November Flowers, Sunset, Moon – 11/20/2017

November flowers in Sabino Canyon! November 2017.
November flowers in Sabino Canyon! November 2017.

Flowers in Sabino Canyon lingering boldly into November – it is hard at the moment to imagine the top of the Santa Catalina Mountains turning a winter white, and while I know winter will come part of me feels like this this warm always-summer season will roll right into next year…

November flowers in Sabino Canyon!! November 2017.
November flowers in Sabino Canyon!! November 2017.
Sunset and Saguaro in Sabino Canyon. November 2017.
Sunset and Saguaro in Sabino Canyon. November 2017.
Saguaro and sliver moon in Sabino Canyon. November 2017.
Saguaro and sliver moon in Sabino Canyon. November 2017.

Sabino Canyon Nights – 2/26/2017 and 3/25/2017

Trees over the Sabino Canyon Lake. February 2017.
Trees over the Sabino Canyon Lake. February 2017.

With (seasonal) water and fast/easy access to interesting destinations Sabino Canyon is an easy choice for night photography.  You won’t escape the glow of the city here – if your only goal stunning images of the stars and Milky Way there are better destinations. But we have never failed to find something interesting to photograph and visiting Sabino Canyon at night is a chance to enjoy the canyon without the crowds – an increasingly rare treat!

Capturing Images at night in Sabino Canyon. March 2017.
Capturing Images at night in Sabino Canyon. March 2017.
Water over the Dam. February 2017.
Water over the Dam. February 2017.

Esperero Trail – 2/13/2017

February 2017.
A phainopepla near the Tram Road in Sabino Canyon. February 2017.

The Tram Road in Sabino Canyon is not always my favorite – but today… Clouds and beautiful colors in the sky – Phainopepla in the trees – easy walking.

Good light makes it easy to see the grey color of the female Phainolpepla and the shiny black of the males – sometimes perched, calling, at the top of the trees, sometimes flying, flashing the light patches under their wings. The Phainopepla are here for the Mistletoe berries – they eat the outer layers and expel the the sticky seed giving the parasitic Mistletoe a chance to spread. 

The easy walking on the tram road is appreciated today – with limited time I tried, and failed, to get to Bridal Veil Falls and after turning around under a just-out-of-reach deflated balloon stuck in a tree in Esperero Canyon (the first trash I had seen in miles) I was exhausted and happy to reach the tram road… 

February 2017.
Flowing water – one of many crossings on the Esperero Trail – still well below Bridal Veil Falls… February 2017.
February 2017.
A balloon stuck just-out-of-reach in a tree – Esperero Canyon. February 2017.
February 2017.
Looking up Bird Canyon from the Esperero Trail. February 2017.

Stone Structure above Sabino Canyon – 9/10/2016

Painting the stone water tank above Sabino Canyon with light. September 2016.
Painting the stone structure above Sabino Canyon with light. September 2016.

On a ridge above Sabino Canyon there is a small stone structure – the structure isn’t noted on the topo maps I have and you won’t find any informational signs as you circle the structure, but a 2012 article by Doug Kreutz for the Arizona Daily Star explains that “The structure is a water tower – or above-ground storage facility – probably associated with a well to the south and east” and likely built in the 1930s or 1940s.

The Well west of the gaging station on the top of the ridge marks the location of the Stone Structure. October 2016.
A section of the Sabino Canyon FSTopo with Stone Structure added. October 2016.
Star trails and the lights from Mount Bigelow - looking up Sabino Canyon from the Stone Water Tank. September 2016.
Star trails and the lights from Mount Bigelow – looking up Sabino Canyon from the Stone Structure. September 2016.

Unexpected Fireworks, Saguaros in the Moonlight – 4/23/2016

Unexpected April fireworks - taken from the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area. April 2016.
Unexpected April fireworks – taken from the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area. April 2016.

Nights are beautiful in the desert and with daytime temperatures getting hotter it becomes a particularly lovely time to get outside.

Saguaro and Moon. April 2015.
Saguaro and Moon. April 2015.

Hiking at night has its own challenges – just like any hike be mindful of your knowledge, skills and fitness – going with people that have experience hiking at night and familiarity with the area you want to explore is an excellent idea.

Moon Shadow. April 2015.
Moon Shadow. April 2015.