Laura Macky Photography

Journey of a body on this earth

Painted Saguaro


I never knew the desert could be so beautiful.  I’ve been to Arizona before, but since I’ve picked up photography I see things in a whole different light!

Speaking of light….just before sunset, the desert is its most beautiful in my opinion.  This image was taken at the McDowell Sonoran Preserve which is a permanently protected 30,200 acre sustainable desert habitat that doesn’t allow any motorized vehicles.

The cactus in the image is called a saguaro cactus.  The saguaro is an arborescent (tree-like) cactus species which can grow to be over 70 ft (20 m) tall.  It is native to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, the Mexican State of Sonora, and the Whipple Mountains and Imperial County areas of California. The saguaro blossom is the state wildflower of Arizona.

What an unbelievable beautiful place!  I can’t wait to go back some day.

McDowell Sonoran Preserve

McDowell Sonoran Preserve


Author: lauramacky

Journey of a Body on this Earth

64 thoughts on “Painted Saguaro

  1. Gorgeous shot Laura. I once lived next to Saguaro National Park near Tucson and the desert is most definately beautiful.

  2. Fantastic color and light. Your photo helps explain why it’s called the golden hour.

  3. Amazing beautiful place Laura – thanks for sharing – without you I would never have seen this 😀

  4. Hey Laura .. .what a magic photo. Amazing that they are that tall. I can see why you would want to go back. 🙂

  5. Very beautiful,I have been there,same feelings.Anyway every desert has something special.Sahara changes a lot from Morocco to Tunisia to Algeria to Middle east

  6. Wow stunning. Such beautiful colours and tones 🙂

  7. the light at the desert… Lovely. I only know the desert around Las Vegas…but still

  8. This lovely photo captures the desert in so many ways–light, colors, wilderness, spacious. Really wonderful Laura. 🙂

  9. love it…this photo shows a beautiful light. By the way, love the banner photo! I’ve never been to Arizona but your photos have peaked my interest! 🙂

    • Thank you Heather. I tell you, I was shocked at how gorgeous it is! I can’t wait to go back. Oh and tnx about my header. I figured it was time to let the air out of the balloon LOL.

  10. these photos and those on google plus are amazing!! Beautiful work Laura! Hope you had a happy Easter weekend!

  11. Great shot Laura……fantastic light……..could be a still image of a landscape straight-out of a “Western” movie.

  12. Laura…. speaking of great images… this is phenomenal! I’ve only been to Arizona once to visit a friend. Luckily I got to see the Grand Canyon as part of that three day adventure. I’d love to see this spot!

    • Thank you so much K’lee. This area is just incredible! We managed to squeak it the day before we left. Talk about beautiful!!

      • Talk about the last image being a lasting image! I think I’d remember plenty of these details even without the camera, but it sure is good to have one for spots like this!

  13. A very magic quality to the light here…I love the desert light.

  14. Top class image there Laura – fantastic colours!

  15. wow… This is really awesome.

  16. For sure, beautiful, awe-inspiring. I love the Southwest deserts no matter where. Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada and California are all lovely. Now I’m curious to see what else caught your eye, since as you say you did not take so many photos. That is one lovely image, Laura. Really love the details, plants in the foreground especially and mountains as backdrop too.

    • Thank you so much Robert. I will be posting some more photos tomorrow. I’ve only worked on a few as I’ve been kind of busy. I’ve come to the realization that I don’t have to take hundreds to get some decent shots if I just think a little bit more before I click. 😉

      • Yes. i agree. We all come to that point eventually and then decide how many photos we really want to take. Or do we want to socialize instead, be one with nature, meditate, eat ice cream? 🙂

  17. That picture is like it is from another planet. It is awesome, Laura! That cactus is just huge! I am trying to imagine what you were feeling as you stood in the spot you were, photographing this incredible image. LOVE the way you processed it. You really brought out the detail and the contrast and the FEELING of this Moment. Wow! (((HUGS))) Amy

  18. Beautiful. So beautiful. You captured this so well. My parents live in Mesa, AZ. If you want to find some great places to visit, explore and take photographs of on your next adventure there subscribe to Arizona highways magazine. Great stuff! Happy you enjoyed yourself and shared this image, wow!!

    • That’s a great idea. I’d love to go to Monument Valley too. Oh and Mesa Verde I think that’s what it’s called in Colorado. OMG! Thank you 🙂

      • I hear a road trip in the making. 1st night Palm Springs, 2nd night Scottsdale, few days watching baseball games, North to Sedona, Flagstaff (at least the San Fransisco Volcanics are worth a day stop) North east to Mesa Verde N.P. over to Zion N.P. through Vegas to Death Valley N.P. and on to San Fran. You can buy a yearly N.P. pass for much less than all the park fees would be, there are great places to stay in or close to the parks too. I love road trips!! These are all spectacular places, especially as the sun rises and sets!

        • HA! I love road trips too. We have a yearly NP pass too. 🙂 We start remodeling our house soon…the first phase we can be here. The second phase we can’t. Maybe we can do some of it then or we might have to wait till next year when finances are more settled. But I love your thinking!

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