As I drove south from UT into AZ I wondered when I would start to see the Saguaro cactus. for some reason I thought they would be rather rare when I did get into their area. How silly of me! Sometime north of Phoenix I started to see them, lots of them and I was thrilled. I was headed to a small town SW of Phoenix where a good friend & her husband had moved to from NJ. What a change for them and their dogs. Their hacienda sits on the side of a small mountain and above it stand a handsome Saguaro.
They live close to the Sonoran Desert Nat. Monument so we made a couple of trips there, the first time I got some lovely sunset images and on the way back to the house we spotted a rattlesnake in the road. First time I’ve seen one out west and it quickly went into the brush.
We went back another night with her husband, it isn’t wise to venture out into the country there without backup. It was a perfect night for the Milky Way. I didn’t do any light painting, the light on the cactus is caused by light from the Phoenix area being reflected off the smog or haze. Next time I visit we hope to get a bit further away from the ambient light.
Another day they took me to the top of South Mountain where we could look down on Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale and other places. There isn’t much open space between the places at all, rather like the megalopolis from Newark to Boston.
One night Jo Ann and a good friend of hers took me to The Road Runner for a totally different sort of atmosphere. It’s a bar with a bull riding arena out back and Saturday nights there is bull riding. The food was excellent and reasonably priced, after that we moved to the stands and got our seats. There were 8 riders and only one stayed on for the required 8 seconds. I took my small point & shoot camera and with the low lighting it wasn’t very good for any action shots.
Seeing the desert and various cactus whetted my appetite to return and do more exploring in the Southwest.
For more images click here