Last July, I had the pleasure of seeing this spectacular thunderstorm roll over the Sandia Mountains while I was back in New Mexico for a conference. I pulled off NM SR556 to shoot a few single frame photographs and panoramas of the passing rainstorm as it dumped precipitation on Placitas.
Monsoon Clouds over Sandias (2017, Pano #1, Color), outside Albuquerque, NM (16″x65″)
Monsoon Clouds over Sandias (2017, SF #1, B&W), outside Albuquerque, NM (12″x18″)
While doing field work in far western Nepal, I enjoy watching the pre-monsoon rice field planting and flooding. Farmers till the fields then build complex rock walls to divert water from streams and rivers to irrigate the crops. As the rice sprouts, vibrant greens begin to cover the valleys and hillsides. While we stopped to fix a flat tire, I took a few panoramas of the nearby fields.
Terraced Hillside, far western Nepal (16″x39″)
Greening Fields, far western Nepal (16″x44″)
We cored a lake near Bhimdatta then drove for a day or two along cliffside highways into the Himalayan foothills. The heavy, pre-monsoon air hung around us as we unloaded the trucks and sweated our way up the steep hillside. The river was black with sediment from the nearby rains, and the air was hazy with humidity.
Crossing the Swollen River, far Western Nepal (13″x59″)
Tower in the Field, far Western Nepal (13″x56″)
Path through Terraced Fields, far Western Nepal (16″x64″)
Another angle on the monsoon storm over Tucson.
Monsoon Storm over Tucson from Windy Point, Coronado National Forest, AZ (14″x48″)
While climbing on one of the fins at Windy Point (along the Catalina Highway outside Tucson, AZ) in August, I watched a monsoon storm rumble across the valley below. I took a few minutes to photograph the storm clouds as they approached us. After I drove home I realized that I had also captured a lightning bolt in the panorama.
Lightning and Monsoon Clouds fromWindy Point, Coronado National Forest, AZ (26″x64″)
One of the final 2016 monsoon storms over Tucson and the Santa Catalina Mountains.
Monsoon Clouds over Catalinas from Windy Point, Coronado National Forest, AZ (16″x48″)
While driving back to Arizona in August, I pulled off Interstate 10 to photograph this monsoon storm cloud north of Gage, NM.
Monsoon Storm Clouds north of Gage, near Gage, NM (16″x64″)
When I stepped off the plane from Nepal in late June, it was about 110F (~40C) here in southern Arizona. Fortunately, the monsoon started soon after I arrived. After work one evening I drove up to the top of Sentinel Peak (near downtown Tucson) and shot a few panoramas of the lumbering monsoon storms as they approached from the south.
Monsoon Storm from Sentinel Peak #2, Tucson Mountains, AZ (16″x74″)
After spending the day climbing near the top of the Catalinas, I stopped at the Seven Cataracts pullout along the Catalina Highway to take this photograph of a monsoon storm over Tucson.
Early in July, I drove back from Colorado to Arizona, paralleling the Mexico/US border on Interstate 10 in the intense summer Sonoran Desert sun. The temperature quickly dropped from over 100F to 75F as I passed into the shadow of the lumbering monsoon clouds. I pulled over on the side of the highway to take a panorama of the passing storm clouds before driving on through the rain, hail, and lightning.
Late summer rains near the top of Mt Lemmon at Raycreation forced us to descend below the clouds to climb. We decided to stop at the cliffs below the Windy Point overlook and spent the day climbing the North Fin. On our way back to the road I photographed these monsoon clouds. I will post more photographs in this series next week as well.
This August I spent an afternoon wine tasting at the Sonoita vineyards as a summer monsoon thunderstorm passed overhead. On my way back to Tucson, I stopped on the side of the highway to photograph the evening light on the mountainous clouds. This is another of my favorite panoramas from 2014.