Landscape and Panoramic Photography

Posts tagged “Saguaro

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″)

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″)

Petroglyphs and Clouds at Saguaro National Park

This February I visited Saguaro National Park West to photograph the petroglyphs around Signal Hill. A mid-winter rainstorm rolled through while I was exploring the Hill and surrounding washes; I tried to take a few panoramas with the rain clouds in the background. In some place, the human effect on the landscape is so ephemeral, but here in the desert even small rock carvings can remain for centuries.

FieldOfPetroglyphsField of Petroglyphs, Tucson Mountain Park, AZ (16″x56″)

WinterRainCloudsandPetroglyphsWinter Rain Clouds and Petroglyphs, Tucson Mountain Park, AZ (16″x65″)

Night Sky at Camino de Oeste Trail

Camino de Oeste trailhead (a part of the Yetman trail system) begins in the Tucson Mountains just west of the city. I head out to the area for a trail run or an evening walk whenever I get the chance. Here are a few long-exposure photographs of the wash after dark. I particularly liked the way the relatively stationary stars anchored the sky behind the fast-moving clouds.

SaguaroCloudsNigh2Saguaro and Clouds at Night #2, outside Tucson, AZ (12″x18″)

SaguaroCloudsNigh5Saguaro and Clouds at Night #5, outside Tucson, AZ (12″x18″)

Saguaro National Park West Sunset

I drove through Saguaro National Park West and the Tucson Mountain Park for the first time in early January. As a Tucson resident, I am accustomed to seeing desert plants scattered around the city, but the number of cacti in Saguaro NP West is staggering. Giant saguaros grow right up to the bases of the Tucson Mountain Park cliffs, creating a forest of towering green cacti. I stopped around sunset to take two panoramas of the moonrise over the Tucson Mountains, one as the sun cast a golden glow on the cliffs, the other just after sunset.

MoonTucsonMountainsSunsetMoon and Tucson Mountains at Sunset, Tucson Mountain Park, AZ (16″x83″)

SaguaroMountainsMoonAfterSunsetSaguaro, Mountains, and Moon after Sunset, Tucson Mountain Park, AZ (16″x74″)

Saguaro and Winter Storm Clouds

Winter storms pound the southeast and northeast with snow, and here in Tucson we get a nice upper atmospheric ridge that suppresses all our moisture. I know, sunny and 85F in February sounds great, but we depend on our winter rains; so far I think I can count one or two small rain storms. While walking around Catalina State Park on one of those rare rainy days last month, I took this vertical panorama of one of my favorite old saguaros. It’s pockmarked and scarred, but somehow majestic as it towers over the trail. I also included a long-exposure photograph I took last winter of the top of the same saguaro as the clouds streamed by in the background.

Saguaro Winter Storm CloudsSaguaro and Winter Storm Clouds, Catalina State Park, AZ (16″x36″)

Saguaro and CloudsSaguaro and Clouds, Catalina State Park, AZ (12″x18″)