Tag Archives: Arizona

An Extraordinary End to Monsoon 2016

Today is the last day of Monsoon 2016.  The best Monsoon I’ve experienced in my 11 years here.  I’ve neglected the blog so the entries of our microburst  in Oro Valley last month, varies rainbows, lightning shots, downpours, and other sundry Monsoon 2016 occurrences are missing from mikeshaw.tv.  Perhaps I will go through my pictures and catch some of those things up.  Perhaps.

Before I get into my story about last evening’s drive home, here’s how the day started yesterday:

092916ppsunriseYeah.  Not bad!  I love the view from my deck here in Oro Valley.  I’m happy to say that sunrises like that happen pretty frequently here and I have a front row seat.

Now.  On to yesterday’s drive home from the radio station.  Extraordinary indeed!  Every direction of sky brought joy and wonder (too much?).  It was a cool night.

It was raining pretty good when I left the station with a bright rainbow forming but nowhere to pull aside and grab a shot.  As I raced toward downtown I mostly drove out of the rain only to have it catch me again as I navigated down Congress.  I drove out of the rain again as I headed north on Granada which turns into Main which turns into Oracle.  As I approached River I could see a bright rainbow against the Catalina Mountains contrasted by dark menacing storm clouds.  I found an apartment complex off River Road and grabbed this shot:

092916rainbowToo bad I can’t include the rumbling thunder in the jpg, but it was cool.  I then continued on my trek north on Oracle and noticed the sunset was starting to pop.  I made it to Family Life Radio near Ina and Oracle just in time.  I pulled into their back parking lot.  Parked.  Walked to the eastern fence of Tohono Chul Park, and facing west (often the best direction for capturing sunsets), I got this shot:

092916sunsetI needed some supplies, so I doubled back a block to the Safeway and did some shopping.  By the time I got through the line and back to my car I could see lightning to the northeast.  As I neared my apartment it was apparent that the lightning was frequent and, as lightning tends to be, rather bright.  I parked in my spot.  Gathered my things and climbed to my third story apartment.  I efficiently put away my groceries, grabbed a cigar and my phone, and went out on the deck.  What a great light show!  I tried to get some shots with my iPhone 6S Plus in burst mode and they came out surprisingly good!  Grainy, yes.  Still not bad.  Here’s the best one:

092916lightningLast day of Monsoon 2016 is today.  There is a slight chance of storms in our forecast.  Will this evening equal yesterday’s in amazingness?  Not likely, but I’ll share if it does!

Here’s an animated gif of the storm just in case that works:

092916lightning

Tortolita Mountains Morning Clouds Time Lapse, July 25, 2016

Another beautiful morning in southern Oro Valley!  First, we started with this sunrise:

072516PPSunrise

Then I set up my phone to capture a time lapse of the clouds overlooking Oro Valley north to the Tortolita Mountains.  Here is the result:

Hopefully clearing skies will lead to scattered afternoon and evening storms.  I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos on how to capture lightning with my Sony a5100.  Maybe I’ll get a chance to try it tonight!

Happy Monday! Not an oxymoron. Not around here :-)

Happy Birthday to you two!

ORAZFlagsTwo of my favorite states celebrate birthdays today.  Arizona became a state in 1912 and Oregon became a state in 1859.  Both on Valentine’s day.  Both states that I love!

If you read my bio you know I grew up in Oregon.  All of the fun and the pain growing up entails happened in the Willamette Valley south of Portland.  Climbing trees, fishing and camping trips, jumping off bridges into the Mollala River, high school success, angst, failure.  All of it!  I still have family and friends there and I visit when I can, which is not enough.

I have lived in Arizona more than 10 years now and I have fallen in love.  The desert beauty is just as beautiful as the forests of Oregon but in an almost opposite way.  The Sun shines here like the rain falls there.

Both have amazing wildlife!  Here we have King Snakes, Rattlesnakes, Gila Monsters, Bobcats, Mountain Lions, Big Horn Sheep, Lizards, and so many birds, including Quail everywhere!

In Oregon it’s possums (OK, not so amazing), Raccoon’s, Beavers, Garden Snakes, Mountain Lions (Cougars), and so many fish.

Both have a wide variety of plant life.  Oregon with the Douglas Fir, Cherry Trees, Boston Fern, Strawberries, Raspberries, Moss, Grass grows wild! and the rich top soil is feet deep.  How does your Oregon garden grow?  Amazingly with just a little care.

