"The Milky Way Above The Growler Mountains, Charlie Bell Pass, Arizona" (c) 2012 Stu Jenks
Stu's fun "facts" from last night's shoot:
1) I've been told the Growler Mountains actually growl. Yeah, yeah, right. Until I heard it myself. Sounded like an old pickup truck turning over.
2) Either it was military activity to the north, or aliens. Stationary lights in the sky. I think they were flares. Or aliens.
3) The Milky Way was unbelievably bright and wondrous last night. No light pollution. Perfectly clear skies. The above image is a bit noisy but I like it. Shot using a Canon 5D Mark II, a 24-70 mm lens, at 24 mm, at f 2.8, at 19 seconds. There is a formula a friend taught me, so stars don't become pill-shaped. Bottom line? Go wide, go short, bracket like a son of a gun. Anyway, I might reshoot at some point with really fast film to see the difference between grain and noise. Still a nice picture.
4) Saw mysterious lights moving among the trees last night at Charlie Bell Pass. I don't think they were human. I don't know what they were. I have a pistol under my truck seat. I went and got it at 3 a.m. I put it back in under the seat an hour later. Very spooky.
5) I felt a profound shift happen in my mood last night. Reading "Zoobiguity" by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers during breaks on my iPad had something to do with. Maybe lack of sleep too, but I'm betting on the thoughts and prayers of, for and by loved ones helped a lot. Mysterious hands, far away.
6) and lastly, if you plan to travel to Charlie Bell Pass in the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, I would highly recommend four wheel drive. All the government requires is high clearance but it's a very tough road. Good and tough. And worth the trip. Stay the night. Experience the nocturnal magic of The Growlers.