The sun shines brightly here in Phoenix, and it has been in the mid-90s (F) so an early start was in order. It is easy to understand why people from colder climates want to retire here. It wouldn't be for me. The constant hard bright sun would drive me berserk after a bit. The flat arid terrain, coupled with the total dominance of the car also does not appeal. There are no pedestrians, the place seems dead, apart from the cars on the roads. Looking at the suburbs it would be impossible to do anything without a car. Contrasting this with the arcology concept of close living, and the way we live in dense inner city Sydney, it seems sterile and terribly artificial. I guess if you went to one of the many churches you would have a social life!
The Desert Botanic Gardens were wonderful, and very different. I spent a lot of time fiddling with my camera settings, learning about RAW vs JPG and all the various options for aperture and speed. It was lots of fun, and I enjoyed taking closeups as well as vistas.
The suguaro cacti are enormous and varied. Here is Michael wearing his Arcosanti t-shirt to give perspective:
The morning light made for some nice views of spiny plants:
A little bird provided his silhouette:
and I enjoyed taking some closeups:
Naturally there were vistas, and I couldn't resist. Especially the one with the sign, where there was a very handy stand for your camera. The timer setting can be very useful!