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Last Gasp

The title of this photo has a couple of meanings. The first being the fact that a little storm system which moved through Arizona the last two days could end up being the final bit of weather we get from the monsoon season (it officially ends on Sep. 30th). Despite all the stormy clouds during the day, my week has been quite busy and this was the only shot I ended up with. So in another way, this is likely my last monsoon photo until next year.

Of course, there is always that slight chance something could pop up before the end of the month, and yes, I’ll keep praying for it.

Going back to the title, the main and absolutely reason why I called it Last Gasp is obviously that gorgeous ray of orange sunlight making it’s final stretch across the sky before disappearing for the night. It was remarkable how that little puffy cloud on the horizon popped up out of nowhere to become an obstacle for the sun to shine through. It wasn’t there when I arrived, but in about 20 minutes it developed and had me worried about losing the sun entirely. But just enough shone through, and that single ray of light may have ended up being better than a whole sky of orange.

God bless these sunsets in Arizona…they are truly heaven on Earth. I need to remind myself this when I’m out there, because you can become so focused on snapping brackets, that you forget to enjoy the reason you do this.

If this was indeed the final, last gasp of the monsoon season…I can’t think of a more fitting end.

Unless, of course, there had been a lightning strike in the photo above. Sigh. Maybe next year.

Another sunset on the Gila River Indian Reservation

Now that we’re moving to downtown Phoenix, I’m really going to miss being close to places like this that are just a quick jaunt from where I currently reside. The Gila River Indian Reservation has been kind of my stomping ground this past summer for a lot of my storm chasing adventures. Once I move, getting to a spot like this will take about 30 minutes longer.

Still, I can’t wait to see what is in store for me downtown and the surrounding areas. I know for certain that South Mountain has some hidden treasures to offer and I’ll be checking it out a lot more.

So this picture was shot back in early August during a little trek I took to southern Arizona for some monsoonal action. I hadn’t even been here before and was taking a chance down a barely paved road to see where it led. Yes, it has a road in it, which is slowly becoming an obvious love for me…but I just love how they add depth and dimension to a frame.

Hoping for some more action this week as a storm system will move through the state Tuesday-Wednesday with some potentially good t-storms and rain. It’s been dead here for weeks now and I’m going through withdrawals. Bring on the rain! Woo!

Downpour over the San Tan Mountains

I’ve been wanting to get a shot like this all summer. I hope to get another. A storm cloud, kind of isolated, dropping rain on the desert and you can see everything from the ground to the top of the cloud. There is something amazing about seeing a giant, floating cumulus cloud with rain falling from the bottom. Almost like the rain is holding the entire contraption up in the air.

I could have gotten a shot without the road or powerlines (and I did), but I like the way the lines from each create a little perspective on just how far away the cloud is and how big it is.

We’ll be moving in the next 60 days or so and it’s going to be hard to not have wide open areas like this available by a simple 12 minute drive from my house. This is the Gila River Indian nation land and it’s been so very kind to me when out chasing storms.

An old church on the Gila River Indian reservation

Rarely do I allow random people to pose in any of my HDR landscape photos, but this is my wife, it was on a date night that started off with storm chasing and she looked pretty dang cute sitting in front of a battered looking old church. Sadly I have no idea the name of this place, but it’s located on the Gila River Indian Reservation a few miles south of where we live. There was a bunch of dust headed our way, so we jumped out, took a few pictures and then zoomed back off.

The church itself was interesting…outwardly it didn’t appear like anyone would be using the place, but the two AC units were actually running so who knows?

Storms and Stones

Today’s photo is one I’ve  been waiting to take for awhile, but I had been waiting for some cool skies to show up to add to the composition. I’m a sucker for cool clouds and storms, so if I am ever outdoors taking landscape shots, or random sights such as the one above, getting a sweet sky is a bonus.

This is a graveyard/cemetery at St. Anne’s Mission down on the Gila River Indian Reservation. It’s right off the road on Highway 87. I will be posting a shot of the church itself later this week.

But I love these two graves. My favorite part is the makeshift bench in front of both of them. Someone set that up one day long ago and still it stands. I wonder who first sat there, how they knew the people buried here and what they were thinking?

The graves themselves are adorned with all kinds of stuff…if you click on the photo you can see the higher resolution version and see some of it.

Also in the background are hundreds of other crosses that dominate this cemetery.