Saturday, September 17, 2011

Friday after work in one of "the 19 best"

Tucson was just listed in October's OUTSIDE magazine as one of 'the 19 best towns' in the country...

After you've lived anywhere for a while, the 'honeymoon' wears off and quotidian reality sets in, producing the occasional love/hate-fest of 'home'-town-feelings...The past couple of years in Tucson have had their ups and downs, 
But yesterday evening, after work, I went for a bike ride in Sabino Canyon--featured in the OUTSIDE article, and rightly so. (I'm not exaggerating when I say that it's one of the most beautiful places in the Southwest.) The recent monsoon rains have filled the creek and pools in this oasis in the Santa Catalina Mountains--a good reminder of one of the 'pluses' that can outweigh the 'minuses' of living here.

So, with scenery like this a ten-minute drive from home (well, plus the hike/bike-ride into the canyon), yes...there are worse places to live...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

monsoon scenes

Downpours are isolated but intense this time of year around Tucson.
The mid- to late-summer 'monsoon' in the Desert Southwest of the U.S.
can be the most uncomfortable time to visit,
 if you're only considering the thermometer.
So often, though, the vast skies will fill
with vistas of moving, cooling color--
the alchemy of wind, water, and sunset...

...below, one storm, from a couple of summers ago,
seen from the Catalina Highway, looking over Tucson:
...the next few are from last summer:

...and, from further north in Arizona--looking across from the mountainside mining town of Jerome
off to the red-rock country of Sedona, and then beyond to the San Francisco Peaks,
between Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon: