Archive for December, 2014

the desert…closely



Merry Christmas from the Desert Hills of Arizona

Arizona Sonora Desert landscape from the Desert Hills, north Phoenix, Arizona


apocalyptic desert….

apocalyptic desert

the approaching storm

I made these images from atop some of our local desert hills, Sunday, looking west, then north, and then west again as the clouds rolled in and did their thing….

Desert Clouds over Desert Hills


Approaching storm over Desert Hills


Distant rain over Desert Hills


Wall of storm clouds rolling-in over north Phoenix



Media helicopter over downtown Phoenix with its sunrise skyline……very safe one-handed photography through the windshield…..

media helicopter over Phoenix morning skyline


difficult conversation

dark power lines receding

low clouds on the desert hills

I meant to hit “preview,” but hit “publish,” so here it is anyway…all images made along the Carefree Highway yesterday morning….


Saguaro Cacti in the Clouds…in Black and White

Saguaro cacti in the clouds, in black and white

Rio Salado morning….

I had driven over the bridges literally thousands of times in the more than 20 years that I lived in the Phoenix area…but something looked very different as I crossed them again and took a closer look over these past couple of weeks.  The river bed is surrounded by green…and has water in it…and months have passed since our last soaking monsoon rains.  Evidently, the City of Phoenix and the federal government worked together over a span of roughly ten years to restore five miles of the Rio Salado River to the condition that it likely was many decades ago before the river was damned at several places between Phoenix and its headwaters…it used to run continuously throughout the year, so much so that there used to be a ferry service for crossings.  At any rate, I went for a hike/walk along the river the other morning and was pleasantly surprised at what I found, just three miles south of downtown Phoenix….egrets, cranes or herons, coots and mallards, geese, beaver or muskrat, coyotes, and scores of rabbits…smack-dab in the middle of the desert.  You can click on these highlighted words, Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area, to be taken to the City of Phoenix’s web-page describing the area.

I had arrived at the river before sunrise in the hopes of capturing the brilliant pink and yellow hues of the sun-drenched clouds reflecting on the surface of the water…but was met with a surreal quiet and low-lying misty wet atmosphere in which I could see my breath…so while the photo could be clearer, I think it captures the essence of my morning walk this past Saturday along the Rio Salado River.

Rio Salado morning

Red Pine Lake reflections

Those are Broads Fork Twin Peaks behind the larger tree and just to the right of the center of the image…they are the highest peaks in the portion of the Wasatch Mountains that form the eastern geographic boundary of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

Red Pine Lake, Wasatch Mountains, Utah



encouragement - hot air balloon rising