Sunrise and sunset photos of the Sonoran Desert from earlier this week on the same day are in the gallery below (you can click on each photo to see a larger version). The sky was full of clouds before sunrise and I wasn’t sure there would be any color or if the sun would be able to peak through. Watching the sky in all directions and looking for compositions, there was a touch of pink in the clouds to my right as I waited along the trail. Just a few minutes later the sun was barely peeking through the clouds and I was able to make an image with a sunburst. After making a few images it was time to head home and have breakfast. Once back to the trailhead it started to lightly rain and the sun was barely peaking through the clouds. There was a faint rainbow, but it was so quick I wasn’t able to make an image.
Later in the day my husband and I went for a hike just before sunset in the same area I had been for sunrise. We had Molly with us and kept her close as this time of day the coyotes are out looking for food. A pack of coyotes started howling much earlier than usual and we were immediately on guard. Molly was quite interested in all of the howling. We continued our hike and kept a vigilant eye for the pack. As a pack sometimes does, they sent one closer and it barked like a dog instead of howled attempting to engage Molly in “play”. Once engaged, they lure the dog back to the pack and then attack the dog. Again, Molly perked her ears and was looking to see where this bark was coming from. Still, we weren’t able to see the coyote. Fortunately, Molly kept quiet and we continued along the trail even more on guard. Once we went around a curve, the coyotes stopped howling and didn’t come closer. As much as Molly enjoys hiking with us, it’s not safe for her in this location and this was her last hike.
As we were hiking around the mountain we came to a part of the trail that was curvy and a hot air balloon was flying in the distance. My husband saw the scene first and I quickly set up for a shot. Sometimes you just get lucky! We watched sunset from atop the mountain and looking north towards the town of Cave Creek the sky was full of pink and blue clouds. We hiked back to our car in the dark, but I had my headlamp and a small flashlight and the moon was about half full and shining. Such a different feel between sunrise and sunset even on the same day along the same trail in the Sonoran Desert.