Seeing Things, Saying Things

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Posts Tagged ‘cactus

Up Early to Catch the Sunrise

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I made it a point during a stay last October at a bed and breakfast outside of Tucson, Arizona, to get up early to catch the sun rising over the Santa Catalina Mountains.

The view wasn’t as colorful or spectacular as the sunset I had photographed from the same location the night before.

But it was a nice view nonetheless. It was quite cool in the desert. It might be in the 90s during the daytime, but the air cools rapidly after sunset.

There was a small wisp of clouds over the mountains that caught the early  morning light. The air was still aside from a few birds chirping away.

It was one of those moments I won’t soon, if ever, forget.

Sheer Rock Cliff

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If you live in the western United States, the sight of mountains probably is old hat. You see them every day and appreciate their beauty and starkness and all that, but they are just another object in a familiar landscape.

Having grown up on the prairies of east central Illinois, I’ve never outgrown my fascination with mountains.

These days I live in Northeast Ohio, which has some nice hills, but nothing that comes close to matching rock cliffs such as the one shown above.

Given that I don’t get to see sights such as this very often, my camera will be out to capture it, if can.

This particular mountain is located near Tucson, Arizona.

Like Toothpicks on the Side of the Mountain

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The saguaro cactus is widely associated with the American Southwest even though it is confined to a relatively small region.

Tucson Mountain Park is a preserve where you can find a literal forest of saguaros. There are so many of them that they look like tooth picks.

Many images of a saguaro show arms, but not all of these plants develop arms in their lifetime.

The saguaro is concentrated in southern Arizona and western Sonora in Mexico. A few plants can be found in southeast California, but the website of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum describes them as strays.

I first became fascinated by the saguaro forest in Tucson Mountain Park in the late 1970s. When I visited there last October it was my first return trip since the middle 199os.

The park and the cactus still look much the same as I remembered them.

Cactus Sunset in the Desert

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We were staying at a bed and breakfast situated in the far northeastern reaches of the Tucson metropolitan area and lying in the shadow of the Santa Catalina Mountains.

Our host had noted that with the late afternoon cloud cover we should have a good sunset. The edge of the clouds was just about directly overhead when the sun set around 6 p.m.

Within minutes the clouds over the mountains to the east began turning pink. The colors moved west and I patiently waited for them turn the clouds over this cactus into cotton candy.

When they did, the results were quite spectacular. Had we been at this location the next night there would have been no clouds and no dramatic sunset. Timing is everything sometimes.

Skirting an Arizona Monsoon

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x-Arizona monsoon

I was in Arizona visiting my Dad and sister when we went for a drive around Phoenix. As we headed north on a freeway a monsoon began moving in.

Apparently “monsoon” is the term that people in Arizona use to describe a thunderstorm. My sister seems fascinate with those monsoons, which feature high winds, rain and a lot of dust blowing around.

We decided to reverse course and head south of Phoenix and away from the storm. But as we cruised along Interstate 10 I was able to make this image of the edge of the storm.

Written by csanders429

August 24, 2016 at 7:45 am