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Claret-Cup-in-Bloom-near-Monument-Valley.jpg
Claret Cup in Bloom near Monument Valley.  Actually, to be more precise here, I’m willing to assert that this might be the “world’s biggest” patch of claret cup cactus; it’s certainly the largest one I’ve ever seen by far.  It’s in Mystery Valley, a lesser-known but equally beautiful area just south of Monument Valley in far northern Arizona.  I photographed it with an ancient Anasazi ruin in the background (barely visible in the sandstone cave under streaks of desert varnish) during a springtime trek to the Navajo Nation in May, 2019.<br />
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Tech info: Nikon D850 camera with Nikon 17-35mm lens at 20mm, 1/40 sec. at f11, ISO 250.  A vertical panorama made from three focus-stacked images masked and blended in Photoshop.<br />
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Image ©2020 James D. Peterson