Saguaros as Far as the Eye Can See

Distant Cactus by Anne McKinnell

Saguaro National Park, in Arizona, is a special place. The sheer density of the Saguaro Forest is captivating and I love how the cacti look against the red rock. Usually I photograph them from ground level, often from a low angle looking up to emphasize their immense size. But seen from above, you get a totally different feel for the place. To get a good vantage point, we … [Read more...]

A Secret Oasis of Barrel Cacti

Barrel cacti in Nevada by Anne McKinnell

Somewhere off the beaten track in middle of nowhere, Nevada, I saw an interesting rock outcropping in the distance. "Let's go explore!" I said to Ray. I could see the look in his eyes. "Long Pants!" I exclaimed. So we donned our long pants and set off amongst the prickly pear cactus, the teddy bear cholla, the walking stick cactus, the spitting needle cactus, the … [Read more...]

The Organ Pipe Cactus

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona, by Anne McKinnell

I like going to new places. Of course, there are favourite spots from previous trips that are impossible to drive past, places I could visit again and again like Joshua Tree National Park. But as much as possible I like to discover new things, blaze new trails, and explore places previous unexplored (at least by me). And it's even better if those places are quiet … [Read more...]

Gila Woodpeckers and Saguaro Cactus

Saguaro Cactus Birds Nest by Anne McKinnell

I always see Gila Woodpeckers on the Saguaros everywhere we go in Arizona. I don't know how they manage to perch themselves against so many spiny needles! You even see them standing on the very top of the cactus as if they are smooth telephone poles. Believe me, they are anything but smooth! Please click the image to view a larger version. I came across this Saguaro in … [Read more...]

Ocotillo Abstract

Ocotillo Abstract by Anne McKinnell

At our BLM campsite in Gunsight Wash, near Organ Pipe National Monument, Arizona, it was one of those sunsets where there is just a tiny strip of colour next to the horizon. To make the most of it, I decided to use my telephoto lens so the colours would fill the frame and then I got behind an Ocotillo cactus and used its spiny stems to make an interesting graphic design … [Read more...]

The Lush Desert in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Organ Pipe National Monument, Arizona, by Anne McKinnell

Last year we missed visiting Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona, during our snowbird season. It lies in southern Arizona right against the border with Mexico. We weren't too sure about it since we had been warned that there are lots of "illegals" crossing the border there and it can be dangerous. After doing some research of our own, we decided to pay it a visit, … [Read more...]

Last Light on Saguaro Cactus

Saguaro cactus at sunset by Anne McKinnell

On one of our first nights visiting Organ Pipe National Monument in Arizona some clouds rolled in. It was quite unusual! So Ray and I drove into the park and found an area with lots of Saguaros to photograph. There are actually more Saguaros here than in Saguaro National Park! The light was grey, but I could see a strip of open sky near the horizon where the sun would set, … [Read more...]

Chain Fruit Cholla

Chain Fruit Cholla by Anne McKinnell

A cactus can be hard to photograph. Usually when I am photographing anything I am looking for a good graphic design, interesting lines and textures, and a clean background. With a cactus, you have the textures covered, but often the lines are anything but uniform and the background is often full of scrubby brush that just looks messy. Near our campsite in Why, Arizona, I … [Read more...]