This was the start of a full nine day photography trip. It started with leaving San Diego at 0545 on the Tuesday and finished with getting home at 1900 nine days later. It was planned with the spring bloom in Arizona in mind, and then traveling to the Page area to explore and photograph two slot canyons and the area called White Pocket.
My friends Lin and Mike met me at my home Tuesday morning and then we drove in my car to Tucson where we met up with other LightChase Photographers. After a brief break to get checked in and our gear ready we were off to Saguaro National Park West for late afternoon exploring and sunset photography. Regrettably most of the annual flowers did not do well here this year due to the weather conditions of an unseasonably warm February. Most of the flora in bloom were cacti, with prickly pear and hedgehog dominating.
|Prickly Pear Cactus Blossom|
|Hedgehog Cactus w. Blossoms|
We found a good location to show a forest of saguaro cacti. It is also fun to see and photograph some of the older Saguaro that have many arms, with some really being twisted.
|Saguaro with Buds and Nurse Tree to side|
This was the first time I had seen buds which were on a descending arm and at eye level. Usually the flowering occurs quite high up on the Saguaro and people have been known to bring ladders along to get up to the bloom. Here we also saw how the young saguaro are protected by a “nurse plant” from the extreme heat of the desert when they are just starting out. Usually the nurse plant is a creosote bush or a paloverde tree.
The sky was clear so there was little sunset. My favorite image from the evening was actually the full moon captured in the Belt of Venus (http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-blogs/the-belt-of-venus/) (http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/observing-news/earths-shadow-07292014/) with a saguaro cactus in the foreground.
|Moon in the Belt of Venus|
|Full Moon and Saguaro|