Orbs Await Hot Air Balloonists

In yesterday’s post we saw a tree photographed by Therese Beavers that had an eagle’s nest. Those orbs may have been protective of the nest.

The tree in the above and below photos is a very different tree.

This tree is a party tree. People come from miles around and across the ocean to gather here in the dark to share food and tell stories. It took me two and a half hours to reach the tree this morning.

When you’re in one of the first two cars of people to arrive, you wonder, will anyone else show up?

Yes! It’s a party after all, the hot air balloonists have arrived, including those who live on the other side of the Atlantic.

The crew who won’t be staying for the party get to work immediately setting up their balloon.

Ballooning is really about fellowship and there is work of a different kind to be done. We certainly do seem to have the orbs attention.

First, while we determine which way the wind is blowing and if it’s a good day for flying, we establish a home base.

Then we can focus on actually putting a balloon up into the sky.

One of my favorite photographic moments in hot air ballooning.

An orb of a different color ascends into the sky.

Thanks to Dan, Lorrie, and Julia Ewer of Foolish Pleasure Hot Air Balloon Rides for organizing our holiday balloon rally in Marana, Arizona.

We had an orbs delightful time!

For those of you who are new to this blog, or would like to refresh your memories as to what orbs are, perhaps this will help: https://orbsdelight.wordpress.com/2012/11/17/photographing-orbs/

Flying in an Orb of a Balloon

In yesterday’s post I described the process of putting a hot air balloon up into the sky.  After the other balloons had taken flight from the field I saw Dream Catcher off in the distance still waiting to ascend.

Jeff, the Crew Chief for his wife, pilot Elaine Anderson, was happy to see another potential crew member coming to help.

I was happily photographing while helping when Elaine asked if I’d like a ride.


Usually I love to fly even though there’s that cold feeling of fear in the pit of my stomach.  This time my flight was so unexpected the fear didn’t have time to get its grip on me.

With a burst of flame we were flying into the morning sky of Marana, Arizona.

My crew members were setting up the tailgate party below and totally unaware that I was flying overhead.

It was a beautifully clear day for a flight over the Pima cotton fields and mesquite trees. Very little wind so that we basically went up and down and just thought about flying across to other fields.

Finally, Elaine decided to bring us back to Earth.

The crew came to meet us and pack the balloon away.

For those of you who have not experienced the joys of hot air ballooning here are a few tips: always bring a pair of leather gloves to handle the ropes, be hopeful, but not too disappointed if you don’t get a ride the first time you crew, and don’t rush away at the end of the flight.

Tailgating is half the fun and a chance to relax after a sometimes strenuous early morning workout of wrangling a hot air balloon into and out of the sky.