Prickly Pear with Snow Caps

Prickly Pear Cactus with Snow Caps – (f/11, 1/800 sec., FL 17mm, ISO 400, 0 ev, Sony A-77V)

Every year we get snow in the desert…but usually only in the mountains here in Tucson, AZ. This spring though we’ve had a couple of days with snow on the valley floor and if I plan ahead I can get out early and get some images that are unusual. The weather forecast predicted snow down to 3,000 feet which means we probably will get it even down a little lower if we’re lucky. So it began at lunch time with flurries and sticky big flakes that continued on and off through the night.

Saguaro National Park East loop road –  (f/20, 1/60 sec., FL 16mm, ISO 400, 0 ev, Sony A-77V)

In the morning we had snow all over the cactus in Saguaro National Park East and I headed over there and got some shots with the dark indigo skies as the backdrop. The 8-mile loop road had already begun to heat up melting all the snow and leaving it only wet not icy.

Broken Saguaro ribs in the snow – (f/9,1/1000 sec., FL 18mm, ISO 400, 0 ev, Sony A-77V)

The sun was blazing and the snow was melting all around me. I could hear the mushy snow plopping to the ground and by 11 in the morning nearly all the snow had melted off the cactus. But I’ll still remember the wonderful scene with all the snow and the Santa Catalina mountains in the distance.

Pano Saguaro National Park in the WInter – f/11/250 sec., FL 50mm, ISO 100, 0 ev, Sony A-77V)

This is what I love about the southwest…all the beauty of winter without the cloudy gray days for months on end. Come on down. The golf courses are always open…except for the Accenture Open this year. Closed for one snow day. Totally amazing.

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