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Photographer's Note

Seeing the two saguaros on the left reminded me of Bill Withers's 1972 song with that title. The photo was taken in the Ironwood National Monument.

The Monument is named for the longest-living trees in the Sonoran desert. It consists of 129,000 acres encompassing the desert mountain ranges of Silver Bell, Waterman, and Sawtooth and an incredible desert valley between the peaks where this photo was taken. Elevation varies from about 1,800 to 4,261 feet. The crown jewel of the property is Ragged Top Mountain. There are several threatened and endangered species of plants and animals living in the area around Ragged Top. You might not see them for all the paloverde, creosotebush, mesquite, ironwood and saguaro in the way but they're there. During my hike I came across several members of the last viable herd of desert bighorn sheep indigenous to the Tucson basin.

Humans have occupied the area for at least 5,000 years. More than 200 sites dating from 600 CE to about 1440 CE (the prehistoric Hohokam period) have been identified on the property. The area is abundant with ancient rock art. In more modern times, the mountains at Ironwood Forest National Monument have seen mining activity and a small amount of mining is ongoing.

ISO 100, f/16 at 1/100 second, 21mm focal length

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Additional Photos by Mark Freitag (nagalaut) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 14 W: 0 N: 286] (510)
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