Tonto National Forest, Arizona, USA by Robert Elenbaas

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Picture Story

The Tonto National Forest east of Phoenix, Arizona, is part of the beautiful Sonoran Desert. Although meteorologically a true desert, it usually receives enough winter and summer monsoonal rainfall that it is comparatively lush. It is also the only place in the world where the magnificent Saguaro cactus grows naturally. I was especially taken by how the warm light of sunset highlighted the clouds and was just touching parts of the distant hills. I composed the image with the thought that the triangle formed by the foreground cholla cactus and saguaro would help to draw the viewer into the scene. I titled it “Another Gift” because, to me, every day that I’m able to spend trying to photograph the remarkable landscapes of Arizona and the American southwest is a blessed gift.

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