Landscape and Panoramic Photography

Posts tagged “Cacti

Tucson Mountains Saguaro Cacti

I went for a January pre winter  storm (in Tucson read: rainstorm) hike in the Tucson Mountains. Cactus spines and arms stood out in front of the approaching clouds.

cactustopcloudstucsonmountainsCactus Top and Clouds, Tucson Mountains, AZ (12″x18″)

cactiinthecloudstucsonmountainsSaguaro Cacti in the Clouds, Tucson Mountains, AZ (12″x18″)

Gould Mine Trail, Saguaro National Park

I decided to turn my King Canyon trail hike into a loop, returning along the Gould Mine Trail. Multi-colored tailing piles slide down the hillsides, and saguaro cacti stand watch around this abandoned building above the old mine.


AbandonedGouldMineStructureAbandoned Gould Mine Structure, Saguaro National Park West, AZ (16″x40″)

King Canyon Trail Cacti

Last month, I walked up the King Canyon trail in Saguaro National Park West (Tucson Mountain District). On the saddle below Wasson Peak, I stopped to photograph a few of the small cacti and the high, wispy cirrus clouds. Here is a vertical panorama of a baby saguaro and the surrounding prickly pear cacti.

SaguaroPricklyPearCloudsSaguaro, Prickly Pear, Clouds, Saguaro National Park West, AZ (16″x30″)

Cacti at Alamo Canyon

Cholla cacti skeletons are scattered across the landscape in Organ Pipe Cactus National Park.

CactusBonesBWCactus Bones, Organ Pipe Cactus National Park, AZ (12″x18″)

Ragged Top Cacti and Rocks

Here are a few more panoramas from the Ironwood Forest National Monument. One of my favorite parts of this hike and scramble was watching the clouds’ shadows slide across the desert landscape below Ragged Top.

RaggedTopShadowsSpiresRagged Top Shadows and Spires, Ironwood Forest National Monument, AZ (16″x38″)

SaguaroCactiReachingForSkySaguaro Cacti Reaching for the Sky, Ironwood Forest National Monument, AZ (16″x26″)

Saguaro Cacti after Rain, Part II

Here are a few more panoramas from a post-rain hike up the Finger Rock canyon trail into the Pusch Ridge Wilderness.

ManySaguarosCloudsCliffsSaguaro, Clouds, and Cliffs, Pusch Ridge Wilderness, outside Tucson, AZ (16″x54″)

SaguaroCloudsFallsSaguaro, Clouds, and Falls, Pusch Ridge Wilderness, outside Tucson, AZ (16″x32″)


Saguaro Cacti after Rain

Compared to last year, this has been a relatively wet winter in Arizona. Once every week or two, clouds have rolled in off the Pacific Ocean and delivered a few hours of light rain, leaving the desert smelling like moist dirt and wet creosote bushes. After one of these winter rains a few weeks ago, I hiked up the Finger Rock canyon trail to take a few photographs of the clouds hanging over the cliffs.

BentSaguaroCloudsBent Saguaro and Clouds, Pusch Ridge Wilderness, outside Tucson, AZ (16″x35″)


Spreading Prickly Pear

During late fall and early winter, the cacti in southern Arizona tend to shrivel up as they use their last remaining water before the winter precipitation starts. This year, the rains haven’t really arrived in force, and many of the cacti appear shrunken and desiccated. I took this panorama of a prickly pear cactus while on a trail run just outside Tucson in Pima Canyon.

Prickly Pear 1Prickly Pear #1, outside Tucson, AZ (16″x48″)