I love the desert. “I wouldn’t go there; it’s just brown everywhere,” a friend back east told me before I moved out here.
It’s different, for sure. And beautiful. In the seasons when more plants are thriving, it’s more conventionally beautiful. Even now, as a brutal-even-for-Phoenix summer is gasping its last breaths (we hope!), and most plants are not thriving, there’s a beauty about it.
Maybe it’s because I know that when the weather cools and rain comes (will rain ever come? It’s been a very dry monsoon…), many of the plants that appear dead will come back alive. (Zombie plants?)
Maybe I’ve just developed an appreciation for dead plants. Who knows? I’m just still in awe of the flora and fauna and landscapes here, whether in full bloom or dried up.
So when The Climbing Daddy suggested we go hiking this morning, taking Sir Nikolas Cameron along with for photos after hiking, I was game.
Of course, the most famous of the local cacti is the saguaro. Rabbits like to snack on their bases, and birds peck holes and make nests in them, finding safety from the sun and predators.
I love the saguaros and their imperfections:
Another thing I love about cactus? Dead cacti, leaving behind just their skeletons. I can’t get enough of cactus skeletons.
Also? Cactus has three acceptable means of pluralization: cacti, cactuses, cactus. Fun!
There are always at least a few things that aren’t plants that are interesting to shoot. On this trail, it was this interesting bit of rock (“Mom! That looks like a face!”) and one of many bolts on a sign at the trailhead.
I love the layers of mountains. I’ve shared a couple of photos of Four Peaks before. Here they are again, trying to hide behind the ascending foreground. When I eventually learn editing, I’ll be able to have a photo similar to this with the foreground properly exposed. The camera can’t do it on its own, and I can’t do it in post. Yet.
The Climbing Daddy was at the (west-facing) kitchen sink the other night and suggested he take over making dinner and I go out with the camera to capture the sky. I got a bit of it.
Enjoy the beauty in the bits around you, and I’ll be back next week!