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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 22,232

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The Southwest monsoon hath arrived, with a vengeance! (HEAVY PICS)

It hit south Arizona on July 3rd, big time. Today, the 5th was awesome! We had four lightning fires here in my ranger district, despite the heavy rains on the Santa Catalina mountains over the last three days. Those fires are small, single snags, that due to the late afternoon severe storms today, are in "monitor" status. Here 'ya go:

Severe storms roll in at about 5:15 PM today (7-5-2014)

"Dawn Patrol" today (7/5)

Monsoon morning/evening colors

Awesome video of the SE Arizona "Radio Fire" (a lightning start from7/2)

South end of the Whetstone Mountains, southeast of Tucson, AZ. The initial size-up was 30 acres burning in light fuels. It is now at 1260 acres in grass and brush.

Google Earth Search: 31.738 -110.460

Shot this snag hiking yesterday: "Cheney's Pitchfork"

Coronado NF - Mt. Lemmon
Near Tucson, AZ
June 27, 2014

Long-time DUer ArcticDave visited me at the lookout today! (Big pic fest in honor of that visit!)

What a wonderful surprise! Mr. & Mrs. ArticDave, in person! We had a great time. Talked for almost two hours. Wish we had longer, but they had to hike out to their rig before dark.

I got my "ANCHORAGE FIRE DEPT" T-shirt from Dave. Swapped him a "DESCHUTES NF FIRE" T-shirt. That was in 2009 or 2010.

Didn't get any pics of us together. Wish I had. But in honor of ArticDave, here are some Mt. Lemmon photos from yesterday and today (May 28/29):

Taken shortly after ArticDave hiked out of the Wilderness of Rocks to the trail-head on Mt. Lemmon.

They got a kick (as DUers would) out of my "Nixon with Propeller Beanie" photo (actually, the Duck Rock Hoo-Doo)

"Flora Catalina at Dawn" yesterday. They had done the most excellent Desert Museum at Saguaro NP (west), and loved the natural history of this area. Can anyone ID this plant?

"Arizona Highways" The road up Mt. Lemmon. Between the low road (L) and the high road (R) is Windy Point.

"Babad Do'ag" - Frog Mountain. Since ArticDave certainly knows who Nick-Nick is, Babad Do'ag (and it is sacred) always makes me mutter, "But Nick is a Go-good Do'ag!"

ArticDave, this is the photo I told you about looking over Rattlesnake Peak at the Tucson jewel at dawn's first light last Monday.

Finally, the drift-smoke sunrise from Memorial Day morning that you guys liked.

Photos from the Wilderness of Rocks/Pusch Ridge Wilderness

Rough week. I am totally exhausted tonight. Headed into Tucson early Tuesday AM for a shower (god, I hate Monkey-Butt) or two, and some decent chow. Then, maybe, another shower!

The photo ops are now coming. Got some drift smoke from the upstate Arizona fires. But I had to get up at 4AM today to get the moonrise-sunrise photos.

Here you go. Enjoy!

"Moonrise in Drift Smoke"
May 26, 2014


"Sun's View Sneaking over Rattlesnake Peak to Surprise Sleeping Tucson"

"Baboquivery Peak - Dusk - Distance"

Why I am here .. in the wilderness .. to capture this .. for you

"Be Still My Heart"

Perhaps, the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen. No camera on earth could do it justice. The color was a 360-degree phantasmagoria of color and hue. I shot this (and about 100 more frames) with a Canon 5D MK3 with a 14mm f2.8 lens. I had to bump the ISO up to 500 to get out on the rock and do hand-held. This was at about 7:25 PM local time in south Arizona. I had Natasha Paremski playing Rachmaninoff's "Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini" playing during this whole incredible sunset.

I also had some good sunrise shots today, but I will not attenuate the effect of the sunset shot with those. I'll post some more tomorrow.

My gift to DU tonight - Arizona Fire Lookout Pics

"Alpenglow Lookout"

"Burned Bones"

"Kitt Peak"

"I'll Leave a Light on for You"

Youth is wasted on the young, Candid Camera version (photos from the Wilderness of Rocks - AZ)

Seven young women and men (4 female, 3 male) climbed a rock pinnacle near my fire lookout this afternoon. They basked in the sun and had some fun. Then, to my dismay, one of the guys started ass-clowning for his chums. NOT A GOOD PLACE FOR STUNTS, DUDE!

(ABOVE) Look closely and you can see the group on top of this pinnacle.

(ABOVE) Dude shows his ass for his friends.

Well, they got down and back to the Lemmon Rock #5 trail safely. I was worried about having to call out Search & Rescue. Oh, the things I see from my fire lookout perch! Or, rather, the things my Canon 5D-MKII sees, with a 70-200mm zoom and 1.4X extender!!

Some photos from the Wilderness of Rocks blizzard on 4/26

(notice the stone steps up to Lemmon Rock Lookout on the left)

Easter Sunday at the Lookout (cross post from GD)

Moonlight and Tucson lights: 3AM

Easter Sunrise Service @ the Lookout

Early Morning Alidade

The Big Picture

The High and the Mighty
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