Posts Tagged ‘Saguaro National Park’

Six-Word Saturday 5.21.22

…this is what comes to my mind. 🙂

Light and shadow, a symbiotic relationship that Patti’s asking us to explore this week. Without light there is no shadow and I do love both light and shadow.

“The brightest flame casts the darkest shadow.”
― George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings

The Visitors Center at Saguaro National Park is full of wonderful shadows and you know there’s lots of sun in Arizona to do the light part of creating shadows!

“There is strong shadow where there is much light.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Götz von Berlichinge
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You can find shadows inside the house as well.

Find beauty not only in the thing itself but in the pattern of the shadows, the light and dark which that thing provides. ~Junichiro Tanizaki

Light and snow can create beautiful shadow images such as this one taken from a second story window in our home in Illinois.

“When you light a candle, you also cast a shadow.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin

And then there are more subtle shadows created by the combination of late spring light and vegetation.

But as attractive as shadows are in these instances, may your week be filled only with light and may the only shadows cast be those that are beautiful.

Shade and shadows, both things I enjoy capturing in my photos. So many choices, but I’ll start with the shadow of a shade (or blind if you prefer), just so I can use both terms in one shot, even if the “shade” part is different from what Ann-Christine is talking about.

Shadow owes its birth to light. ~John Gay

In the desert, there’s a serious side to shade. Here the shadow of a rock formation in Boyce Thompson Arboretum provides much needed and appreciated shade. The temperature difference, even in the early morning, can be quite a contrast and in some situations could even be a life-saving one. Walking along the shaded path was infinitely cooler than when that path wound its way into the full sun. Trust me. When temperatures start soaring over 100F, you’ll learn to love the shade!

To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment. ~Jane Austen

I’ll finish with perhaps my favorite shot of shade and shadow ,from the Visitor’s Center in Saguaro National Park. I shared it once before, but it’s so perfect for this challenge that I hope you’ll enjoy it again in this different context.

What is the purpose of the giant sequoia tree? The purpose of the giant sequoia tree is to provide shade for the tiny titmouse. ~Edward Abbey


I’m excited not only to share a favorite subject, a bee nose diving into a flower, but my first photo duo using the slider, which I only found thanks to Dan at nofacilites. He’s been giving lessons on using the block editor and as far as the slider goes, once I knew where to look, it was simple to find. Thanks so much, Dan. This particular bee and flowers were at Saguaro National Park near Tucson, Arizona. These cacti and flowers were very small but eye-catching.

for Squares: bright and Life in Colour: pink

I’m usually too lazy to go back and look at all the doors or gates I shared in a year, but I’ve decided to make the effort this year. Of course that creates a new problem: which doors to choose?? I’m going with some favorites from each of the places I usually find doors.

The door that no one really cared about, from the visitor’s center at Saguaro National Park…

Keep on truckin’. From Chicago’s WNDR Museum…

The door to a Wyoming sheepherder’s home…

Found in Pasadena, California…

© janet m. webb

And, of course, from France…

for Thursday Doors 12.17.20

The desert is snake country as we were reminded along the trail at the visitors center at Saguaro National Park where we saw several of these signs. You can be sure I was thrilled to learn that of the 36 species of rattlesnakes that live in North and South America (rattlers are found nowhere else), 13 call Arizona home. That’s a good reason not to hike with headphones, since a rattle is the snake’s way of letting you know they’re there and would rather you weren’t. And since the desert “summer”, or at least the season when it’s hot enough for snakes to be out and about, lasts from April to October, it behooves a hiker to take a good deal of caution about where s/he puts hands and feet and to listen for that warning sound, something you can’t do with music or a podcast blaring in your ears.

As I was taking photos along the trail, my husband called to me, saying our daughter had found something I’d want to photograph. She’d first thought it was a plastic bag, but a closer look showed that it was a long, intact molting of a snake. Now I don’t know for a fact that it was from a rattlesnake but after having seen several of the warning signs, I think there’s a good chance that it was.

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It’s been a full, good, but very long day. It’s 9:30 pm and I need to go to sleep. So I almost didn’t do a post this week…but decided instead that I’d not exactly cheat but share a photo where there is a door but it’s not the star attraction. This is the visitor center at Saguaro National Park which we visit again two days ago to share it with our older daughter who’s visiting us for the week. The door is just an ordinary door, the park anything but ordinary, the shadows extraordinary.

And now, good night, and a blessed Thursday to each of you.

for Thursday Doors…9.24.20

Barrel cactus look a lot like a spiny barrel. No surprise, right? But you might be surprised at how beautiful the flowers are. Yellow and orange are the most common colors, pink and red less frequent. But whatever the color, the flowers only bloom on top of the cactus. Barrel cactus are usually about 3′ or less, although some have been found as tall as 9′. Whatever the height, they can live to be 100 years old.

Fun fact, courtesy of Wikipedia:

Barrel cactus can fall over because they grow based on sun orientation. They usually grow towards the south to prevent surface tissue sunburn, giving the name “compass cactus.”

And here’s my favorite cactus quote:

I bought a cactus. A week later it died. And I got depressed, because I thought, D**n. I am less nurturing than a desert. ~Demetri Martin

As with all cactus, admire the flowers, but don’t forget the spines!

Let’s take a closer look at a few of the cacti found in Saguaro National Park. One of the first places to get out and walk that we encountered was a paved loop giving great views of a variety of cacti, a number of which were in flower or had fruit. There’s quite a bit of room between many of the cacti, but be careful where you step and don’t back up without looking!

Here’s a lovely bunch of prickly pear cactus with fruit. Prickly pear jelly can be found in the Southwest and the fruit can be eaten but you have to be very careful to completely removed the outside so no spines of any size are left. I think I’ll stick with jelly!

When I started this post I didn’t realize that cholla, the type of cactus I’m showcasing next, used to be part of the same genus as prickly pear, despite what this information board says, but have now been separated because of some differences we wouldn’t notice, . However, the board does show how important each part of the desert flora and fauna are.

I also didn’t realize that there are boatload of species of opuntia, not a hundred, but a LOT! If you’re interested in identifying the flowers, this is (un)likely to help and made me laugh:

The flowers are typically large, axillary, solitary, bisexual, and epiperigynous, with a perianth consisting of distinct, spirally arranged tepals and a hypanthium.

If you do know what all those mean, do NOT tell us or I will ban you from the blog and flog you with a wet noodle or possibly o-puntia you across the desert for being a showoff!

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