Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘Arizona

Life and death in Saguaro National Park

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Behold a fishhook barrel cactus (Ferocactus wislizenii) in the eastern sector of Tucson’s Saguaro National Park as we saw it two years ago today:

Hardy as desert plants are, they all eventually meet their demise. Here’s what a barrel cactus look like then:

Oh, all right, it was Saguaro National Park, so I guess I’ll have to show you a saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea). This one had two particularly enfolding “arms”:

And here are the stately remains of a saguaro with upraised “arms”:

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 8, 2018 at 4:49 AM

Cholla cactus near sundown

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How about this backlit cholla cactus in Tucson Mountain Park near sundown two years ago today?

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 7, 2018 at 5:01 AM

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument

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Two years ago today we stopped at Arizona’s Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, which we’d never heard of it till we were in the area.

The oozing, highly textured trunk of an aspen tree (Populus tremuloides) caught my attention there.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 21, 2018 at 10:29 AM

Two views of the Grand Canyon

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Here are two pictures of the Grand Canyon, one for each of the years since our visit on this date in 2016.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 19, 2018 at 5:15 PM

Arizona sycamore

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While visiting Montezuma Castle on October 18th last year I learned that there’s such a thing as an Arizona sycamore tree, Platanus wrightii. Like the better-known American sycamore, Platanus occidentalis, this one has bark that peels to reveal trunk and branches that shine white in the light of the sun, especially from a distance. A closer look, like the one below, reveals patterns and details.

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Click to enlarge.


I’m still halfway around the world. You’re welcome to comment but I may be slow to reply. I’m sorry I also haven’t been able to keep up with your blogs.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 20, 2017 at 5:12 AM

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From the cliffs of Montezuma

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Let’s get two things straight about Montezuma Castle: Montezuma, the Aztec emperor, had nothing to do with it, and it’s not a castle. No, this cliff in northern Arizona shelters the 600-year-old remains of a cliff dwelling created by a people called the Sinagua. And let’s get a third thing straight: that wasn’t their name. No, Sinagua was a name created in 1939 from the Spanish words sin ‘without’ and agua ‘water,’ based on the scarcity of flowing water in the region.

The prominent plants in the foreground are four-wing saltbushes, Atriplex canescens. Here’s a closer look at some saltbushes bordering the parking lot:

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If you want an even closer look, you can check out a post about our 2014 trip to the Southwest.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 18, 2017 at 5:01 AM

Another look at the Grand Canyon

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Here’s a look back from October 19th of last year at trees on the rim of the Grand Canyon. In harsh climates, dead limbs often adjoin living ones.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 16, 2017 at 4:59 AM

Another look at rock formations in Sedona

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I’m traveling far from home for a month or so, during which time there’ll understandably be only sporadic posts. You’re welcome to comment but it might take me a while to reply.

Here’s a look back at some of the famous red rocks of Sedona (Arizona) as we saw them on October 20th last year.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 6, 2017 at 5:06 AM

Chuckwalla

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Like me, you probably didn’t know that there’s a lizard called a chuckwalla (Sauromalus spp.). This picture from the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum on November 7th of last year shows that there is.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 2, 2017 at 4:56 AM

Tafoni

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From my big Southwest tour I learned the geological term tafoni, a plural noun that refers to “small, rounded, smooth-edged openings in a rock surface, most often found in arid or semi-arid deserts. They can occur in clusters looking much like a sponge and are nearly always on a vertical or inclined face protected from surface runoff.” Such formations have also been called “honeycomb weathering” and “swiss-cheese rock.” The example above is from Arizona’s Wupatki National Monument on October 21st of last year.

The formation shown below from Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park on October 24th represents a different sort of tafoni that you can imagine inspiring the practitioners of Art Nouveau.

To learn more about tafoni and see many more instances, check out Kuriositas or Wikipedia.

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© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 31, 2017 at 5:00 AM

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