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 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″)
I liked the abstract feel of the curving railroad tracks in the foreground, desert scrub in the landscape, and gathering clouds in the sky.
Railroad Tracks, Desert, Sky, near Hatch, NM (16″x50″)
After hiking up the flank of Mt Democrat, we turned to the east and headed towards Mt Lincoln to avoid the large crowds on the first peak. We followed the ridge to Mt Licoln, ate breakfast, then walked up the side of Mt Bross and down to Kite Lake. The mining equipment, pits, and trails are quite the spectacle at 14,000+ feet .
Mining Equipment, Trails, and Mount Democrat, near Kite Lake, CO (16″x67″)
Scree and Talus Field on Mt Bross, near Kite Lake, CO (16″x60″)
A few photographs from the Buckskin Creek cirque/headwaters and my Kite Lake-Mt Lincoln-Mt Bross hike.
Alone in the Sky, near Kite Lake, CO (12″x18″)
Looking Back from Mt Bross, near Kite Lake, CO (12″x18″)
After arriving in Boulder, I noticed flashing light off to the east through the trees. I couldn’t hear the thunder, but lightning was striking every half second in the thunderstorm over the plains. I drove up the hill near the NCAR Mesa Lab and took a few 30-second exposures of this storm cloud before heading to bed.
Lightning Storm from South Boulder (#2), Boulder, CO (12″x18″)
Lightning Storm from South Boulder (#4), Boulder, CO (12″x18″)
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.