Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Desert Speaks (not the TV show!)

Work has been all too stressful these last couple weeks, and with the monsoon weather pattern retaining its death grip on Tucson I am really feeling the need for an astronomical observing fix. Observational astronomy feeds my soul and sitting under the stars always offers me time for reflection and rejuvenation. I had planned on heading down to the dark skies of Portal, AZ for the coming new moon weekend, but there is too much rain in the forecast to make the trip worth the gas money.

Tonight I ended up driving home from work just before sunset and through a drenching monsoon rain.  There were numerous showers throughout the Tucson valley and the sky lighting had a very unique color to it.  Being that I live on the far east side of town the sun was at my back and I was treated to a beautiful rainbow.  As soon as I pulled into my driveway I ran inside and grabbed my point and shoot camera to capture this image of the rainbows and the interesting yellow-grey sky color.  Of course the picture does not capture how beautiful it was.

Between the fresh smell of rain and creosote (if you have lived in the desert during a rain storm you know exactly the smell I am describing), the cool breeze blowing across my face, the sound of rolling thunder, and the sight of the rainbow(s), my work stress was quickly put in perspective and at least for a night, I am again in touch with the natural wonders of the sky .

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