Friday, January 2, 2015

Saguaro Fever in the Sweet Spot

A major winter storm blanketed Arizona and dropped snow in the desert on New Years Eve 2014. I drove out to Four Peaks to see for myself on New Year's Day. 

And so did half of the population of Phoenix.

I wish I'd taken a photo of all the people queued up on the B-Line Hwy taking photos. That last drop before you start chugging up the mountain toward Payson is a killer view. 

I waited to head out until the clouds started breaking up. I knew the snow would have already melted in the immediate desert, but at least there would be some light.

 I headed to my favorite side road where I've photographed numerous times. 

There wasn't much hope of seeing the peaks. The clouds seemed pretty determined to cover the top. One peak would poke out here and there, but never long enough. The changing conditions of the light kept me busy all afternoon though. I walked around the immediate area over and over refining my compositions as the light would intervene.

And then, the moon came up! How cool was that! At first it was obscured behind the clouds, but they slowly moved off and lit up the snow. Did I have hopes of seeing the peaks after all? At this point, the clouds actually looked like they were moving off.

The late day light poking through the western clouds was very nice, but I never saw the peaks. More clouds moved in. They're like that. Party poopers.
Oh well.

This spot in the foothills of Four Peaks is so verdant. A sweet spot, for sure. Saguaros are as thick as I've seen anywhere. They are even thicker at the true base of the mountain in the wilderness. This shot looks south toward the Superstition Mountains that had also been dusted the night before.

More nice light before the end of the show. 
One last gasp of daylight. 
Thank you very much!

Looking back toward the Superstition Mountains. 

It was a great afternoon. 
The spot I picked was perfect and I didn't need to drive around.
 I still did some exploring, but always came back to this sweet spot. 

This was a great start for me!

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