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. I could not leave this d’hiversity of archaic cactuses (Cacti) unrebblogd, and i regret not to have co-mmenTed on old postings.
    Frankly speaking, I was expecting more co-mments on the d’hiversity.
    I hope i didn´t create a “Competition” between us.

    Waiting for a Trifles posting 🙂

  2. Tina, while you were visiting the desert in Arizona I was visiting the desert in Dubai! Such a contrast, the Arizona desert has so much more life in it! I hope to visit someday.

    • Very interestin Grace! I think the desert is different each year depending on the rainfall or lack thereof. This year it was particularly colorful and it is still the dorman season so spring flowering should be amazing!

  3. Really great shots of the dessert….I always find the landscape out there fascinating!! U certainly captured it’s true colors!! Agree with hubby..loving the ‘put on a happy face’! I think he is smiling!!!

  4. Good Morning Tina! I am happy you had a wonderful trip. That blue sky! We lived in El Paso for 4 years and this all looks charmingly prickly familiar. Love the desert landscape because of the surprises there… like the sweet delicate tangerine colored bloom you captured. Love the massive mushrooms! All lovely pictures and quotes. I am pretty sure the rock is smiling a satisfied kind of smile… happy where it “be”!

    • Thanks Bente! I suppose there are no two places more different in the world than your area vs the desert! It was wonderfully warm and sunny there, but I wouldn’t want to be there in July and August!

  5. Pingback: “Scale” Photo Challenge | The Bohemian Rock Star's "Untitled Project"

    • Thanks Zambian Lady! Yes, it’s a very unique environment. All of the living things have found ways to conserve water and use it for maximum effect. Amazing really. thanks for stopping by.

  6. Lovely photos, Tina! And very apt quotes to go along… I loved Scottsdale when I visited it last year … your photos brought back some fond memories.. 🙂 Take care.

  7. Beautiful images again, Tina. Always fitting the theme so perfectly. Glad to hear you had a great getaway – always good to go away for a bit and see the wonders in this world. I would like to think the rock formation (last photo) is smiling at everyone around him…a bit of a tired smiled because it has been smiling at so many people for so long 🙂

    • LOL, I’m sure you’re right Mabel, he’s just tired of always being happy!!! Appreciate your lovely comment, and yes, great to go away and equally great to come home 😊

  8. Pingback: Travel Theme-Details | WoollyMuses

  9. Once again you delight me with your offerings Tina. Great cactus shots, and I love the horseshoe prints – to be a great photographer you do have to be so observant, and you are. The desert is an amazing landscape, sadly none accessible to me unless I travel to southern Spain… now there’s an idea 💡

    • Hey! Go for it Jude 🙂 We go out to Arizona most years and interestingly the desert is different every time – as is the weather!! We got lucky this year, happily! Thanks for stopping by.

  10. It was nuts around here last week with all the goings on. The desert in spring can be much more beautiful than I ever imagined. It’s been a wet winter and the desert terrain is more green than brown. We are looking forward to spring wildflower season.
    The mushroom rocks are interesting. Where are they located?

    • Thanks John, the rocks were at Tom’s Thumb and could be seen from many points on our hike. A wet winter helps explain why there were more flowers than I’ve seen in the past. I would LOVE to see the desert when it’s flowering!

      • Stay tuned to my blog. 😃 I suspect I will have lots of pics of wildflowers this year. Yes, I know that’s a poor substitute for being there yourself to take your own pics.

  11. I used to believe in the fallacy that the desert is a desolate place and, therefore, ugly in its barrenness. Not so! Great job in capturing the abundant beauty of the SW desert. 🙂

    • We were pretty enamored with the smiling face too! From a certain perspective it actually looks like a person lying down with a smiling head. Quite fun imagining the creature turned to stone by an evil witch 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  12. As usual, loved the photos and the commentary. Also learned some interesting facts — i.e., weight of saguaro arms. Might come in handy for Jeopardy. 🙂

  13. My husband and I were in Mesa/Scottsdale/etc. only a few weeks ago, enjoying both time with my parents and the desert landscape, which I find beautiful. Thanks for sharing some more lovely photos of that area, Tina, and I’m glad you had a good trip.

    back in the snow

      • It’s lovely to have family there. My brother and s-i-l also live in the area, so we got to see them, too. As for the snow, I quite like snow and winter, at least 99% of the time.

  14. A nice, warm-looking pick-me-up! Beautiful photos, as usual. I also read your Glacier NP piece and really enjoyed it (and those stunning photos as well); we hiked throughout the park for a week a few summer ago and found it awe-inspiring.

    • Thanks Lex – I’m thinking from Chicago ANYTHING warm looks great!! And thanks for checking out the Glacier post – it’s a gloriously beautiful spot isn’t it? Hoping the pundits are wrong about all the glaciers melting in the next few years.

    • Thanks Isadora – I feel the same way since I live in SC. I find it fascinating but think I’d get tired of it if I lived there all the time. As a visitor it’s wonderful!

  15. You were in my part of the world. The desert is very colorful, even now. After our drenching rain, I am looking forward to March when the flowers will be blooming in earnest. Beautiful shots. Looks like you found a nice hike.

    • Thanks Mary – yes I see by your post you were nearby. I’d really like to see the desert in bloom one of these days. We hiked Tom’s Thumb and Pinnacle Peak. Both were terrific and very different.

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