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Quail Lane Studios

Gallery 2-3 - Southwest Mountains and Canyons

    These are the scenes of the rugged Southwestern US.  They are unique, as the landscape itself is unique.  Although the snow in Alpine Glory and in No Way Through seems strange to those unfamiliar with the Southwest, the territory extends from well below sea level to miles above it.  In other scenes, the landscape seems on fire.  In every case, the scenes are real, very real, and it is the art of digitography that has brought them alive.  Be sure and check our other galleries;  they each overlap a little.

    For your convenience, we've placed only a few images on each page of this gallery.  When you are ready, go back to pages 1 or 2 in this Gallery, or use the tags at the top to view other galleries on our site and place your order.

 

Majestic Catalinas

Majestic Catalinas

Majestic Catalinas©.  There they are, rising to over 9,000 feet, an island of amazing wildlife and vegetation in the midst of the Sonoran Desert.  This lovely view of the Catalinas is from the edge of Honeybee Canyon, looking across the valley.  And while we take it in, the overlook is also enjoyed by a tiny ground squirrel perched at the very top of the rocky cairn.

 

Moon Watch

Moon Watch

Moon Watch©.  The Harris hawks of Southern Arizona enjoy taking advantage of their ability to perch atop the giant saguaros while they scout for a morsel scurrying across the desert floor.  Mornings and evenings are the best times because thatís when the wildlife most enjoy the desert temperatures.  Here the moon has not yet set and the early sun lights up the chest of this sharp-eyed hawk.

 

Ocotillo Hillside

Ocotillo Hillside 

 Ocotillo Hillside.  There has been a little rain on the mountain, and the gangly ocotillos are celebrating by leafing out and igniting the bright scarlet torches on their tips.  In a month, the prickly pears will take over the mountainside with a profusion of yellow blooms.  In the meantime, a jack rabbit surveys the situation, unsure what makes the best lunch among all the possibilities being offered.

 

Old Timer

Old-Timer

Old-Timer.  When a Sonoran Desert saguaro has picked a good home, with plenty of sun and a combination of sufficient water with good drainage, life can go on for centuries.  And as it continues, it adds branches many of which are homes for cactus wrens and other birds.  Look at the little dark holes and see if anyone is at home.

 

Snow in the Desert

  Snow in the Desert©.  Yes, it does snow in parts of the Sonoran Desert.  This particular part lies north of Tucson and east of Phoenix where a late winter storm has crested the Superstition Mountains and blown across the southern ridges of saguaro, sage and ocotillo.  The deer didnít look warm, but at least she had plenty of water.  The next day, the snow was completely gone.

 

Sonoran Desert Morning

Sonoran Desert Morning©.  Ah, the mornings are wonderful with sunny sides of the many cacti, trees and even distant mountains brilliantly contrasting with their long shadows.  Watch the alternating illumination and shadows as they creep across the desert floor.  In each moment, the pattern subtly and silently changes.

 

Spider Rock

Spider Rock©. Think of it as a towering remnant of a by-gone era.  Spider Rock is all that remains within the enormous canyon carved out of rock by the seemingly tame stream on the floor of Canyon de Chelly.  Here distances are deceptive.  The rock towers over 1,000 feet above the valley, and the wall in the background is miles away. Watch out, donít get too close to the edge. 

 

Up Country

Up Country

Up Country.  The Sedona area lies at the very tip of the Sonoran Desert.  Just beyond, the region rises to the Colorado Plateau well-above the lower desert.  On the edge of the rise is a series of weathered rocky mountains exposing a rainbow of unlikely colors found in red rock country.

 

Window to the Sky

Window to the Sky

Window to the Sky©.  Once there may have been a flat sandy beach here. Over the ages, wind and water have gradually worn down that beach as the land has lifted into our desert country.  Left behind is this magnificent golden arch.  Here the arch appears to frame a patch of sky, as well as the remaining life of a twisted old juniper.

 

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   One last comment:  We know these images are tempting; they are also copyrighted.  Downloading for printing or other copying  is expressly forbidden.