Smells Like Rain; It’s the Creosote

There is a welcome, distinctive smell in the desert when it rains, which comes from the creosote bush (Larrea tridentata), shown here. We desert dwellers will say “it smells like rain”  but what we are actually smelling is the creosote, shown here. Did you know they could live thousands of years? According to Steve Archer, […]

Church Rock. I Could Pray Here …

  This is Church Rock in the Navajo Nation off  US-160 west of Kayenta in northern Arizona. (36°44’02.9″N 110°07’07.1″W) I think it is aptly named.   Reverence  noun rev·er·ence \ˈrev-rən(t)s, ˈre-və-; ˈre-vərn(t)s\ :honor or respect felt or shown :  deference; especially :  profound adoring awed respect http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary I felt that here. Though just off the highway, […]

Gates Pass Ramada

The perfect spot to watch a fabulous southern Arizona sunset is Gates Pass in the Tucson Mountains. This photo taken at the tail end of a sunset, captures the ethereal quality the wispy clouds and piercing stars exhibited that night. I decided to include the ramada, which seemed to add to the somewhat Twilight Zone feeling […]

Sunset Beauty Moment

White Prickly Poppy (Argemone mexicana) or “Cowboy’s Egg” at sunset in Gardner Canyon in the Santa Rita Mountains of southern Arizona. 1/125 second at f 7.1 – ISO 3200 with diffused fill-flash All parts of this year-round bloomer, known by the Aztecs as “nourishment for the dead”  have psychoactive properties. Shamans used it for journeys to […]

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 […]

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), […]

Rillito River Walk

Spring is almost here and the weather in Tucson is delightful. Last evening my friend George and I took advantage of the perfect temperature and road our mountain bikes from her house to the bicycling/walking paths which flank the usually dry-as-a-bone Rillito  River. We’ve had an unusually wet winter; however, so the river is still flowing. Lots of people […]