Phoenix Sonoran Preserve, Arizona, USA by Jonathan Cook

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Picture Story

I moved to Phoenix last summer and was very eager to get out and explore my new home. The Southwest was a place I had only visited before, but I knew the landscapes and outdoor activities were fantastic. Being summer in Arizona, the only real time for exploring is around sunrise, so I gathered my kit for a sunrise hike in the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve north of the city. I can still remember the cool (relatively speaking) air with the distinct desert scents as I got out of the car in the darkness and made my way to the trail. As the first rays of light came over the horizon, the sky lit up with colors and the pristine desert landscape started to become visible. This photo was taken soon thereafter, with giant saguaros, distinctive cholla, and sharp rocky peaks bathed in the soft light of dawn. What an introduction to Arizona!

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