This page is where I share some of the scenes I have captured, primarily of the skies. You never know what might appear or when. The collection has grown considerably, and although it may take a while to download I tried to make the images worth the wait. The most recent is at the top, the captions above the images as you scroll down
Spring 2008: At the start of May fires jump from peak to peak under howling distant winds. What a thing to notice suddenly while on your bicycle!
Summer 2004: A beautiful and varied sunset in the desert...
Below: In an earlier hot summer distant thunderheads loomed above the landmarks. For three years running the summertimes here have been horribly humid.
Fires roared across the nearby mountains in mid July. This 'cloud' is not a thunderhead, it is the crown of a huge smoke plume rising from a major fire which seared a wide path across the mountainous scrub lands to the north of Palm Springs.
Driving as close as practical to the fire on July on 12, I obtained the panorama below of the great plume, the tail of which stretched as far as Las Vegas!
The sunset of July 16 was one filtered through the pall of smoke drifting my way. As soon as the sun set the fires leading the plume became visible.
Below is a photo I obtained the early morning of July 12, using a tripod carried a few blocks from my house and looking north. As I stood there the fire visibly spread to the west (left) in defiance of the wind direction. through a telescope twisting tendrils of fire could be seen along the advancing front.
December 10, 2005: The really good sunsets and sunrises seem to be getting rarer, I guess that there are perhaps a dozen truly memorable examples of each in a year. This sunset painted the undersides of the broken edges of the cloud ceiling whose western edge happened to be overhead.
The night of October 17 2005 a violent thunderstorm pounded across the region, flashing and roaring all night. it was intense enough that I was afraid to be outside at its peak moments! On 9:08 PM a 4.0 earthquake rolled underfoot, rumbling softly and causing the house to vibrate and creak. The lightning continued unabated well into the morning. On 12:31 AM at the height of the thunderstorm another earthquake shook the region,, this one of magnitude 4.4, enough to topple unstable standing objects and to rattle ones nerves! Two awesome displays of the violence of nature from the Heavens and the Earth co-inciding in time and location!
Later that morning the weather began to clear up, with clouds rolling about the breaks in the weather as the remnants of the clouds carassed the dampened rocky hills. I carried about my tripod and obtained panoramas of the moonlit clouds using time exposures and black and white mode.
Wonderful thunderstorms raised great cape like anvils stretching out for miles in the high altitude winds.
April 22, 2005: An episode of rare rainy weather draws to a close, but here and there parts of the cloud ceiling shed feathered columns of rain as they move on. As sunset approaches the cloud ceiling is dark while sunlight pouring through clear unseen regions bring a coppery orange glow to the air below the clouds. As I bicycle to my sunset viewing field a radiant column appears from behind the trees, it is a bright 'stump' of a rainbow obviously showing the effects of markedly reddened sunlight in the strength of that part of the spectrum and the relative weakness of the rest.
As the sunlight shifted with the whims of the distant cloud openings the rainbow revealed different portions of itself, with a subtle multiple 'echo' of the colored arc spreading inwards from the upper part of this short but stunning display.I have increased the contrast of the photo to better show the distinctive features I saw. (right)
March 27, 2005: During sunrise the 'sweet spot' for lenticular cloud formation bears fruit, with a brief red side lighting bringing out the stacked tapering shapes.
March 24, 2005: this time the same volume of air is cloud filled instead of a cavity defining the streamlined shapes of air layers flowing over obstacles. Closely stacked layers form an elongated mass floating in the southern sky.
March 18, 2005: A remarkable series of cloud shapes appeared over a period of days in exactly the same location, several miles to the south of palm Springs downwind of the nearby mountains. This afternoon the cloud ceiling was warped and folded over in a remarkable 'negative space' formation corresponding to the usual location of lenticular cloud formations under favorable local circumstances.
Thinner portions of the hollowed out cloud ceiling were bright with the sunlight penetrating these regions better, with great rolling and evaporating shapes flowing across this region.
March 5, 2005: Active weather brings wave upon wave of storms to the region, the most in many years. Wildflowers sprout in vast colorful carpets across the desert floor, including local vacant lots which sadly are becoming rarer near downtown Palm Springs.
This evening the lighting near sunset is golden and indirect, as broken low clouds pass the light from the cloud tops through the thinner portions.
A weather front passing through the Black Rock Desert glowered overhead in a display of 'mammatus' seen from below. From the sides they appear breast like, hence the name. This viewpoint looked toward the Sun which indirectly shone through the cloud roof, resulting in more of a view of the 'density' of the mammatus structure instead of the shape defining lighting as seen in the August 16 thunderstorm view below.
August 16, 2004: this afternoon a great thunderhead rears itself above the mountainous horizon to the south of us. The air near the horizon carries dust and air pollutants which act as a dull orange filter. Further above the large 'anvil' crown is seen through a reduced line of sight through the dirty air and it is itself illuminated by the pure silvery white sunlight one would see at the airliner cruising altitudes these clouds reach.
August 14, 2004: Another great thunderstorm forms near the coastal border regions, repeating the show of a couple days previously.
As sunset approached more of the underside of the overhanging anvil was illuminated. The sunlight was beginning to turn golden on the lowermost parts of the clouds but this was seen through dirty air.
Nevertheless, remarkable fringe like layered overhangs stretching into masses of falling rain and bulbous 'mammatus' hanging from the sheltered recesses like bunches of grapes made this thunderstorm a remarkable sight.
August 12, 2004: after a long drought of interesting weather clouds roll in over the mountains and glower overhead. Dark masses roll and dissolve, with occasional rays of sunlight finding a path through the clouds. Similar conditions continue the next day (below)
July 13, 2004: nearby wildfires pour dark smoke over the mountains, wrapping the Palm Springs area in darkness and raining fine ash across the region. The sunlight is drastically affected by the smoke, bringing an alarming coppery glow to the mountainsides and to the sun itself.
February 27, 2004: that night the clouds parted enough to see the Moon through thin veils of high clouds. As an experiment I obtained several exposures showing different details visible in varying light levels. I then combined three of these to attempt a better recreation of what the eye sees, a light thinly veiled crescent within a bright cloud region surrounded by much dimmer nighttime clouds. In the photos showing the Moon well nothing else was bright enough to show.
February 15, 2004: as the weather patterns are stirred about the globe by vast swirling air currents, high icy clouds are driven southward heralding a period of rare wet weather. The Sunlight passes through sheets of suspended ice crystals and a 'circunzenithal Arc' appears, whose rainbow radiance is most intense nearest the Sun.
December 7, 2003: A magnificent display of lenticular clouds spreads across the southern skies. Sometimes I am reminded of the stretching suspended shapes inside 'lava lamp' liquids as long stretching masses seem to be on the verge of splitting into separate tapered blobs. It is not only the 62nd anniversary of the raid on Pearl Harbor, it is also the 31st anniversary of the launch of Apollo 17, the last expedition to the Moon.
December 6, 2003: Something caught my eye while in the kitchen, a narrow shaft of sunlight playing across the white tile floor exhibiting a golden halo and hints of rainbow colors surrounding the bright patch of sunlight. I could see that the sunlight was somewhat diffused by thin clouds.
I immediately grasped that this was a crude 'pinhole camera' image of bright colored regions surrounding the Sun, and i grabbed my camera. Outside the sun was indeed seen to be surrounded by an exceptionally bright display of iridescent colors (below)
March 15, 2003: late in this largely overcast day a peculiar clear region appeared in the cloud ceiling, as if an invading vortex drove itself into the cloud. It soon dissolved and was eventually engulfed in the cloud ceiling, being fed from larger cloud masses pouring in over the western mountains.