Yesterday, I saw a very special Saguaro (thanks Dave!). It was what we call “crested or cristate” which is special in itself but this was a double crested. What a treat. There are many theories as to how the crests start but there’s no clear cut answer. It was completely overcast so I took 3 exposures and combined them with Photomatix.
On our way back to the parking area, we encountered an even bigger treat. Four Harris’ Hawks that we had seen flying earlier were now sitting in a giant Saguaro! In hindsight, I could have taken the time to replace my super wide lens on my SLR but they could also have flown away in that time so I grabbed my Canon Powershot which did a decent job of documenting. Like the first image, they also combinations of exposures.
Here’s something you probably don’t know about me…..I can write backwards easily.
The kind of writing you need a mirror to decipher (unless, like me, you can also read backwards)
My friend Carol Leigh is conducting an online photo workshop at the moment and one of her
assignments is halves. Because I love making mirror images, I’m always looking for interesting
halves. What does that have to do with mirror writing? Nothing. Halves…mirrors…I digress alot 🙂
So here’s an example. This scar tissue on a saguaro reminded me of an upside down butterfly wing.
I followed my MIRRORED tutorial and then flipped the resulting image 180 degrees and voila….
A Goth Moth!
While showing my favorite desert area to my visiting friend Dayton, he spots a huge nest in a Saguaro. We decide to continue on and then stop on the way back. At that time, we see both a male and female Red Tailed Hawk sitting in a Palo Verde by the Saguaro so I grabbed my little Canon with the 24x zoom and pointed it at the nest. It didn’t take long for one to return to the nest. Lucky shot!
This morning, I and three other photographers joined MSC steward and Saguaro expert, Dave Lorenz, on a scouting trip for his “Big Saguaro” hike on Sunday. During the hike, we found several unusual Saguaro but this was the best discovery. Dave counted 32 arms! Note also the big shadow in the foreground. It helps show that we really were in the land of giants!
A more acceptable cause of death in Saguaros is an act of nature. In this case, it was probably a lightning strike.
Note: For those digital darkroom users out there, you can probably tell that I’ve been playing with High Dynamic Range (HDR) this week. It’s hard to resist when you have clouds. Forgive me for getting a little carried away sometimes 🙂
It’s been heartbreaking watching these giant 100-200 year old cactus being cut down. According to APS, the water laden cactus could cause potential arcing under the power lines but it seems to me that if the higher ups at APS were educated about the desert, they could have come up with an alternative to destroying so many. Thankfully, a public outcry has influenced APS to reconsider how these giants are removed thus saving some from this fate.