of a micro-scale urban farmer. After breakfast, I rolled the…

Photo Essay: Mesquite Bean Harvest

As mentioned in previous posts, I have a nice big mesquite tree in my front yard. It’s in the Transition Zone of my xeriscape, and it has become one of my very best friends. When I look at this tree, I say “Feed me!” Here’s why… During June and July, Tucson’s mesquite trees are quite…

Photo Essay: Greywater Harvesting on the Cheap

Funny thing about those plants in the yard. Although a lot of them are native species of the low water using variety, they still get thirsty. They get especially thirsty at this time of the year, when daytime temperatures are in the triple digits and rain is scarce. A popular solution to the thirsty plants…

Construction Photography: Free Gas Meter Replacement

So, I’m sitting here in the studio, minding my own business, and what should I hear but a-knocking at my door. It’s Pat from Heath Consultants, and guess what. It’s time to replace my gas meter. For free. Mind you, Heath Consultants (under contract with Southwest Gas) isn’t making this offer out of the goodness…

Photo Essay: Bicycle Transportation in Car-land

So, I wrapped up a pretty good day of work, and it was time for a bicycle ride. This evening’s destination, the University of Arizona campus. Community open house on the university’s proposed bicycle and pedestrian plan. Okay, so Martha’s on her bike, pedaling toward campus, and what’s this? It’s the Incredible Disappearing Bike Lane!…

Photo Essay: Hot Summer Gardening

Among the many things I’ve become interested in since moving to the Southwest 25 years ago, gardening is among the more challenging. Especially now. Hot summer gardening is one of those challenges that only a plant geek would love. It helps if your geekiness is complemented with a willingness to conduct experiments. My experimental turn…

Photo Essay: Climbing Deejay Mountain

In the spring of 2009, I began volunteering at Tucson’s community radio station, KXCI. At first, I was part of the pledge drive phone crew, and I was pretty happy working behind the scenes. Late last fall, an invitation to join a KXCI deejay class landed in my e-mailbox. Tuition was at the can’t-resist price…

Event Photography: Tucson Folk Festival 2012

For the third year in a row, I was the official photographer for the Tucson Folk Festival. Held Downtown Tucson, the Folk Festival treats thousands people to a free weekend of acoustic music on five stages. One of this year’s performers was Michael McGarrah, a singer/songwriter with a wickedly funny sense of humor…

Photo Essay: Slacker Mesquite Tree

Welcome to my place, home of the slacker mesquite tree. This tree has the dubious distinction of being the last one on the block to bloom. But when it comes to dropping leaves all over the place, my mesquite is a champ. I truly adore having to sweep the porch, over and over again… Then…

Event Photography: Spring 2012 Bicycle Swap Meet

This spring marks the debut of the Tucson Bicycle Swap Meet’s new location. Now covering four city blocks instead of three, the new venue features a trolley track-free shopping experience. Said trolley tracks are the reason for the swap meet’s move. The Modern Streetcar construction project on 4th Avenue is underway — and will be…

Bicycle Photography: Riding with the Mayor

Well, here we are at the start of Bike to Work Week here in Tucson. And what’s a work-at-home bike-tographer to do? The answer is: Set the alarm for oh-dark-hundred, gather up the photo gear, then head over to the University of Arizona campus. Sounds a lot like the seven years that I spent employed…

Photo Essay: Chester County Spring

During a recent visit to eastern Pennsylvania, I experienced something I hadn’t seen since the late 1980s. That would be spring coming to the Northeast. There were the signs of imminent spring like daffodils sprouting everywhere… The rhododendron bushes were budding… The moss was growing fresh and furry… The streams weren’t brimming over with snow…

Bicycle Photography: Riding to the ADDY Awards

Last month, I received word that my recently published bike-tography book had won an ADDY Award from the Tucson Advertising Federation. What kind of ADDY? A Gold, Silver, or Bronze? The notification e-mail didn’t say. But, since bike-tography is the act of combining bicycling with photography, I embarked on a bike-tographic expedition to the Fox…

Photo Essay: Mulching the Yard

Xeriscaping update:  It only took 3 hours and 40 minutes to get the better part of that big pile of mulch into the front yard and spread around. Amidst all the mulching, I also had to remove a pile of cut up mesquite branches from the yard’s main water harvesting basin. Those branches were left…

Photo Essay: Free Yard Mulch

In the life of a xeriscaper, there are fewer questions sweeter than “Would you like some free mulch?” Why the affection for ground up tree trunks, branches, and leaves? Because mulch holds moisture in the soil. It also builds the soil and controls weeds. In the arid Southwestern United States, we like such things. A…

Freelancer’s Guide to Starting a Successful Photography Business

While the Internet is full of advice on how to take better pictures, information on the business side of photography can be hard to come by. To fill this void, I created the Freelancer’s Guide to Starting a Successful Photography Business. It showcases more than 50 resources that will help freelancers learn professional business practices…

Bicycle Photography: UA Criterium 2012

I’ll admit to feeling sad while at a bicycling event. Why? Because we may have seen the last UA Criterium on Saturday. The closed-course race around the University of Arizona never attracted huge numbers of spectators. But if you were into cycling, you just had to be there. No way could you miss it. Several…

Photo Essay: Battling Buffelgrass

So, there you are, trying to do the right thing. You go to all the trouble of controlling the weeds on your property, then there it is: Buffelgrass. According to the Southern Arizona Buffelgrass Coordination Center, “[R]apid spread of buffelgrass and conversion of fire-resistant desert to flammable grassland rivals urban growth and water as the…

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