Summer Drive over Redington Pass


Earlier this year I purchased a Chevy Colorado ZR2. It’s an off-road beast, but I am a novice at that sort of thing. So I have been driving some dirt roads just to get a feel for it. This morning I drove over Redington Pass between the Santa Catalina and Rincon Mountains, something that I have wanted to do for a long time and never have. I didn’t stop to take many pictures, but did get a few. The highlight was seeing an amazing gray fox standing on the road, but unfortunately it ran off after watching me for only about ten seconds and all I got was a blurry through-the-windshield Bigfoot-quality photograph of him running away. Definitely not worth showing here. But there was also a nice four-foot long gopher snake sunning on the road:

This four-foot long gopher snake was sunning on Redington Pass Road near Tucson, Arizona, June 2018. Nikon D850 with 300mm f/4E PF VR lens at f/8.0, 1/250 sec, ISO 64.

There are three lenses that I currently try to use for snake photographs. First is the compact Nikon 300mm f/4E PF VR, which has a comfortable stand-off range for a snake (see the example immediately above). Second is the Nikon 85mm f/2.8 PC-E, which I tilt to get the whole snake in focus (as in the example at the top of this post). Finally, my dream is to use my new fisheye, the Nikon 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E, on the end of a pole right down on the ground in front of the snake. I try to use them in this order, because as you work your way closer to the snake it will eventually spook and flee, which unfortunately happened before I could pull off the fisheye shot. But I did get two of the three.

I also did find a nice saguaro with some late blooms that were nicely lit by the sun:

Some late saguaro blossoms along Redington Pass Road near Tucson, Arizona. Nikon D850 with 300mm f/4E PF VR lens at f/8, 1/160 sec, ISO 64.