Travel Photo Thursday: A Desert’s “Sense of Place”

March 27, 2014

in Travel Photo Thursday

  • SumoMe

On Tuesday I wrote about the Ruth Bancroft Garden, and oasis of sorts for arid-land plants.

And that set me to thinking about plants as defining a desert, giving it “a sense of place.”

Organ Pipe Cactus, Desert Botanical Garden

And in, turn, that thought prompted me to look back at photos that I had shot during past trips to Arizona’s Sonoran Desert.

I’m not a botanist, but I have no problem at all recognizing an agave when I see one.

Agave, Desert Botanical Garden

This one, firmly rooted in Phoenix’s Desert Botanical Garden, seems to have a soft feel to its otherwise prickly surfaces. That’s because I employed an “artistic effect” in Adobe’s Photoshop Elements to make it look more like a painting than a photograph.

Spines, Barrel Cactus, Desert Botanical Garden

There’s nothing soft at all about the spiny edges of the barrel cactus. Those spikes aren’t just decorative, they are intended to discourage water-seeking critters from biting into the leaves in order to slake their thirst.

"Thumbs Up" Saguaro, Desert Botanical Garden

Nothing tells me that I’m in southern Arizona more than the saguaro cactus, although this one looks like it’s trying to hitchhike a ride west to L.A. to star in a Hollywood western.

(Click on an image to enlarge to full-size. Visit Budget Travelers Sandbox for more of this week’s Travel Photo Thursday shots.)

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