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October 4, 2010
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The Santa Ritas by TrentLarsonphoto The Santa Ritas by TrentLarsonphoto
The Santa Rita mountains are one of the "sky islands" (Sky islands are mountains in ranges isolated by valleys in which other ecosystems are located. As a result, the mountain ecosystems are isolated from each other, and species can develop in parallel, as on island groups such as the Galápagos Islands) in the Tucson area, located 40 miles south of the city. You litterally go from desert to pine forest in a matter of 10 miles. This was an area that caught my eye on the drive into Madera Canyon, and after a note on a trail sign (it said an aggressive mama bear and her cub had been spotted twice within the last week along the narrow trail I was on) 6500 feet up in the mountains turned me around, I decided to race down to the bottom and catch sunset. I'm definately happy with my choice! At 9,453 feet, Mount Wrightson (on the right side of the frame) is the highest point in the Tucson area.

Santa Rita mountains Green Valley, Arizona.
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:iconfreakinout:
freakinout Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2010  Professional Photographer
This is a great shot. It definitely reminds me of the Chihuahuan desert.
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:icontrentlarsonphoto:
TrentLarsonphoto Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2010
Thanks, I appreciate it! I've never been to the Chihuahuan desert, but I believe this is close to it.
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:iconfreakinout:
freakinout Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2010  Professional Photographer
The Chihuahuan goes a little bit into AZ, but the majority is in the TX/NM/Mex region.
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:icontrentlarsonphoto:
TrentLarsonphoto Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2010
In the south-east part of AZ, correct? I've never been out in that area. The only part of this state I haven't visited. I guess i'll need to get out there then
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:iconfreakinout:
freakinout Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2010  Professional Photographer
Yeah, should be a sliver popping into AZ in that area. I've seen mostly the areas in TX and parts of it in NM, but it'll likely be similar to the terrain in this shot. Might just change from mountains to canyons, etc.
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:iconjdmorehouse:
jdmorehouse Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Nice light. How did you light up the foreground, or was it just fortuitous?
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:icontrentlarsonphoto:
TrentLarsonphoto Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2010
I did a tad bit of lighting in the foreground and midground, but for the most part this is straight from the camera
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:iconpeterjcoskun:
PeterJCoskun Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2010
Wow man this is absolutely stunning. Those mountains have the absolute perfect light and textures on them and the composition is perfect. That sky is something else. I really need to venture south more often. I could easily see this as a two page spread in AZ highways. I am very jealous of this shot haha.
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:icontrentlarsonphoto:
TrentLarsonphoto Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2010
Thanks! It's funny how a good sunset transforms a photo from average to "stunning." When I saw the clouds changing, I started getting a little giddy, haha. It was a really long and tiring day with a lot of disapointments, but this made it all worth it. I almost think you have to go there. I'm sure you've heard of Madera Canyon. There weren't very many birds out, but in season it would probably be the perfect place for you. Thanks again
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:iconpeterjcoskun:
PeterJCoskun Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2010
No prob. I have always wanted to do some birding down in Madera canyon. There are numerous species I want to add to my list that will make some other birders jealous on here haha. I've only been as far south as saguaro national park. I have a lot of Arizona travel to do hah.
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