Weekly Photo Challenge – SCALE; Travel Theme – DETAILS

“Life is like music on a scale, shifting up and down. When life is over, your song has been written.”

Peggy Toney Horton

(8 photos)



As many of you know, I was traveling last week – enjoying a lovely visit with family in Scottsdale,  along with a zillion other people who had arrived to see either the Super Bowl, or the Waste Management Golf Tournament, or both. Had we known it would be their busiest week of the year, we’d have chosen another time – but in hindsight it worked out perfectly. Fortunately, Michelle has provided a nice opportunity to share some of my favorite photos from the trip with her challenge for the week “Scale”, and Ailsa’s Travel Theme “Details” fits nicely as well.  Above, I’ve captured a set of rock sculptures, aptly named “The Mushrooms” . While difficult to illustrate in a photo, the boulders were massive, and well-guarded by the prickly bushes surrounding them.



“From the landscape, a sense of scale.”

Richard Siken

At the other end of the size spectrum, although I’ve never seen it in full flower, the desert is surprisingly colorful even during its dormant season. Hues of yellow, green, and even blue are sprinkled throughout – thanks not only to the occasional blooming plant but also to the many types of lichen finding sustenance among the rock formations. From massive boulders to the tiniest details, the desert’s vast landscape has it all.



“Man knows that the world is not made on a human scale; and he wishes that it were.”

Andre Mairaux

I could not post about the Arizona desert without including at least one iconic Saguaro cactus. Long a symbol of the US West, this impressive plant can grow up to 60 feet tall and live for up to 150 years. I chose this specimen because of its many “arms”, although it falls quite short of the record cactus, which has 50! The arms are used by the plant to store water, making them quite heavy; an adult saguaro can weigh as much as 8 tons.



“The world is magical. Magic is simply what’s off our human scale… at the moment.”

Vera Nazarian

Speaking of details, cacti are of course famous for their thorns and we avoided many of them this time around, having learned how painful they can be on our last trip! See exhibits A and B below.



“Prosperity is no just scale; adversity is the only balance to weigh friends.”




“Words cannot convey the scale of a view that is so stunning it is felt.”

Eleanor Catton

We were certainly not alone in our enjoyment of the beautiful desert sun. In addition to many other hikers, we saw several bikers (yep, I thought they were crazy too!) pedaling furiously to climb the steep  hills. And although we didn’t see anyone on horseback, we did see evidence of their presence.



“Everything around us is scale dependent. It’s woven into the fabric of the universe.”

Geoffrey West

I’ll leave you with one final shot from our desert adventure. Although again the scale is difficult to judge because it was unapproachable, this rock formation was my husband’s favorite. It was visible from many points throughout our hike, and somehow always seemed to be smiling encouragingly to help us along our way….or was it perhaps a grimace?  You be the judge!



“If you don’t scale the mountain, you can’t view the plain.”

Chinese Proverb

Can’t get enough of me? Click here to see my guest blog about Glacier National Park on Dwellable.com. Afterwards,  check out some other bloggers’ takes on the weekly challenge here, and lots of “details” on Ailsa’s site here.

120 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge – SCALE; Travel Theme – DETAILS

  1. Tina, you surely have an eye for the details (and, of course, for picture as a whole, too!)…these are so beautiful, each one in its own way! Those massive mushrooms is something i would be very impressed to see in reality but also the cacti. 🙂 And excellent choice of the quotes!

  2. Pingback: Isaiah’s Scale: Plowshare to Crop | My Own Champion

  3. beautiful photos as usual – and the biggest take away for me is the one with the bike prints and hoof prints – the mix of the two is great – and the orange color of the dirt – the dessert has such an interesting habitat

  4. Well, you sure didn’t shy away from such a prickly subject. Got right to the point…

    Beautifully photographed as always, Tina, especially the macros. Love the quality of the winter light.

    • Tanks Ron. Yes the light out there is quite different, especially in the sunset hours. The purples are amazing. Sadly I was never available to shoot when the light was at its prettiest. Next time!

  5. There is something wonderful about the desert and you have captured it beautifully. My experience outside of Tuscon was wandering down a valley not listening to my friend telling me about the “jumping cholla” cacti…and then being taught a lesson 🙂 Based on this story, the shot I really enjoy is the Desert Bloom II shot ~ a happier memory of their thorny nature.

    The Hoofprints shot is perhaps the deepest photo ~ while recent, how can one not think about the old west, horses and how life was way back when 🙂

    • Many thanks Randall – yes, I learned that lesson the hard way myself. Actually had to throw away a pair of shoes I could never get the thorns out of! BTW, I shared your site with a friend who’s headed to Myanmar next year. She loved it (of course!)

      • I was really surprised by the tenacity and relentlessness of those thorns…it was pretty funny to experience just once 🙂 Thanks for sharing the site with your friend, sure wish I was heading back there soon. Enjoy the upcoming Lunar New Year!

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