“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!