Thursday, May 15, 2014

Hiking Saguaro National Park

For exercise, some people go to the gym. Some go for a run. Some get on their bicycle. For me it is hiking in the nearby desert -- every other day.

More appropriately my hike might be called a walk. It is not a brisk pace as I walk. As I walk I stop a lot to enjoy the views and the flora and fauna. I note the nearby birds -- cardinal, cactus wren, gila woodpecker, thrasher, quail and others I can identify from the song or call.

Another bird identified by its call is the white winged dove. Migrating from Mexico, they assist in pollination of the saguaros and when the fruit ripens, they assist in the distribution of the seeds -- each the size of a poppy seed. Their song or call is not the most melodic. Actually, I find it rather annoying. This is a white winged dove perched atop a saguaro.

Birds aren't the only fauna sightings. I see jack rabbits, rabbits, and some type of desert rodent. On a recent hike, I finally saw my first rattler of the season. The rattler just crawled into the brush without scaring me. Until I spotted the movement as his tail moved into the brush.

Fauna moves too much for photos. Not so with the flora of the desert. That becomes a whole lot easier for photos. And I have a lot of them.
In mid May there are a lot of saguaros in bloom. The blooms are barely visible from a distance.

In most cases there are just a few of the flowers in bloom atop a saguaro. Then there is this saguaro with a bouquet of blooms.

Most photos of the saguaros are taken with a telephoto. However, I've found a saguaro that has one arm that hangs down so the blossoms are at head height. That makes a great opportunity to take a macro photo of the bloom.

Over these past couple of weeks, I have taken many photos of saguaros. To close this post, here is photo that I gave a water color look. At least that is what was intended.

Tucson's temperatures have been in the mid 90s recently and more is predicted. Because of that heat, I have been on the trail as early as 6:30. The good part is that I can be back home before ten as the day begins to get seriously hot.

Back to Saguaro National Park East on Saturday for more photos of saguaros.

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