I've photographed many-a-tree over the years, as a self-proclaimed nature photographer. I've seen lots of evergreens, oaks, birches, and elms in the northeast U.S. I've seen southern live oaks dripping with Spanish moss in the southeast U.S. And I've seen towering cedars and firs in the northeast.
But on a visit to the southwest U.S., a part of our country I hadn't visited before (except to make a flight connection through Phoenix), I came across some trees like I had never seen before.
One in particular that I can share with you is in the image below, taken near Sedona, AZ:
I tried to frame this shot such that the distant red rock mountains are visible in the background. I adjusted the exposure to keep the sky blue while still exposing the shadow areas enough to show the texture of the tree.
I think (based on consultation with my wife, who knows much more about trees than me) that this is a juniper tree, but I could be mistaken.
What's so interesting about this tree is the gnarly trunk and branches. This tree has real character. It looks like something right out of a movie - you almost expect little elves to be living there. (Or something.)
The apparent age of this tree is amazing too. I don't know its age, but it's clearly been there a while, surviving the dry heat and desert conditions of this environment.
Sedona does have a rainy season, but this tree (and all cacti and other growth in that area) somehow finds a way to survive during the long dry months too. And not just survive, but grow and flourish. Amazing. Nature always finds a way.