Tuesday, January 8, 2013

From the highest peak in the Tucson Mountains

I've been back in the classroom for a couple of days now...

Last Thursday, though, on a clear cold morning, I went for a hike in the Tucson Mountains. On the western edge of the city, this the lowest mountain range in the area, but from its highest point, Wasson Peak, you get 360-degree views over the entire area: city, wilderness and more peaks on the far horizons.

Water, sunscreen, and iphone...
it's a 7-mile round-trip desert hike with about a two-thousand-foot elevation gain.
(Do NOT do this hike in the summer; there is NO shade...but perfect from late fall through early spring.)

About 2/3 of the way up, this is the view toward the SW,
across the agricultural land of the Tohono O'odham nation,
toward Baboquivari Peak,
the 'navel of the world' in their native cosmology:

No shortage of cholla cactus along the rocky trail...
Here, looking south down the mountain range
toward the distant Santa Rita Mountains.
I played with the 'dark 1' option in the 'drama' filters for the scene above,
then with the black-and-white filter for the version below,
adjusting the white balance in the 'tune image' filter;
I like the imperfection of the flare, shooting
directly into the low sun...

...approaching the summit on the left:
(seven photos fused together with the AutoStitch app)

 Finally, at the peak--4687ft/1429m...
looking off to the NNW toward Picacho Peak...

Not as lofty as the 9000+ ft. peaks in the Santa Catalinas and the Rincons, but still high enough to feel on top of the world...

--looking NORTH toward the Tortolita Mtns
--looking from the NE to the E toward the Santa Catalina Mtns, across Oro Valley & Tucson
--looking SOUTH down the Tucson Mtns toward the distant Santa Rita Mtns
--looking toward the WEST across the Avra Valley
(made with PicFrame app)

And finally, one more saguaro-studded scene,
using 'tilt-shift' & one of the relatively new 'retrolux' filters:

Incidentally, in the January NIK software newsletter,
in the "Spotlight on Snapseed" section
THIS blog is featured...
Thanks, NIK!

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