My New Views ~

It turns out the desert is not deserted, and is actually quite beautiful. I finally explored the area beyond our backyard and caught some of its beauty on camera.

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I’m used to the lush green of NW Oregon, where there are enough trees around to make one feel borderline claustrophobic. Here in Arizona, there is space.

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Until I arrived, I didn’t realize how much I missed the huge expanse of open sky that dominates the southern US. My thirst for change and different scenery is quenched – for now.

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This area of Arizona does see plenty of rain, but only during Monsoon Season when violent rain and thunderstorms plague the mountains and valleys below. The rest of the year (or so I hear) is pretty dry. In fact, it’s not as desert-y as I expected: there are lots of little reminders of home!

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I don’t have to look far to see the sun burst through a colorful tree – this beauty is just beyond our temporary backyard. I wonder if it will ever lose its leaves?

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There are even a few pine trees (Pinyon Pines) to make me nostalgic for home. It’s been nice to see these pine trees here this holiday season; they are everywhere in Oregon, especially around Christmas. The smell, the cones, the needles everywhere – it all reminds me of going to a tree farm and picking out the perfect tree to bring home and decorate with memories. A very popular tradition in Oregon that is nearly impossible here in Arizona.

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There’s nothing like a little taste of home, no matter how simple and small it may be 🙂

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What A Sunday!

My Sunday began early, catching the sunrise with Clair, and the beautiful morning light on the St. John’s Bridge.

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 After spending some quality time with my pops, I photographed two of my favorite people – Lindsey and George! This beauty and I have been like sisters since kindergarten ❤ Could they be any cuter?

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When I got home, I immediately set up my tripod for this 2.5 second shot of the Lunar Eclipse.

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This world we live in is amazing – there are beautiful things and people everywhere.

The many skies of Kansas

Without a doubt, my favorite thing about Kansas is the sky.

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Kansas is very flat, especially compared to Oregon. The “hills” are all the same height, rolling on forever like the ridges that oceans leave in the sand. Never have I seen so far or so wide.

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I saw every color of the rainbow, just looking up at the sky.

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I first fell in love with the skies of Kansas during this incredible sunset on the evening Bobby proposed.

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It changes daily and even looks magnificent at night.

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Sometimes it’s moody and spits fire.

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No matter the time or the day, it never fails to impress.

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A Little Comparison

This first photo of the moon was taken the same night as the planetary conjunction of Venus and Jupiter back in June. The second was taken last night, looking through a sky filled with orange, hazy smoke.

The Moon on a normal night
The Moon on a normal, clear night
The Moon with haze from wildfires
Looking at the Moon through hazy smoke from wildfires

Yikes!

Jupiter, Venus and The Moon

After Dark

I’ve always loved looking at the night sky, seeing all of those stars and knowing that there’s something more out there. I am also partial to the moon because my dad’s mom, Nana, has always called me Sunshine and I call her Moonshine, which was infinitely more funny when I realized what else shares that name! 🙂 Her 70th birthday is on Saturday, the 4th. If the moon wasn’t quite full last night, I hope it will be then because we’ll be celebrating at the beach! I am so excited to have my toes in the sand!

I read online that Jupiter and Venus were going to cross paths last night, so I set up out back to enjoy the view, only to find power lines directly in the way. Figures. So I marched down the block with my tripod and telephoto lens and found a great spot a couple houses down. Here’s a photo for those of you who missed the planetary conjunction!

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The 2 planets were incredibly bright and it was really neat to see them so close to one another. Some theorize that this is what The Star of Bethlehem may have looked like. The planets weren’t the only ones putting on a show last night:

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The Moon also made an appearance and in my opinion stole the scene! I couldn’t believe how much detail I could see on the surface – just look at all those craters! This universe is absolutely incredible.