While visiting Monument Valley waiting for the sun to set, we decided to kill some time in the gift shop.  After a few moments of looking at worthless trinkets, we walked into an anteroom to look at a 3-D model of the Valley where we found a group of four photographers all set up for a Mitten sunset shoot.  As photographers do, we started talking about our equipment, cameras that is. In no time their leader let me know how talented he is, noting that he has three recent Arizona Highways covers and a spot in National Geographic. His chest expanded and his feathers formed into a colorful plume. Placing his arm around my shoulders he asked if I could do better.

Now, I’m from New York. And we New Yorkers never ignore a challenge like this. It’s in our DNA.

I casually mentioned that I won a recent Arizona Highways contest for wildlife.  I didn’t lie or even stretch the truth as many a New Yorker might to ensure a point is heard and well understood. My photographer friend paused, tucked his feathers in and let out a deep breath. “You won this year’s contest,” he asked?  I nodded with smugness all throughout me but with a humble facade. It seems I gained instant respect. With his arrogance stowed, he now entertained me in normal discourse, photographer to photographer. Peer to peer.

I later looked up his work and have to admit, his photos are excellent. But then, so are mine! 🙂

These photographers were waiting for this  shot of the Mittens. Too bad it was a bit windy and dusty.

Twice per year the sun is perfectly aligned with the Mittens

Twice per year the sun is perfectly aligned with the Mittens