I can’t resist taking photos of a heart shaped Prickly Pear pads. Photoshop added a little more fun to it.
We’ve passed this Saguaro cactus many times so we were sad to see that it had fallen. They can live to be more than 150 years old and this one was probably approaching that age. Damage from lightening strikes and freezes can cause tissue damage which can weaken them. Then hard rains like we’ve had the last few days can do them in. This giant will now become food for many organisms.
Shooting on a sunny day can reveal some fun shadows like these curvy shadows on a Prickly Pear Pad. The cactus was dehydrated which was causing the pads to buckle.
Saguaro Cactus have been nicknamed The Sentinels of the Desert and it’s easy to see why. This morning we did a 5 1/2 mile hike through a forest of these amazing cactus and learned all about them thanks to our MSC hike leader, Dave Lorenz. One of the most fascinating things is that the Saguaro seed is smaller than a poppy seed! We don’t see many baby Saguaros because of the extraordinary set of circumstances that have to exist in order for them to germinate.
I used Helicon Focus to blend 7 images that were focused gradually from front to back. The software works pretty well but does need some tweaking sometimes.
Our native Fishhook Barrel (Ferocactus wislizeni) is also known as Candy Barrel Cactus. Blooms range in color from this yummy brilliant red to yellow.
Let me count the ways! Pictured is the number one reason to buy Lightroom2. You can mask any part of your image. (3 shown here) When you hover over a dot, it shows the mask you’ve drawn in that area. You can then add or delete parts of the mask as needed. You can be precise as you like by increasing or decreasing the size of your brush.
Once your mask is ready, you can then use any of the sliders to adjust as needed. If you prefer, you can drag a scrubby slider right on the screen to make the adjustments! Very cool. So what’s so great about all this? The huge advantage to using LR2 is that all your adjustments are just EXIF!
Janusia is in bloom. Here’s a shot from this morning of the tiny native vine growing on a Buckhorn Cholla. The vine takes over but doesn’t seem to harm the cactus. I just read that Desert Tortoise like to eat Janusia.
Plants from a nursery almost always come with extras in the pot. I usually pluck them out but in this case, I got lucky with this little Verbena. It looks really pretty surrounding the barrel cactus. Spread your little seeds, Verbena!