Archive for November, 2013

Desert Solar Optics Phenomena

This three-panel slideshow contains amateur photographs of some of the things we have seen in the sky over the last few days. The first and second panels show “sun dogs” and the last panel shows a circumhelical arc, all of which are rainbow-colored patches of refracted sunlight through ice crystals high in the Earth’s atmosphere. I used my hand to block out the direct sunlight in the last panel.

Damsel caught a beautiful photo of the sun and optics about a year ago. Click on the images to advance the slideshow.

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Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to you and to yours!


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A Beautiful Fall Day

Northeast View

Since the rain last week, we have been having the most lovely fall weather. I took this panoramic photo of the mountains northeast of town yesterday afternoon. The clear skies and mild temperatures made for a beautiful fall day. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Moon over Old Glory

Moon over Old Glory

Finally, after several days of overcast and rainy weather, we have a cloudless Arizona sky. While we were walking the dogs this morning, I took this photo of the neighbor’s flagpole with the third quarter moon above.

The forecast is for continued sunshine and cooler temperatures with highs typically mid-sixties and lows in the low forties. You can see from the flag that the winds are light and variable. Click on the image to enlarge.

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More Rain Coming


The so-called “Pineapple Express,” southern segment, is thrusting a mass of saturated air from the south Pacific via the sea of Cortez right up through the state of Arizona. We’re getting up to an inch from this storm which has been with us since early last eventing. It is forecast to remain tomorrow with a chance of more showers and thunderstorms throughout the weekend.

The green and yellow blob moving through the state in a northbound flow, has us in its direct path. Not to worry, though, we’re high and dry on our little casita in the desert. Monday is forecast to be our usual mild winter conditions of sunny and not-too-cool. The rest of Thanksgiving week is forecast the same.

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Morning Moonset

Morning Moonset

This is a view of the setting moon that I took yesterday morning from the driveway. I liked the way the moon floats among the sky textures of cloud formations and a contrail remnant. Click on the image to enlarge.

Why haven’t we posted anything for a week? The answer is complex, but suffice it to say that our plate has been rather full of good busy things and a bad one or two.

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A Desert Marigold

Desert Marigold

Second spring is still going strong here in town. We were on an errand this morning and I spotted this wildflower growing in the landscape patch next to the clinic. It is a desert marigold (baileya multiradiata). Click on the image to enlarge.

From Wikipedia:

Baileya multiradiata is a species of sun-loving wildflower native to southwestern North America, especially the northern Mexico, California, and Southwestern United States deserts.

Although called a desert marigold, it is very remote relative of the marigolds. This lovely wildflower is a short-lived perennial to annual that forms a clumping patch of silvery-green foliage which bears many tall, naked stems, each topped with a bright yellow daisy-like flower.

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