Parry’s Penstemon of the Sonoran Desert

American Southwest Archives · Page 2 of 3 · Leighton Photography & Imaging

Parry’s Penstemon of the Sonoran Desert

Southern Arizona’s Sonoran Desert is famed for its sudden explosion of colorful wildflowers that follows the first springtime rains. From a distance, I saw bright splashes of pink from across the arid hills, and as I got closer, I found this Parry’s penstemon in all their fuchsia glory. It never fails to amaze me how such

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Wyoming Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja linariifolia)

As is often the case in wildflowers, telling one species from another can be exceedingly difficult. Especially when there are naturally occurring hybrids, same species with wildly variable physical attributes and just geographically separated populations of the same species looking very different in different parts of the country, world, etc. (think of how different our

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Desert Bighorn Sheep Galore!!!!

I was hiking through the hills in Southern Utah in April when in the early evening I came upon a large band of about thirty individual desert bighorn sheep, including other rams, ewes, and lambs. It took me many hours of stalking and staying put to get this close for these images. After a lot of

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Tiny Dancer – The Sierra Madre Dancer Damselfly

This beautifully blue male Sierra Madre dancer (Argia lacrimans) was found and photographed on a rock sticking out of Sonoita Creek in Patagonia, Arizona on a mild spring morning. Like all damselflies in the dancer family (named so because of their jerky, erratic and highly active movements during flight) males tend to be extremely colorful while

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The Chisos Mountains of Old West Texas

The Chisos Mountains are old. REALLY old for the Southern United States. These mountains were pushed up to elevations of more than 5,000 feet above sea level by a great deformation during the Cenozoic era (66 million years ago to present). Other geological uplifts during the older Cretaceous period (66 million to 144 million years ago) were also pushed up, and

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New Mexico’s Round-tail Horned Lizard

The round-tail horned lizard (Phrynosoma modestum) is a member the lizard family Phrynosomatidae, also known as the spiny desert lizards. Horned lizards also happen to be one of the most curious and interesting of the American Southwest desert spiny lizards, which are often called horned toads, horny toad, etc. (no relation to toads). They have

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El Capitan, West Texas – Ancient America

This is my fourth entry into my new series, Ancient America which features a minimalistic, raw and unpolished look at black and white landscape photography from around North America from the viewpoint of what it would have looked like before people arrived.  El Capitan, West Texas El Capitan in West Texas’ Guadalupe Mountains (100 miles east of

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Chocolate Daisy!

Recently passing through Western Texas and Southern New Mexico, I by chance ran into a fellow Master Naturalist based near Albuquerque who told me all about the chocolate daisy (Berlandiera lyrata) a member of the aster family of native North Americans wildflowers. I was thrilled to have someone to talk shop with outside and under the bright New Mexican

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Chiripa! The Chihuahuan Raven Seen in Arizona!

One of the many pleasure on my last visit to Southern Arizona was seeing the Chihuahuan raven in its natural habitat. I didn’t even have to go look for it, this one found me and watched me for about 30 minutes! Slightly smaller than other raven species found around the world and about the size

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Double Arch, Moab Desert, Utah – Ancient America

This is my second entry into my new series, Ancient America which features a minimalistic, raw and unpolished look at black and white landscape photography from around North America from the viewpoint of what it would have looked like before people arrived.  Double Arch, Moab Desert, Utah Double Arch is found in Arches National Park in

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