Reach for the Sky Picture of the Week

I drove down past the Safeway into the Vulture Mountains last evening to do some photography. My intent was to capture an image of Vulture Peak shining in the sunset, so I drove around until I found an angle where I could get the image that I visualized and set up my camera. It didn’t work. From the spot I was shooting, it would work better as a sunrise shot. While at that scene, I saw this funny little saguaro on my right and decided to shoot it instead. I call it little, but even with its center trunk lopped off, it’s taller than I am.

Reach for the Sky
Reach for the Sky – A near-full moon rises behind a decapitated saguaro in the Vulture Mountains.

By the time I got set up for this image, the sun was down and it was already into the blue hour—the period after the sun has set but still light enough to see colors. It wasn’t until I began to concentrate on the saguaro that I noticed the near-full moon rising, so I’m going to toss it in for no extra charge. The cactus is interesting for a couple of reasons. Somehow it lost the top of its main trunk and it has sprouted new arms, of which one looks like a melon … or even a head if you have a vivid imagination. The second notable thing is that it’s still plump with water even though we haven’t had rain for months—which may be the reason it was able to generate the new growth. In any case, it has cool apartments for woodpeckers, cactus wrens, and maybe an owl family this summer.

I called this shot Reach for the Sky and you can see a larger version of it on its Web page here. I hope you enjoy viewing my new pico’-week and that you’ll tell me what you think. Maybe next week, I may get out of bed early enough to get a better version of my first idea.

Until next time — jw