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Talk about a trip you took out to Anza Borrego

Colorado Desert From The Air Messages in this topic - RSS

tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 984


5/31/2020
tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 984
Got a relatively inexpensive drone (Mavic Mini) recently to see how the desert looks from above. Went out on several trips this month to photograph known cultural sites and a couple things I found on GE that may or may not be "real." Would rate my drone flying skills as comparable to a teenager on Day 1 of Driver's Ed but haven't crashed it yet so happy about that. All of the pics are non ABDSP

Here's an archaic site near Ocotillo described by Begole back in the 70's.

IMP-110 by tomteske, on Flickr

Tool were typically rather large and crude and pottery/small projectile points many years in the future. Here's a couple stone tools still lying on the ground. Both are made of the commonly used green porphyric metavolcanic (that green spotted stuff) rock and both heavily patinated indicating they've been there a long time.

IMP-110 Tool by tomteske, on Flickr

IMP-110 Tool2 by tomteske, on Flickr


Was pretty sure I'd found a new geoglyph when I spotted this guy but apparently it has previously been recorded and is associated with a large quarry site for, you guessed it, porphyritic green metavolcanic rock. The geoglyph is a serpentine line about 65-70 meters long. Tire tracks are in the top middle of the pic.

Geoglyph Drone by tomteske, on Flickr


Geoglyph by tomteske, on Flickr

Geoglyph2 by tomteske, on Flickr

I think this is a geoglyph that was transected by Old Hwy 80 years ago and even more so by I-8.

Geoglyph by tomteske, on Flickr

Nearby cleared circles on a bench overlooking the Ocotillo area.

Rock Circles by tomteske, on Flickr

A large cleared cicle with a smaller rock circle in the perimetry on a bench overlooking Ocotillo.

Rock Circle2 by tomteske, on Flickr

Rock Circle by tomteske, on Flickr

Went out today and took pics of the lake bed of Ancient Lake Cahuilla. Definitely a different perspective.

Red Onions by tomteske, on Flickr

Red Onions3 by tomteske, on Flickr

Tree on Canal Bank by tomteske, on Flickr

If you can't fathom how the Imperial Valley can use 2M acre feet of Colorado River water every year, wonder no longer.

River Water2 by tomteske, on Flickr

River Water by tomteske, on Flickr

Would really like to do more drone photography with a nicer camera after I learn how to not crash. Shows a completely unique perspective of what we've seen a million times. Enjoy! Tom
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tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 984


6/1/2020
tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 984
Rocko1 wrote:
Tommy you have a fantastic eye for finding things! Great pictures and finds. I have considered a drone but have reservations after being out in nature and having them buzz around near me-the noise can be quite off putting.


Agree, those yahoos flying drones all over public spaces or 2 ft away from the wildlife need to stay away. That said, really think it would be a great addition to park volunteers needing to document change over time at sensitive cultural sites. For example, just noticed by drone photos someone had been substantially altering a well known spoked wheel geoglyph near Ocotillo in the past years. Changes were made to another rather obscure geoglyph as well. Do-gooders? Kumeyaay? I don't know, but I forwarded the info to BLM for follow up. Not sure what the sheep counters would have to say about drones as a supplemental viewing platform. Drones can be annoying and noisy but many including mine are rather invisible and inaudible at about 50 ft overhead and may not be an issue for careful wildlife observers.

One last thing. I never have GPS enabled for cameras and phones but your drone will. Had to remind myself to remove all GPS data from pics of sensitive sites.
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tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 984


6/18/2020
tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 984
rockhopper wrote:
Tommy. Book is on order. Looking forward to adding to the Library. On topic, Back in the 80's during my "Surfing Years" we would see scuba divers coming out of the ocean with stone tools and grinding metates from off shore. This was in the N. County near Encinitas. The divers could only go so deep so alot is still out there. 10,000 years ago the shore line was around 300 feet lower and up to miles out from the current shore line. At the Spindrift site in La Jolla the ocean bottom drops off quickly and the old shore line was only a few hundred yards out.

