Found in the desert

I recently spent a few days in Tucson, Arizona, USA…visiting with my wife’s mother, walking the morning-quiet roads of her desert neighborhood, and taking a new perspective when viewing the natural beauty of the surroundings.

Those are the Santa Catalina Mountains in the background, with Mount Lemmon at the highest point, some 9,157 feet in elevation.  A Prickly Pear Cactus with fruit is in the foreground and the iconic Saguaro Cactus is prominent toward the left of the photo…I believe that might be a Palo Verde tree beneath the Saguaro with its green bark…and I’m not sure about the larger tree/shrub to the right…maybe a Greasewood.

Owls and woodpeckers often live in the holes that you see in the Saguaro’s limbs.

I believe these are Harris Hawks…they were mostly immobile when I was photographing them…but that only lasted for a minute or so….

Again, if I’m not mistaken, these are a variety of Cholla Cactus…and those spines can cause quite a bit of discomfort….

Wikipedia says that there are seven sub-species of Mule Deer…with the Rocky Mountain sub-species ranging the western portion of the United States and up into Canada.  Aside from the Saguaro Cactus, you can also see the Ocotillo Cactus (the other tall and very skinny plant), Palo Verde, Prickly Pear Cactus, and directly behind the deer, what I believe might be more Greasewood.

Prickly Pear Cactus with fruit.  You can purchase Prickly Pear jelly and candy in local stores…or you can “Google-it” and find them on-line, as well.  🙂

Desert sunsets can be beautiful…lighting the mountains with rose and orange hues…and bringing-out greater definition of the mountain’s many surfaces as shadows grow….


34 responses

  1. Plenty of variety – certainly feeds the creativity, doesn’t it.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:07 am

    • Yes, it does, Andy…and what a difference it makes when viewing the area with a camera in hand…almost like seeing it all for the first time.

      October 24, 2012 at 6:49 am

      • Ah – that photographic ‘seeing eye’. I’m convinced that makes us more aware of our surroundings.

        October 24, 2012 at 8:34 am

        • Yes, that photographic “seeing eye.” I agree with you, Andy; I believe we’re much more observant when we’re carrying our camera.

          October 24, 2012 at 9:39 pm

  2. t.i.n.a.

    You always seem to get some great captures, Scott! That is some wild-looking cactus – and I think I’ve had prickly pear beer once…must not have went too crazy for it since I don’t quite remember what it tasted like! 🙂 Great shot of the deer, too!

    October 22, 2012 at 7:08 am

    • Very nice words, Tina…thank you. I’d not heard of Prickly Pear beer before…interesting idea. 😉

      October 24, 2012 at 6:50 am

  3. These are very special Scott… enjoyed tons! RL 🙂

    October 22, 2012 at 7:44 am

    • Thank you very much Robyn. 🙂

      October 24, 2012 at 6:50 am

  4. Beautiful shots!

    October 22, 2012 at 8:03 am

    • Thank you, Ogee. 🙂

      October 24, 2012 at 6:50 am

  5. Great images, Scott! I love the desert.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:17 am

    • Thank you, Ruth…I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. 🙂

      October 24, 2012 at 6:51 am

  6. Such a beautiful light you have captured in that first shot Scott. These are lovely. Well done! 🙂

    October 22, 2012 at 9:02 am

    • Thank you, Chillbrook…the first image was taken during early evening when the sun was getting low….

      October 24, 2012 at 6:53 am

  7. Beautiful capture of the desert life. Your images give me the urge to drive down to Tuscon right now with my Nikon. 😉

    October 22, 2012 at 9:23 am

    • Thank you, Emily…you would have quite a selection of scenery on the way down there, too. 🙂

      October 24, 2012 at 6:54 am

  8. Wow, beautiful shots. You have definitely reinforced my desire to visit that part of the country (in person).

    October 22, 2012 at 9:33 am

    • Thank you, Tori…I’d recommend a visit sometime between mid-October and mid-March…otherwise you run the risk of being quite warm/hot…. 😉

      October 24, 2012 at 6:56 am

  9. These are simply stunning! Amazing how you can take whatever surrounds you and make it look so beautiful!

    October 22, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    • Thank you very much, Gunta…such nice words. 🙂

      October 24, 2012 at 6:57 am

  10. Glorious………..must start saving, or hopefully try to sell some photos……batteries in the camera are charged anyway……a wonderful place to visit, thanks Scott………..the first photo is a peach.

    October 22, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the photos, John…thank you. Can’t wait to see your photos! 🙂

      October 24, 2012 at 6:58 am

  11. The desert is a beautiful place. I’d love to visit it someday.

    October 22, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    • It certainly is, Allen…I hope you can get there…would love to read about what you find….

      October 24, 2012 at 6:59 am

  12. Amazing photos, the first should be in a travel magazine, maybe you should submit it to one!

    October 22, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    • Thank you, Bonnie…and that’s a wonderful idea. 🙂

      October 24, 2012 at 7:00 am

  13. What an awesome walk you had. the hawks, super cool, the cactus, so unique ! thanks for sharing.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    • Thank you, Bella…was very fortunate with the hawks…. You’re welcome, too. 🙂

      October 24, 2012 at 7:01 am

  14. Wow! The desert is alive!!
    What a great grouping of discoveries.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    • It certainly is, Karen…I understand that this area had quite a bit of rain this year, so everything was still very lush and green…. Thank you….

      October 24, 2012 at 7:04 am

  15. Great set of images Scott, the Cactus are great.

    October 23, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    • Thank you, Leanne.

      October 24, 2012 at 7:04 am

  16. I really loved seeing these photos. When I lived in Arizona I spent a lot of time in the Santa Catalina and on the back side of Mount Lemon. I wonder how it has changed now…

    October 23, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    • I’m glad you enjoyed them, Terry…these photos are actually from the desert on the north side of the mountains, so that would be that back side of Mount Lemmon in the photo…. I don’t know when you were last there, but there are several communities out there now…have watched it steadily grow over the years…quite amazing….

      October 24, 2012 at 7:08 am

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