Death in The Desert

The saguaro cactus species is native to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, and the Mexican State of Sonora. It can grow to be over 40 feet and can live up to 150 years. They grow their first “arm” at 50 years of age

In 1994, Saguaro National Park, near Tucson, Arizona you can see thousands of these. Every now an then you will see a dead one. Wind, insects, lightning and old age are the natural enemy of the desert monolith. This one looks like it was struck by lightning and suffered a tragic death.

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Death in the Desert

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Brother of The Brush

I was roaming the street in Bisbee Arizona waiting for my better half to emerge from a pottery shop. We were deep in the heart of Cochise County not far from Mexico. But Still there is always time to shop and therefore time for me to roam the streets.

I met this guy and he gave me an idea for a whole new photo series, Brothers of the Brush. Of course I have done nothing else to make it a series. I have not even photographed my son in law who has a magnificent beard.Not even a self portrait for a man who has had a beard for over 40 years. However if I do create a series it will be because of this guy, deep in the heart of Cochise County.

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Bothers of the Brush

Cowboy’s Best Friend

Years ago we attended a nature walk through the desert near Scottsdale Arizona. Our guide pointed to one of these cactus and called it the cowboys best friend. The needles could be used as emergency sutures or to sew up torn jeans or boots. It is a variety of Cholla cactus and they are plentiful in the Sonora Desert of the southwestern United States and Mexico.

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Cowboy’s Best Friend

Boot Hill Graveyard

I had read about Brisbee Arizona. It is an old mining town in the mountains to the southeast of Tucson. It is now an artist colony and old west ghost town of sorts and I thought it would make an interesting day trip while we were in Tucson. I didn’t realize that to get there we had to go through Tombstone and the bonus of the day trip was seeing the Boot Hill Graveyard.

The graveyard was fascinating. So many people were shot or murdered in a period of just five years. Here were the graves of the infamous Clanton Gang. At one time they rode with Frank and Jesse James. The cemetery was small but well maintained and free to the public. Just down the road is the OK Coral and the famous Tombstone Courthouse.

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Boot Hill Graveyard


Boot Hill Graveyard

Saguaro National Park

The Sonoran Desert is a North American desert which covers large parts of the Southwestern United States in Arizona and California and of Northwestern Mexico including parts of Baja California. Inside the desert there are a number of National Parks including Saguaro National Park which is near Tucson Arizona. Of course one of the reasons for the parks name is dozens of small forests of Saguaro cactus.

There are miles of trails and hikes available for all levels and the winter weather in the low 70’s with crystal clear skies was perfect.

Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park

Jumping Cholla

I learned years ago, and the hard way to not get too close to these beauties. There are a number of Cholla cactus all seemingly have needles on springs. If you get to close the needles seem to to wind up on you even if you don’t touch the plant. These opuntia type cactus is primarily found in the southwestern U.S. and Mexico.

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Jumping Cholla

Jumping Cholla

The Walking Boss

We walked through the Boot Hill Graveyard in Tombstone Arizona and saw the graves of the Clantons and many others that were “shot dead” or “kilt by an injun”. A little ways down the road was the OK Corral and an old west town that looked more like a movie set than reality.

In the graveyard I saw men in orange jumpsuits tending to the graves. I thought it strange that these men were doing this and said hello to them and told them they were doing a good job. But they just turned away and wouldn’t say anything to me. Then I saw The Walking Boss who shot a glare in my direction, : how dare I talk to these men. I moved on remembering where I was and felt a little sad.

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The Walking Boss

The Walking Boss