Monday, January 18, 2010

A Hike in Black and White - Photoseries

We are due to get a major storm system that is predicted to bring significant amounts of rain and snow to the lower and higher elevations of this region, respectively, within the next day.  Figuring this would likely limit outdoor excursions and hikes for the next several days, I took advantage of the mild weather we had this past Saturday and went on a trip to explore some of the hiking areas around the Huachuca Mtns., which have been featured in various other photos that have appeared on this blog, usually as a distal landscape element.

I managed to find an excellent trail off of Ramsey Canyon Rd.  The trailhead starts out near some residential property as a dirt road, and heads into the foothills of the Huachucas before becoming a singletrack trail that drops down into a drainage/riparian area, eventually heading up into the mountains, or at least that is how it appeared.  I will definitely be back for a full-day hike in the spring. 

As far as the photos go, sometimes weather or lighting conditions are not conducive for really standout captures, particuarly of sweeping landscapes.  That was the case on Saturday, as high clouds blocked out the bright sun for most of the afternoon.  So, I decided this would be a good opportunity to focus on more intimate views of the landscape:  the trees.  While I find a northeastern forest of deciduous trees in winter dormancy to be monotonous and dreary, we don't have that problem in the southwest.  Evergreen trees and shrubs dot the landscape, interspersed with native desert deciduous trees like the AZ sycamore and cottonwood.  

PP editing in PS included adjustments in levels, application of sepia or warm photofilters and cropping.

View from Carr Canyon Rd
A hike up the closed dirt road provided this view overlooking part of Sierra Vista and the Mule Mtns. to the east
Along the Brown Trail
Scrub oak and grasses cover the rolling hills at the base of the Huachucas

Sycamore Solo #1
This stately AZ sycamore, a native riparian species, shows off its form next to a dry wash
Along the Trail
An old fence, pile of wood, and a variety of trees line the trail.
Sycamore Solo #2
The characteristic white bark of this sycamore contrasts with the darker background giving drama to its elegant, flowing branches
Reach to the Sky
A skyward view from the base of this tree shows it in an abstract form
Sycamore Duet
This pair of trees is clearly living in harmony with each other
A Watchful Eye
This small, unidentified species of raptor takes advantage of this bare tree to survey its surroundings in the late afternoon

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