Last Light

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One of my rare Arizona desert landscapes without cactus. This image was captured at the Skyline Regional Park, Buckeye, Arizona along a hiking trail. I stopped down my aperture to f14 to get the star effect as the sun was fixing to go down, behind the mountain. I also used the adjustment brush in Lightroom to brighten the rocks in the lower right to give the effect of the light striking them. Then I lightened slightly a bit of the landscape between the rocks and the sun and to the ridge of the mountain to create paths for the eyes to follow to the sun. The eyes will either go straight from the rock to the sun, or travel up to the ridge of the mountain, then down to the sun. I also used the adjustment brush to darken some of the shadows. You may see a larger version here on my Flickr or here on 500px.

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Glowing Cholla

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One good thing about photographing Cholla cacti is the glow they create when the sun strikes the spines just right. There are two types of Cholla in this scene, the Teddy Bear Cholla and Buckhorn Cholla.The two cacti in the foreground in the lower right are Teddy Bear Cholla then right behind them, there are Buckhorn Cholla.

Jumping Cholla

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Teddy Bear Cholla is often called “Jumping Cactus.” No they do not actually jump, but often they will make you think they do. They have segments which easily detach from the plant and if you brush up against one, they will attach its self to you. Once you get one of these segments stuck in you, the only way to remove it is with pliers or a couple of sticks, or something along that line.

Photographed west of Phoinix at the Skyline Regional Park,  Buckeye, Arizona.