Waiting for Some Rain

It’s June, which in Tucson means it’s hot and dry. Our monsoon won’t kick in until about the first week in July, so for now the native prickly pear cactus are looking flat and dehydrated. Add to this heat and super low humidity the winds we have in April, May and June and the ever-present […]

Prickly Pear Flower Buds

In February we had three days of temperatures that hovered at about fifteen degrees fahrenheit. These kind of temperatures just don’t happen in a place like Tucson, but this winter they did. My city is still showing the signs of the freeze by the numerous palm trees sporting brown crowns, citrus trees which have totally died and thousands […]

Diggin’ the Desert in Fall

It’s a beautiful time of year in southern Arizona. The high temperatures have dropped to the mid-seventies and the light has become distinctly autumnal as the days are getting shorter. We desert-dwellers are enjoying incredible hiking, biking, running,  barbecuing and basically “anything outside” weather! Image copyrighted. Use and/or reproduction prohibited without licensing from Martha Lochert.

Cooling Desert Temperatures

As we move into fall, the cooler evening temperatures in the desert southwest make for some terrific hiking conditions. This photo is from Saguaro National Park West http://www.nps.gov/sagu. Arrive before sunset, while the gates are still open and enjoy a hike, a photo excursion, a bike ride or just a drive through with the windows down. Image […]

The Tail End of Sweet Light

There is a window of time at the end of the day where the light becomes animated and magical; where the plants glow with a soft golden orange hue. It only lasts for fifteen minutes or so.  We photographers call that “sweet light.” This shot is from the end of that period – just past the […]

Tucson Mountain Park

A view from Tucson Mountain Park west of Tucson, Arizona via Gates Pass. This is a great area for picnicking, road biking and hiking, but don’t bring your dogs, as they are not allowed in the park. Within the boundaries of the 20,000 acre park are:  the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum  (www.desertmuseum.org), Old Tucson Studios […]

Cone Flowers in the Morning

These Yerba Mansa (Anemopsis californica) are a wildflower in the Lizard-Tail family which bloom from May through August in moist alkaline soils of  northern Mexico and the southwestern United States. According to Spellenberg’s Sonoran Desert Wildflowers,  the indigenous people use the flower for medicinal purposes: as a tea for stomach ailments, as a salve for skin problems, in a poultice for […]

Ocotillos

It’s hot and dry. We desert dwellers are waiting for the monsoon rains to kick in, but even in the midst of the harsh environment there is color and beauty. I photographed these ocotillo cactus at 1/200 sec at f14 with ISO 200 on a Canon 50D with 28mm lens. Image copyrighted. Reproduction & usage prohibited without proper licensing. […]

Woolly Daisy

The yellow woolly daisy (Eriophyllum wallecei) is a diminutive plant in the sunflower family with half-inch wide heads that bloom from March through June in the desert washes and open sandy soil of the southwest United States and northern Mexico. I photographed these after sunset with a macro lens, a dragged shutter (to show ambient light in the sky), […]

Saguaro Cactus in Bloom

It’s May; time for the fleeting once-a-year blossoms on the Saguaro cactus. If you want to photograph them, get up early in the morning, as they are night-bloomers and their blossoms soon wilt in the sun. These were photographed at about 10 AM and already show signs of burning up from the sunlight. Image copyrighted. Reproduction and […]

Pink Cereus Flower

Generally I’m not a fan of the color pink, but this beauty caught my eye when it bloomed in the front yard of one of my neighbors. As it turned out, this was just the first of several dozen blooms which erupted in wash of fuscia over her collection of cactus. These are night-blooming Cereus, which are […]

Springtime in February

It’s Valentine’s Day; the middle of February. There’s another five weeks of winter, but today was like a beautiful spring day in Tucson. We’ve had some cold wet days lately, but today was sunny and calm with a high temperature of seventy four degrees. Yippee! This photo is of the succulent aloe ferox (Bitter Aloe) flowering as though spring has arrived. Doesn’t the rich […]

Mighty Saguaro

I live in the lower Sonora Desert – the exculsive home of the saguaro cactus. I came upon this one on a hike through Saguaro National Park a few weeks ago. The area was established as a national park by President Herbert Hoover in 1933. http://www.nps.gov/sagu/index.htm This is a nice specimen because, though it is in the process […]

Hiker in Gates Pass

One of the most picturesque places to view saguaro cactus, rugged mountains and watch an unobstructed view of the sunset in Tucson, Arizona is from Gates Pass. Yesterday my son and I hiked through the pass, up and over a few very steep rocky hills and up to the sheer drop-off upon which he’s sitting in […]

Moonrise in the Desert

There’s no time better than October in the Sonora desert for an evening or night-time stroll. Put on your walking shoes, grab a friend (perhaps a walking stick or flashlight too, depending on where you are venturing) and head out to enjoy the beauty of the desert while the weather is so perfect!   Image copyrighted. […]

Bicyclist

Tucson considers itself a “bicycle friendly” city. There are numerous bicyle paths and the weather allows for much longer riding seasons than in other parts of the country. Every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving Tucson is host to the UMC El Tour de Tucson bicycle tour, presented by Diamond Ventures – the largest perimeter […]

Catalina Mountains from Sabino Canyon

I know, I know, pretty postcard-ish, but hey, it’s pretty isn’t it? The desert is actually pretty lush if you just switch from thinking rich green means lush. I took this photo when I got done shooting a group shot of a family of 23  at Sabino Canyon in late April.   ***Unauthorized copying, reproducing and […]

Land of the Lizards

It’s hot in the Sonora Desert. The daytime high’s are still hovering around 106 degrees as we near the end of August. The dogs & cats are lazing in the shade or inside their homes, birds are perched on branches with their mouths open and the lizards are scurrying around, stopping only long enough to do some […]