The setting sun adds a fiery glow to a fast-moving monsoon storm in Sedona, AZ. Many thanks to Peter Gabriel for suggesting the title of this post.
The McDowell Sonoran Preserve in North Scottsdale has recently opened an additional 14,800 acres of land with the introduction of the Brown’s Ranch Trailhead. 55 miles of trails in the area make it a great place to hike or mountain bike. Though I haven’t had an opportunity to explore very much of Brown’s Ranch, I’ve already seen several very healthy mule deer there. This region of the Sonoran Desert is slightly higher in elevation than the surrounding valley and has some dense groups of very healthy and mature Giant Saguaro cacti.
The Brown’s Ranch Trailhead is open now, but the official opening ceremony will be held on Saturday, October 19th at 9:00 AM. Take Alma School Parkway north from Dynamite Boulevard. The road leads directly to the trailhead.
Sometimes it’s easy. There was no long hike, steep climb or dense brush to navigate. This shot was captured from the parking lot of an abandoned building atop a large hill in Sedona. I’d driven by the site several times in the past and admired the sweeping view, waiting for the right time to take advantage of it. That time came last Saturday afternoon. When we pulled in the parking lot, the entire landscape was shaded by a thick blanket of clouds. Lightning was flashing from the darkest areas of the sky, and I set up my camera determined to capture at least one shot of a bolt. Winds gradually picked up as the storm system came closer, and the temperature dropped 15 degrees within an hour! When the sun peeked through a break in the clouds, the contrast between the brightly lit trees and the dark skies was fantastic!
Click on the photo for a better view…
Waking an hour before the sun rises and leaving the comfort of a cozy sleeping bag is always tough, but when the conditions are good it can be a very rewarding way to start the day.
We had explored this area near the Desert View lookout (Grand Canyon National Park, South Rim) on the first day of or stay. I had a feeling that it might be a good spot to shoot sunrise because I thought that the wall of sandstone in the foreground would probably light up in the morning sun. In this shot it’s just beginning to glow. The mighty Colorado River can be seen in the distance.
As always, click on the photo for a better view.
Every day, dozens of people line up along the edges of the Grand Canyon’s popular viewpoints to watch the sun set. As soon as the sun sinks below the horizon, people rush back to their cars and hurry back to their hotels. Few people realize that often times the real show doesn’t begin until 15 minutes after the sun is gone. The sky can explode with color, in turn bringing out a warm glow in the canyon below.
Summer monsoons can create some interesting light. This shot was captured on an August afternoon from Grandview Point on the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park.
The towering Giant Saguaro, the billowing cumulus clouds, the distant mountains—all images that come to mind when I think of the landscape here in the American southwest. This is a recent photo from an area just south of Cave Creek Arizona’s Spur Cross Ranch. The nicely balanced spread of Saguaro (a protected species) caught my eye immediately, and I liked the way the clumps dried grasses mimicked the clouds above. Most of these cacti are probably well over one hundred years old.
Several of my favorite photos are currently on display at
2603 N Central Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85004.
Great food and nice people who have excellent taste in nature photography!