Arizona is home to the Sonoran Desert and the State Flower the Saguaro!  Also we have all kinds of plants that want to kill you;  Cholla, Ocotillo, Prickly Pear and Barrel Cactus.

Oregon’s Summer light last until nearly 10:00 pm!  Arizona has the world’s best Sunrises and Sunsets.  Oregon is home to Mt. Hood, Crater Lake, and the The Three Sisters.  Arizona has the Grand Canyon and the country’s only known Jaguar living just a few miles south of Tucson in the Santa Rita Mountains.  Both states have so much beauty to brag about.

Turns out this year is the perfect year for me to reflect and expound on the two states that I love the most. (don’t worry New Mexico and Texas, I still love you two too) Turns out that Oregon is 53 years older than Arizona and I am 53 years old!  Coincidence?  Probably.

2015 is Going to be Amazing!

Tortolita Snow
Tortolita Snow

It has been a long time since I blogged here.  One of the things I plan on changing in 2015.  This year is off to an AMAZING start and the signs are unmistakable.

It snowed overnight!  A rare and exciting event in these parts.  I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the year.  Then, I am driving in my car to see the snow and take a few pictures, and Mix FM is playing an old American Top 40.  The top 100 songs of 1984!  Another unmistakable sign for the new year.  1984 is the year that I took my last pay check and bought a one way bus ticket for Roswell, NM in hopes of landing a radio (and eventually TV) job.  What an adventure as I arrived in Roswell in late Spring.  I hit the pavement looking for that radio gig I had always dreamed of.  I stopped by KBIM AM/FM and talked to one of the owners, Betty King.  They didn’t have any openings, but she was running for state senate.  She talked my ear off!  I guess my fro didn’t scare her off :-)

A couple of months later I was busing tables at Chew Den, a local Chinese restaurant, and the King’s sat in my section.  Betty recognized me despite my haircut.  She told me they had a part time opening and to talk to Harry Deirks.  So, the next morning I did.  He told me that since I had no radio experience he wasn’t interested.  I wasn’t going to take no for an answer.  This is what I was here for!  Next morning I was waiting for Harry when he arrived for work.  the answer was still no.  Next morning I was there waiting for Harry when he arrived for work.  Still no.  The next morning I was there again.  I think he knew I wasn’t going to leave him alone unless he gave me a chance.  He had me read some wire copy.  Not bad, he said, except that I should change my inflection between stories.  At least I didn’t have a west Texas accent like the applicant’s cassettes he had on his desk, he said.  He hired me for weekends!  My first radio gig!  I worked at Chew Den and part time at the radio station until Harry moved me up to full time overnights.  I was there two years and finished my stint at KBIM AM/FM as Music Director.

I moved to TV at KOBR as Master Control Operator.  I learned how to edit, direct news breaks, run audio, graphics, and most importantly use a TV camera.

That eventually led to a news photographer job at KBIM TV.  That led to a reporter job and eventually weather anchor!  Ever since Jr. High I wanted to be a DJ and a Weatherman.  It took almost 8 years, but I made it happen in Roswell.

So this morning when I woke up to snow (I LOVE snow!) and then the top 100 of 1984, I knew.  The signs are clear.  This year will be special.  As I listen right now to the songs that I played as a new DJ, the songs that were the soundtrack of my life as I boldly moved to realizing my dreams, I feel the same excitement.

God has already opened the door to me doing news talk radio.  I know He is with me as I move in to 2015!  I will get in shape.  I will learn Spanish.  And maybe, just maybe… well, I’ll leave that dream to myself for now.

Dare to dream.  Step out in faith.  It is the road less chosen and it will make all the difference.

Cheers!

The West is the Best!

I wish I had taken some pictures of Kalispell, but we were only there less than 24 hours.  I’ve been to many beautiful places and I’d have to say that NW Montana is tops.  British Columbia is amazing too!  Western Oregon where I grew up is beautiful and right there in your backyard when that is where you live.  Arizona has the desert beauty and the best sunrise and sunsets on the planet.  I am Blessed to be west!

Last Years Sunrise vs. This Years

I save my picture files by date.  So when I was saving this morning’s Pusch Peak Sunrise I noticed there was a Pusch Peak Sunrise from exactly one year ago today in my sunrise/sunsets folder.  Let’s compare the two and see how similar they are or which one “wins”.

Here is the Pusch Peak Sunrise from this morning:

081413PPSunrise

And here is the Pusch Peak Sunrise from August 14, 2012:

081412PPSunrise