by marianne skov jensen on September 27, 2013
Even during summer, I do A LOT of hiking in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve (starting before sunrise). Several new trails opened this year giving us access into some really interesting places. The McDowell Sonoran Preserve now encompasses over 27,000 acres and more land is set to be preserved. The north area of the Preserve is my favorite not only because the area is very close to home but because of the amazing terrain and rock formations! Following are some photos from my favorite trails.
A self portrait at Balanced Rock which is located between Granite Mountain and Cholla Mountain. It was captured with my Canon SX50. I was happy I carried my tripod that day!
Rock creature spotted on the way to Balance Rock. (Canon SX50)
Another Rock creature spotted on the way to Balance Rock. Even larger than the previous!(Canon SX50)
These next few images are from the Browns Mountain area of the Preserve.
Cactus Wren nest in a Buckhorn Cholla spotted on an early morning hike to the top of Browns Mtn seen in the background. (Galaxy Nexus image)
Teddybear Cholla forest on either side of the Browns Peak Trail. (Canon N)
On my way up to the top of Browns Mountain very early in the morning. (Canon N)
These next images are from the Toms Thumb area which includes Rock Knob and Marcus Landslide. Breathtakingly beautiful areas!
Sunrise on Rock Knob trail. That’s Rock Knob in the background. (Canon SX50)
I led my Digital Group out to Rock Knob for Sunrise. It was extremely overcast but we were treated to God Beams! (Galaxy Nexus)
Same Rock Knob location but without the photographers in the scene. (Galaxy Nexus edited in PS)
These last images of butterflies were taken not far from the Toms Thumb area.
Pipevine Swallowtail laying eggs on the left. Not great quality but I was thrilled to catch it! (Canon SX50) On the right is the resulting caterpillar. They are so cool! (Canon N)
Mormon Metalmark butterflies are everywhere including my garden. Very tiny! (Canon SX50)
Fabulous images! You are so lucky with all these trails and incredible scenery! Love your swallowtail and the caterpillar is amazing (I have seen it before). And of course your rock ‘faces’ are great fun!
Looking forward to seeing what you find around Flagstaff this time. 🙂
Thank you! I really should make time to use my larger cameras but I’m getting SO SPOILED by the weight of the phone and Canon N 🙂 Thankfully, the majority of the files are good enough to donate to the Conservancy. I’m very excited by the new Sony QX100 Lens camera and have one on order. It’s basically a camera without a viewfinder. You couple it with your smartphone and use the phone as the viewfinder. Reviews are excellent so far so I’m thinking I may be using my phone more and more! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hVEibLy830
That is unusual and of course totally alien to me not having a phone that even takes photos, lol! I dread to think how many cameras you have…. 🙂
I’ve always liked my little Cybershot but have hardly used it this year. But when I do use my DSLR I realise how much better the picture quality is, but it’s just so impractical for everyday use. And my SX50 is better for butterflies, anyway. 🙂