At the foot of Mt. Fagan

Corona de Tucson is a far southeastern “exurb” of Tucson, Arizona. It sits at about 3400′ which puts it about a thousand feet higher than Tucson. This makes for a fine vantage point to view the long arc of the Santa Rita Mountains. In the top photo, the high peaks are visible far to the southwest. In the lower photo, taken from the same spot (and at the same time), are the last low foothills that mark the northeastern-most reach of the Santa Ritas. The arid hill in the center of the photo is called Mt. Fagan.

The cliff dweller’s view

This natural alcove high on a canyon cliff contains ruins that were inhabited by people of the Mimbres Culture around 1300AD. This view from their home looks out across, appropriately, Cliff Dweller Canyon. The site is part of the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument in New Mexico.

At the mouth of Santa Elena Canyon

Santa Elena Canyon was carved by the Rio Grande River as it cut down through the Mesa de Anguila on its eastward course. The river turns to the right (the viewer’s left) as it exits the canyon and flows along the foot of the mesa. Knowing this helps to clarify what is shown in the photo, taken at the outlet of Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park, Texas. The cliff to the left of the canyon is in Mexico, the foreground and the right side are in the U.S. Visitors to Big Bend usually take the trail here to explore the the American side of the canyon on the right. However, when this photo was taken, the usually dry Terlingua Creek was in flood from recent rains and can be seen entering the picture from the right, blocking the trail.

Flowering beehive cactus

This cactus, Coryphantha vivipara, would probably be overlooked if not for this brief appearance of its prolific flowers. This species has a wide range with a number of localized varieties. I think this one from about 4000′ in Cochise County, Arizona is either C.v. var. arizonica or C.v. var. bisbeeana, locally called beehive cactus.

The indian’s shadow

A business that sells Native American crafts has erected a two-story sign in the form of a cartoon Indian to direct prospective customers to there shop across the street. In late afternoon, it casts an interesting shadow on the wall of a building in downtown Durango, Colorado.

Looking out from Bright Angel

Bright Angel Point is on the Grand Canyon’s north rim. The remote north rim is about a quarter of a mile higher than the much more accessible (and much more crowded) south rim. While the south rim tilts away from the canyon’s edge, the north rim slopes towards the canyon. This allows precipitation on the north rim to run off into the canyon which facilitates the erosion of the rim’s edges. Because of this, the north rim is more complex and irregularly indented than the south rim. Visitors to the south rim can travel from viewpoint to viewpoint alone the rim road. Reaching a viewpoint on the north rim is akin to heading out to the end of a peninsula. You have to head back “inland” before you can go on to the next one.


Evening high cloud iridescence

These thin high-altitude cirrus clouds contain ice crystals which, through light diffraction, result in an iridescent effect. Taken from near J-Six Ranch Road, Cochise County, Arizona.

El Presidio

Tucson, Arizona traces its founding back to 1775 when the Spanish army established the Presidio San Agustín del Tucson. The present-day neighborhood that occupies that historic ground is called El Presidio and lies just north of downtown Tucson.


The sun and the rain

During the monsoon season, rainstorms tend to be quite localized. Some areas receive drenching downpours while others remain dry. Given the right vantage point, an observer can see several shafts of heavy rain and others that stay sunny at the same time. This view looks WNW from the J-Six and takes in the setting sun as well as several storm cells over nearby Pima County, Arizona.

The burn at Emory Pass

The Silver Fire burned through the Emory Pass area in 2013. The pass crosses the southern end of the Black Range in south-central New Mexico.