The A6500 & the Sonoran Desert: Set 2

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Rick Cameron
Rick Cameron Regular Member • Posts: 126
The A6500 & the Sonoran Desert: Set 2
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My second set of pictures from the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, this time with a mix of lenses, all with the A6500. Unless otherwise noted these are from McDowell Sonoran Preserve in Scottsdale where I hike the most.

I couldn't tell if this antelope squirrel was delighted because it was happy to see me or because I had walked into its trap.

This hike was meant to be a test of my knee and turned into a test of my heart when a western diamondback rattlesnake and I scared the living daylights out of each other. In Oregon the ground didn't talk to me but it spoke angrily on this morning. The snake was originally beside the trail but slowly moved under this dead tree, it was still on high alert at first but it soon realized I wasn't going to pursue it and it coiled up for a nap. Taken at Phoenix Sonoran Preserve in Phoenix.

I don't love getting up before sunrise but I love being up before sunrise. If only there was a way to enjoy the desert dawn without getting out of bed. These dried flowers are on the flower stalk of a soaptree yucca.

Before we moved I researched the risk of natural disasters for each city we were considering. In California it was earthquakes and wildfires. In Arizona it was heat and drought. It was only after we moved I learned of the disaster no one dared mention, the dinosaur eggs the size of buildings waiting to hatch outside the city. I wish someone had told me, I would have moved here a lot sooner.

"Dragon's Breath" Having a little fun with a beautiful blooming ocotillo and a wispy cloud on an early spring morning in Pinnacle Peak Park in Scottsdale.

My first impression after hiking with saguaros was of redwoods. Of massive lifeforms with an outsized impact on their environment. Of warriors, long-lived giants, their struggles written on their skin. Yet for all of that a surprisingly shallow root system. Saguaros have a central tap root that grows down but the rest of their roots radiate outward a handful of inches below the surface, soaking up every bit of rainwater they can. Sometimes erosion exposes these shallow roots, as on this old saguaro at sunrise on the Vaquero Trail, Brown's Mountain rising in the background.

A full view of the old saguaro with the exposed root. The little bits at the tops of the arms are fruit below spent blossoms.

After spotting a mule deer hidden in the desert scrub long before it moved into the open as shown here, my pattern recognition self was feeling awfully smug the rest of the hike, even when he was spotting marmots in the rocks though there are no marmots here.

I love the little strawberry hedgehog cactus, a love best expressed at a distance.

A black-tailed jackrabbit enjoys a prickly breakfast as it eats from a buckhorn cholla, a common type of cactus in the area.

 Rick Cameron's gear list:Rick Cameron's gear list
Canon EOS 7D Canon EOS M Canon EOS 7D Mark II Sony a6500 Canon EF 500mm f/4.0L IS USM +12 more
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