Mojave to Morro volume 2013

Time with the desert provides insight into human physiology and perception not readily available anywhere else. Hours of hiking in this arid sunlit environment yields an appreciation of both Mother Nature's timescale – a scale well beyond yours – and your ability to perceive the scene around you. The heat. The glare. The dryness. You can easily become dehydrated, disoriented, lethargic, dead. You may begin to see images for your photographic endeavors, things that are not there. Mirages don't photograph well, even if taking advantage of atmospheric conditions.

The mind may shift from a creative view of the world to one of narrow focus on transiting to a safe haven. Not a mental survival mode, as there is little danger if you are well prepared, but a mindset in conflict with the practiced awareness needed for the day's photographic excursion. Be aware of this change in mindset. Stop to contemplate it. Find some shade, drink some water. Fuel up. Rest. Rethink. Recompose.

Maybe it is simply time to call the outing and return to shelter. Maybe it is simply time for lunch. Above all, never stop watching as you may find the most interesting things when in this mental Netherland.

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