Friday, December 26, 2008

Skywatch: Arizona

Happy Holidays! Salix and I spend Christmas and New Years with my family in Arizona, where we never dream of white--unless it's the white of desert sands. We're enjoying temps in the 50's and sunshine--Christmas has a very different affect in the Valley of the Sun.

Of course, like most of you, I haven't had much time to spend at the computer. For Skywatch Friday, I thought I'd post on our first glimpses of Arizona skies. These first three were taken through the window of the plane on our descent into Phoenix, which is located in a valley surrounded by beautiful mountains.




I think I've said this before: even though I grew up in the Phoenix area, after years in Virginia I'm always struck by the sheer hugeness of the sky. Our oaks and pines dwarf even the palms in Arizona--in our Virginia woods, we have to look straight up (as in head-all-the-way-back-until-it-strains your-neckup) to see more than a glimpse of sky. Here in Phoenix, you can see all the way to the horizon of mountains that bracket the city. We were up early the first morning (2 hour time change and all that), so I took a walk on the golf course at sunrise--which even here in the West is spectacular. This is the view from my mom's extended backyard.





Now that Christmas is over, we'll have time for a few side trips into some gardens! In the meantime, I wish you and yours the best of the season. Ho ho ho!

23 comments:

Thanks For 2 Day said...

The mountain views are wonderful in Arizona...I have only been there once but remember being able to see nothing but mountains and sky while there. Hope the rest of your holiday is lovely:) Jan

perennialgardener said...

Hi Cosmo, you captured some beautiful views from the plane. Those skies in Arizona are so different than our VA skies I agree. I lived in Phoenix for 4 years as an adolescent & I loved it! Our temps were in the upper 60's - lower 70's Wed & Thurs!

tina said...

I have to hand it to you, as you are the ONLY one who could take such awesome photos of the sky WHILE in the sky and write it up so nicely. Have a great holiday season out there in sunny Arizona!

Phillip M said...

Love the aerial shots!

Gail said...

Hey you! I knew you were someplace warm and sunny!
Wonderful shots of the sky...all of them! Take care and happiest of New Years to you and Salix!

gail

Cameron (Defining Your Home) said...

wow. WOW! W O W !

Cameron

PS Hope you're having a wonderful time out there!

Steffi said...

Wonderful pictures!
It´s always very interesting to in all Skywatch blog the diffrent pictures!
Wonderful views!

Jamie and Randy said...

*Gasp* I'm at a loss for words...That doesn't happen often. Beautiful!

fishing guy said...

Cosmo: Beautiful captures of really neat skies. Even the cactus is telling you to look above, very neat.

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Wow! What gorgeous pictures. I love the fluffy clouds. The cactus turned out cute and such sunsets.

Les said...

That last cactus looks like it is saying "we're #1", but when I tell my brother that I use another finger.

I hear what you are saying about having to crane your neck to see the sky. However, I have always said that living where I do you can see so much more of it than other places, just because of the flatness of the land and the many accessible water views. I have camped in the mountains in places where the sun sets behind the mountain at what seems like hours before it gets dark. I always say to myself, I would not want a house here.

I hope you had a Merry Christmas and you have a prosperous New Year.

Les

Naturegirl said...

Stunning SWF images of the clouds from above!
I am a SWF gal but because of Christmas chose not to post sky.I usually spend my winters in AZ beginning Feb.!

Rose said...

Beautiful photos, Cosmo! I think Arizona sunrises and sunsets are more spectacular than here, perhaps because there aren't so many tall trees to obscure the sky, as you say. We have had such nasty weather here this past week, I am ready to go back to Phoenix!

Hope you are having a wonderful holiday with your family. Enjoy those warm temperatures.

Arija said...

Beautiful skies from above and below. Love the cactus giving you the finger!

Phillip said...

Just beautiful!

Aiyana said...

Hope you enjoy your Arizona stay. I agree the weather is beautiful, and so clear after the recent rains. Sometimes it can get smoggy due to the air inversion that occurs this time of year. I've noticed when I visit other regions all the dense trees cause an almost claustrophobic feel after spending my life here in the desert, but in the summer, I really long to see a forest! Hope you have a wonderful New Year!
Aiyana

lola said...

Great pics Cosmo. I'm glad you are in a warm place. Enjoy & have fun. The farthest west I've been is Tx. It's flat there too.
HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Bek said...

Great pictures and you are right, they don't look Christmasy:) As for the temps, not too different at the moment here. We had low 70s yesterday.
Have a Happy New Year!

walk2write said...

Soak up that sun and sky, Cosmo! How did you get such beautiful pics of the sky from the plane window? Did you have first-class tickets or something? Whenever we fly, the windows are about as big as a sandwich and nearly as smeared with "something" as one. That picture of the cactus is one of a kind. Enjoy your break from the routine!

sweet bay said...

I love the aerial shots too. They are incredible! The sunset colors are beautiful too.

Anne said...

Arizona does have gorgeous skies! Love those aerial views... we are thinking of moving to Prescott, in the mountains above Phoenix...

Sarah Laurence said...

Cosmo, I like the sound of a white sand Christmas. Beautiful sky photos – I was awed by the scale too when we visited Arizona. You capture it well in words and images.

Would you believe it was in the 50’s here in Maine on Sunday? We were spring skiing. Now it’s back to cold and snowy.

Happy New Year!

Layanee said...

I love the clouds as seen from a plane...or did you have other wings on that day? LOL Did you swing any sticks on that golf course?