Today we venture up Mount Hopkins.
On our way we pass the Smithsonian visitors center (with mirror) which supports the defining feature of the area, the Whipple Observatory a top the mountain.
It has just monsooned and everything is refreshed, revived and very green. Bird call is especially spirited -two red tails scream-accoustics here are remarkable. The diversity of flora is exciting. For the visual artist the abundance of color, texture and light is stimulating…and challenging.
Firecracker Bush: bouvardia ternifolia, really stands out-like little stop signs across the landscape. This species is native to Southern AZ above 3000 feet and likes rocky canyons just like this one.
It is very red!
Hummers love it.
So do we.
We’ve pulled off the narrow road to look back at this green valley and funky foothills. Way off in the distance is the town of Amado. To get here, take the Arivaca or Canoa exit off of I-19, then take Elephant Butte Rd off of the frontage, then Mt. Hopkins Road. Roads are usually passable (flash flooding during monsoons may limit access).
The sun creeps rapidly up on us. Here is a good example of a common plein air predicament know as “chasing shadows”.
Valerie looks up the canyon.
Holy monsoon cloud!