Here's an interesting article on La Jolla off shore archaeology. Fascinating stuff.
https://www.lajollalight.com/news/health-science/sd-scripps-center-marine-archaeology-20170803-story.html
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Buford
Buford
Posts: 370


6/1/2020
Buford
Buford
Posts: 370
Nice. I actually enjoy the pictures as much as I find drones obnoxious.

I saw someone flying a drone within feet over an active peregrine nest this weekend. I don’t know if they knew the nest was there. Sadly the falcons didn’t take out the drone for our entertainment.
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ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 890


6/2/2020
ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 890
Love the photos. Thanks for being a responsible drone operator and keeping it out of the park. Drones are like dogs, great.... but too many people own them. If you eventually want to upgrade to a fancier camera and a bigger system, Don Leroi at Aerial Imaging Systems builds a bunch of hexacopters for NOAA to photograph whales, sea lions, and penguins. We use mainly Sony mirrorless cameras on our systems. https://aerialimagingsolutions.com

Their training for these systems are taken seriously, FAA certification required. https://aerialimagingsolutions.com/training/
edited by ziphius on 6/2/2020

--
http://www.coyotelearning.org
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tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 984


6/2/2020
tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 984
Sound like everyone is in agreement drones are awesome and terrible depending on how they're used. Ziphius, nice article on seal counting. My cheap drone camera now has more MP than the one in your article which is from 2011. Your Sony mirrorless setup is probably a completely different story! My little drone in intentionally 249 grams, one less than required for an FAA certificate which is .55 to 55lbs.

What interests me the most is high resolution panoramas and I think our area has a lot of possibilities.
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rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 600


6/4/2020
rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 600
Nice finds. Neat adventure Tommy! Were the camping circles on the benches above the ancient lake shore line? The multiple lake fills over the past 12,000 years ( At least 8 full fills but probably many more) supported large populations at various periods of lake fills. Lake fills may have lasted 50 years or more with constant inflows from the Colorado river. Population peak may have reached 10,000 around the lake. Those stone tools could be 1000 years old or 10,000 years old.
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tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 984


6/5/2020
tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 984
Rocko1 wrote:
tommy750 wrote:
Sound like everyone is in agreement drones are awesome and terrible depending on how they're used. Ziphius, nice article on seal counting. My cheap drone camera now has more MP than the one in your article which is from 2011. Your Sony mirrorless setup is probably a completely different story! My little drone in intentionally 249 grams, one less than required for an FAA certificate which is .55 to 55lbs.

What interests me the most is high resolution panoramas and I think our area has a lot of possibilities.


What is your drones MP count Tommy? Some high res panos would be pretty fantastic.

Mine is 12.7MP and not bad for the price. Definitely could stitch a few pics together in Photoshop for a decent pano.
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tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 984


6/5/2020
tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 984
ziphius wrote:
Tommy yeah the article is a little outdated! We're using a 36 MP Sony A7R on a hexacopter these days.

You have any pics you could post from your work with that setup?? Would be very interesting to see.
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ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 890


6/5/2020
ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 890


Gray whales from 150 ft altitude. Custom hexacopter with Sony A7R mirrorless body.

tommy750 wrote:
ziphius wrote:
Tommy yeah the article is a little outdated! We're using a 36 MP Sony A7R on a hexacopter these days.

You have any pics you could post from your work with that setup?? Would be very interesting to see.

edited by ziphius on 6/5/2020

--
http://www.coyotelearning.org
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rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 600


6/19/2020
rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 600
Very interesting. The whole under water archaeological community will no doubt "bring up" new pieces to the puzzle of the history human occupation of our area. I always thought whole different civilizations came and went along the coast, the mountains and the desert. The oldest clues seem to be underwater up to miles off shore all along the San Diego county coast and up to 300 feet below the surface. I need a submarine. Sign me up!
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