Life in the Southern Arizona High Deseret is hard. In this harsh and arid landscape, the struggle to survive is an ongoing fight of adaptation, tenacious will to outsmart its dangers and a persistent attitude of perseverance during its trials. It is a call to be ever vigilant with the rewards of life amongst incredible beauty. At sunset, during the brief and fleeting respite of the gloaming, one can receive those rewards.
Sunset brings a surreal radiance and peace to the landscape. It transforms the exotically beautiful and pointedly threatening cactus gardens that carpet the mountainsides into shimmering prisms of light and shadow. It manifests an illusion that the harsh barbs of their prickly maze are soft and safe. Sunset in the desert illustrates life. It allows one to see that even amidst the most hazardous and dangerous times there can be beauty and serenity if we stop the struggle and allow the glory to be seen.
This truth was demonstrated to me while creating this shot. As I walked from the trail into a dense field of cactus I was introduced, a couple of times, to one of the deserts most aggressive predators - the Jumping Cholla. While it does not actually jump, the slightest touch of this brittle fiends thorns will cause a barbed bulb to release from the plant, its spiked needles immediately puncturing your skin. My calves became a Cholla pincushion. While I did not enjoy that part of the experience, it was worth it to witness and share the miracle of this sunsets majesty. I humbly and blessedly remain His scribe.
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