18 December 2010

moonrise:sunset

oh, i've wanted forever to see saguaro cacti. i had no idea i would get to see them so soon. ben and i had to travel to phoenix for his seminary stuff. of course, our first thought is to scope out all the nat'l parks along the way. does it matter that the entire 16-hour round trip, including his time in phoenix, has to be completed in 48 hours? no. nature is always worth it. especially saguaro cacti. oh my goodness. if anything, they are worth it. i still can't believe i got to see them. i don't know what it is with me and the desert. i just go crazy. i love it i love it i love it i love it i love it

you see, i thought the only place i could see saguaro cacti was at organ pipe cactus nat'l monument, in southwest arizona. in my head, the organ pipe catcus = the saguaro cactus. um, wrong. after extensive research, i realized that the saguaro catcus was really the saguaro cactus (this is highly developed thinking). and, while scoping out nps.gov for all the goodies near tucson/phoenix, i realized I COULD SEE THEM ON THIS TRIP.

basically, i fell over.

while we'll maybe go there again (are you JOKING? it's now in my OFFICIAL TOP THREE FAVORITE NAT'L PARKS OF ALL TIME along with joshua tree and death valley. of COURSE we're going back!) but on this visit, i really really really really wanted a "saguaro backlit by the sunset" shot. you know—that iconic southwest photo.


but it was mostly clear. so no crazy sunset colors. just an average backlit saguaro. i actually like my ansel adams-y b&w better (see lead photo). but something else very very special happened . . .

THE MOON ROSE AND THE SUN SET AT EXACTLY THE SAME TIME.

yes. crazy. true.


we were on a short nature trail when ben and i realized what was happening.

the moon was rising between two hills just as the sun was slinking behind two others. each hill/mountain was exactly 180 degrees apart. we were flipping our heads back and forth like at a tennis match.

as the moon rose and cleared the hills, exactly 8 seconds later (ben counted), the sun set.

crazy.

and very very special.

yeah, we're going back.