A Day in the AZ Desert – Sun, Rain, Fog & SNOW!
“Welcome to Arizona, where summer spends the winter – and hell spends the summer.” ~Popular saying, modified from a booster slogan in the 1930s
The Sonoran desert may be the Devil’s sauna in summer, but I’d venture to say there ain’t nothing cooler in winter. For a nature and photography rat like me this barren and fabulistic landscape is the cream cheese of all places, with extra parmesan on top.
You really only need one day to understand why…
And today was one of those days…
It started off gorgeous with a beautiful pink dawn reflected in white by fog lying low in the valley. The cats had woken us up at the crack of light demanding body-warmth and food (we are mere slaves to the feline kingdom you see). But the early rise had given us the gift of a perfect desert sunrise viewed from the warmth of our RV window. It was the living color of life and the start of a fabulous day!
But the desert was feeling fickle today. The pink horizon had barely disappeared before a cold wind started gusting and whipping the clouds into a dark mass over the mountains, gobbling up the dry landscape like a hungry monster. The angry mass rolled in heavily and fast bringing first tentative drops of rain followed by a heavier pour and then a sudden switch of wardrobe to snow-flakes. It was snowing in the desert -> big, beautiful, fluffy flakes of winter-wonderland white draping the landscape in a white glove. How coooool!
Having spent it’s chilly mood the desert relented and switched yet again. The sun struggled its way through and started to burn off the chill. The wind dropped, almost as dramatically as it had started, the clouds parted and brilliant white-tops greeted us from the distant mountains. It had turned into a picture-perfect T-shirt wearing summer day. Time to bring out the sunglasses, pop out the peppermint mocha and slide back into the recliner outside!
The afternoon passed peacefully with just a few coyotes, and the warmth of a desert winter to keep us company. But every great play finishes with the best scene at the end, and this particular story was no different. In grand desert style the sun sank slowly behind the western mountains coloring the clouds in brilliant edges of orange and red. Temperatures dropped and the cold desert night took over the watch. It was the perfect color finish to a perfect winter desert day.
And the best bit is we get to do it all again tomorrow…
P.S. By the way all the mountain pictures were taken directly from our RV windows at McDowell Moutain Park. It’s THAT nice here!
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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do
I am not prone to jealousy as a rule but this makes me so incredibly envious and jealous I can’t stand it. Make room because I am coming down there. (It’s currently 10 degrees here in sunny Minnesota).
Brrr! Come on down!! Plenty of space for everyone down here 🙂
Kevin and Sheryl says
The desert has it’s own distinct beauty, but in the winter snows, it’s like icing on the cake.
Love the analogy…so agree!
Steve & Gari says
Cheers! Yes, it is! Nina
All this in ONE day. It doesn’t get much better! FABULOUS photos!!!
It was a GREAT day out here!
jil mohr says
yeah very magical in the desert….looks like you are really enjoying the new camera….
Love the new clicker! It’s so much fun to photograph with.
Paul Weaver says
You did it again…..what a magnificent post! The description of the beautiful desert is amazing.
I especially LOVED the kitty pic….looked like she was ten feet tall 🙂
Thanks! Rand is a very shy cat and usually doesn’t like to come out during the day, but she was loving our spot at McDowell. Very private and quiet there!
Jerry and Suzy LeRoy says
Yes, we do love our desert! However, over here in Benson, the nighttime temps have been hitting right around 24 or 25 degrees, and are expected to continue that way for a while. We’re trying to winterize our motorhome (yes, in the Arizona desert!) as we didn’t do last year. Last year’s failure to winterize cost us over $600, and we don’t have a spare $600 dollars this year! Please continue to share your winter desert experiences and enthusiasm with us.
Yikes! 24 is coooooold! You going to live in the rig while it’s winterized?
Hope it warms up for you!
I had to return and read this magnificent post again! We get a little dry and crusty here when spending the summers year after year. It’s wonderful to see it through the eyes of appreciation! Always enjoy your blog!
Haha…yeah I know what you mean. Not alot of moisture out here, although this past week it’s been surprisingly “wet”. Already spots of green grass growing between the cactus. I’m always amazed the seeds survive out here!
OK, I’m missing something. Are you back in the desert, or just writing about it? I’m so easily confused.
A great post just the same. Especially love the picture of the kitty. She (she?) looks very pensive.
We’re HERE! The rig spent the past 2 weeks just ENE of Phoenix while I took a 1-week trip to Europe. But, I’m back home and we’re on the road again. These pics were taken at McDowell Mountain Regional Park, AZ just a couple of days ago.
What a lovely post and beautiful pictures Nina. You make me want to get a camera that can take photos in low light without being blurry. Or maybe my camera can and I just don’t know how to do it. It’s quite old though, the screen is broken (need to do everything through the tiny viewfinder) and it stopped talking to the computer through the usb cable last week (had to get a memory card reader).
You MUST go update that camera. And you don’t need a fancy job to take great pics. I take alot of my pics with my trusty Canon S95 point-and-shoot. If you just need a good, handy pocket-camera I can highly recommend it, and it’ll take fabulous shots too!
Christy @ Technosyncratic says
I keep forgetting that it’s wintertime and supposed to be cold! Muggy Thai weather will do that, lol. Gorgeous photos, especially the one of the kitty. 🙂
Sorry you’re hitting Muggy weather…should be getting nicer right about now there? Go to the beach is my recommendation. Thailand is awesome for beach-culture!