What is the Southern Arizona High Desert? Many believe this is the land of the Saguaro, where giant cactus climb from the ground like stick figures in a cartoon. Others imagine it to be a dehydrated landscape of arid ground, dotted with prickly pear cactus haphazardly strewn over the dried and cracked soil. You can find pockets of both of those landscapes here, but they are not what defines this most varied ecosystem in the United States.
Most who do not share the joy of living here have no idea what High Desert of Arizona looks like. They do not know of a land that flourishes in its desolation. It is land where oases of ancient trees punctuate valleys of rolling hills of grass; all fed by the runoff from the natural Sky Island mountain ranges. A land where magical sunrises and mystic sunsets are the norms. Where one day the sky may pulse in hues of pink and purple pastels, while the next it will erupt in flaming tendrils of red and orange. It is a land where at days end the mountains sing in songs of gold as if kissed by Midas.
In the Southern Arizona High Desert one has only to travel to the next valley to be rewarded with an entirely new and unique ecosystem. This image is of the Cienega Valley. Ringed by the Huachuca, Whetstone and Mustang mountains on one side and the San Rita mountains on the other the Cienaga valley is a lush riparian grassland of rolling hills sustained by the ever-flowing Cienega Creek. During the gloaming light of the pre-sunset, the valley takes on soft shadows while the Mustang Mountains explode in a layer of gilded highlights. It is a period of sublime peace and serenity. A time when the exhausted daylight takes a final exhale before evening descends. It is my favorite time of day, no matter where I may be. It is when I feel closest to God.
I remain thankful for the opportunity to capture and share these times and hope to continue to be His scribe faithfully.
No comments posted.