Sonntag, 6. Dezember 2009

America's Southwest - Day 1

Since I added my last blog entry quite some time has past. Together with Werner I'm currently in Arizona to escape from the cold weather in Austria.

Yesterday we drove from Phoenix, Arizona south to Organ Pipe National Monument which is located in the Sonora Desert (one of the four deserts in the US). We first watched a presentation about the park in the Visitor Center. Then we did the Puerto Blanco scenic drive to explore the western side of the park.

The picture below depicts an Organ Pipe cactus which can only be found in the Sonora Desert and gave the park its name.


















While in the picture above the Organ Pipe cactus is still alive, the picture below shows an Organ Pipe cactus in different "states".











































If an Organ Pipe cactus dies it leaves behind its bleached ribs.













Chained Fruit Cholla













Saguaro cacti

Saguaros usually always grow upwards. However, they are quite sensitive to frost which might lead to some branches showing downwards.
























































































































Woodpeckers are pecking holes into Sanguaro cacti. These holes are then used by them as well as other animals to build nests.













Prickly Pear Cactus
























Ocatillo cactus blossom













Some beautiful cactus patterns



























































Below you can see a few pictures from the 21 mile long Ajo Mountain drive.





































Chained Fruit Cholla

























Saguaro











































Organ Pipe
























Werner infront of the remnants of an Organ Pipe cactus











































Barrel Cactus




































About half-way on the Ajo Mountain Drive is the trailhead for the Arch Canyon - Boulder Overlook trail. The trail is a bit more than two miles long, quite easy for the first 0.5 mile, and rather steep for the remaining part. In total the trail has an elevation gain of about 1100 feet. Coming from an area with lots of mountains, we really could not resist doing this hike which brought us to an overlook to Boulder Canyon. Since light conditions were not good, there are only few pictures from the hike.

















































On our way out of the park we were quite lucky and really had wonderful light :-).



























































































1 Kommentar:

jdvco hat gesagt…

The cactuses are interesting and the evening views are really nice. All in all it makes me wanting to visit US again. :-) Have lovely time there! Hugs to both of you. :-D Joanna