Introduction: How to Explore Arizona for Beautiful Flowers
This is my entry into the 2008 Flower Contest. If you find that you like this Instructable please vote for me in the contest and/or give me a + plus.
My family and I take riding trips on our ATVs all across Arizona. Our ATV's are street legal and have very low emissions, probably lower than the car you drive. It has a 3 gallon tank and I get 120 miles to a full tank. You do the math, it's most likely better than you car. Therefore I consider it greener than most vehicles.
While on these rides we take a lot of pictures. My wife just so happens to like to take pictures of flowers. It doesn't matter if they are high up in the mountains marshes, near low valley streams, or in the harsh environment of the dry arid desert; you can find blooms in almost any environment in Arizona. This is also a great reminder how beautiful this country is and that we should preserve it, remember to always Tread Lightly
Below you will find a video montage I put together of Arizona plants blooming. But be sure to check out the rest of the Instructable of how to find the flowers. The video is accompanied by the music of Bill Furner's " Acoustic Samurai" which creates a peaceful, inspirational, and emotional tone that helps connect the viewer to the video on a personal level.
Enjoy the video if you are not familiar with the Arizona you may be surprised by its beauty.
If you would like to see more pictures of our rides and scenery shots you can see more on my website www.miles-o-smiles.com Click Photo Album on the left side of the screen. Next choose ATV Rides from the main window area and enjoy the pics.
Thanks for looking and don't forget to vote for me in the contest!
You can also find the video on my personal webpage here in a larger format for better viewing.
Step 1: Get Yourself an ATV or Other Off-road Transportation
You might say "ATV's aren't green". Well neither is the car you drive, but my ATV has very low emissions and it is street legal with plates. My truck has very low emissions also and gets pretty good gas mileage as well. The only thing better was if I had a horse. Well I don't have a horse, but even they put out emissions. If you have never been around one, or behind one then don't even start to dispute this. :-)
Here in Arizona there are so many back roads and trails, not to mention the terrain varies so dramatically you really require an off-road vehicle to be safe. But an off-road vehicle is not an absolute necessity, you could hike or bike. But an ATV helps you to get out to the more remote areas where you don't want to be with a bike.
We, my wife and I, have two Bombardier (now Ca-Am) 2 seater ATV's (see the pics below) which we take the kids out on. It is a fantastic time. Remember to stay on authorized trails and not tear up the environment. People that do that give ATVâs a bad name.
Along the way my wife loves to stop and take pictures of flowers.
Before you can take pictures you need to choose a camera. This leads to the next step in the Instructable, choosing a camera.
Step 2: Choosing a Camera
There are thousands of cameras you can choose from. Film or digital is the bigger question. I chose digital for the cheaper cost and better pictures, not to mention it doesn't require the caustic chemicals that it takes to develop film. Those chemicals often end up in our water ways as well as drinking water and hey that's not GREEN.
I have a Kodak V803 8.0 Mega Pixel camera. It received pretty good reviews and the price wasn't to bad either, about $110 if I remember correctly. It also comes with some pretty cool software and Kodak likes to give big incentives if you order prints on line, if you choose to go the caustic non-green way.
If you are going to be taking close up shots then make sure the camera that you purchase has a macro zoom. I am still learning the finer points of macro zoom but so far it is very easy to use.
Just remember to conduct research to find a camera that does what you want it to. Use epinion.com for customer reviews; you can even try amazon.com both are great sources to find out what others think about the product you want to buy.
Step 3: Find Your Location to Explore and Get Out There.
Now that you have your camera it is time to load up the ATV's and head out.
Before you head out you should have some idea of where to go. So this should be an important part for you, decide where you want to explore nature BEFORE you leave the house. It doesn't matter if you are high up in the mountains marshes, near low valley streams, or in the harsh environment of the dry arid desert; you can find blooms in almost any environment in Arizona as well as almost any time of the year. This is also a great reminder how beautiful this country is and that we should preserve it, remember to always Tread Lightly
Tread lightly is a national nonprofit organization with a mission to proactively protect recreation access and opportunities in the outdoors through education and stewardship initiatives.
It is the nations signature ethics message for outdoor enthusiasts that use motorized and mechanized vehicles.
With that said, our latest location was off Hwy 87 about 30 miles north east of Scottsdale, AZ; near the Rolls OHV area.
Whether it is springtime or autumn in Arizona you can go find plants blooming somewhere here. Go to northern AZ during the hot summer and Central and Southern AZ in the winter. There is no particular area of the North or South that you have to go to. Just walk outside and look around and you will see it happening. We just enjoy the outdoors so we make the most of it riding the back trails and taking in the views.
Once you are at your destination unload, go explore, and find great picture opportunities of flowers or anything else.
Time to move on to the next step.
Step 4: Capture the Moment
When you find your ideal photo shot take it and don't hesitate or you might miss it. Actually take lots of pictures the more the better!
Step 5: Other Shots
Don't just concentrate on the scenery; get photos of the family as well. Flowers aren't the only thing blooming here, so is our family bond.
Step 6: Return Home Create Instructable
When the day is done sit, relax, and create a new Instructable about finding flowers in Arizona. Try gathering all of your wifeâs flower photos and create a montage video and Instructable. Then enter it into the 2008 Flower contest on instructables.com and hope everyone who enjoys it enough will vote for you to win a prize.