Friday, October 22, 2010

Polarizer Filter

Never really paid much attention to the polarizer filter on my camera.  It can make rainbows disappear, so there are times I need to be aware.  I took a picture of some koi fish by the entry to the Phoenix Zoo and didn't like the reflections. 

 I reset the polarizer and voila.

The Elusive Desert Sand Fish

You may have heard rumors of the sand fish which lives in dry washes, well here is one!
There are stories of whole schools being drowned in flash floods during heavy downpours.

They aren't normally seen during the day and even then only under dense cover.  It is extremely rare to catch one out in the open like this.

Lookout Mountain

If this wasn't my first time at Lookout Mtn Park, it was my first time on the trails there. Not a whole lot to see, but very popular with the locals.
We were doing some training laying out a trail and I found a dead saguaro for the foreground in this picture.

A dying saguaro here.  The top may break off and it may continue to live. Sometimes its hard to tell.

Thought this was a cool looking rock.

Here's another view with the top of the mountain in it.

And a couple more badly abused saguaros.  Before development in the area, this was a pretty remote area.  And for some reason, the area has more than a fair share of idiots with guns.  Not that I have anything against guns; its the idiots with guns I'm not crazy about.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Big Storm!

Yesterday had a large storm cell move through the valley and today another one (and more) came through.
The clouds were moving and massing fairly quickly.
This was about noon - looking WNW from Tovrea's Castle.  The wind was blowing west and the cloud was moving north and east, then the north end started to move more to the east.  In a couple minutes the wind was blowing strongly to the east.

Here's a look toward the WSW of the same clouds.

I'm pretty sure that system is the one that swung around and hammered Mesa pretty hard.

A couple hours later here is another system cutting across and moving to the NW before all of a sudden coming south.

This is looking from the SW corner of Pueblo Grande.  Those are some dark clouds!

 We finally got some decent rain at Papago Park
The washes began to fill and run, but it didn't rain as hard here as it did at South Mountain this time.

South Mountain had golfball-sized hail and some good flooding.

In the west valley, they had huge hail. Our neighbor was driving in it and has a cracked windshield, cracked grill and light cover and hundreds of good sized dents in the hood.  I will see if I can get some pictures of it tomorrow.  News was out in our neighborhood with trees, fences, and power poles down. So basically, lots of damage in certain areas.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Science Camp (1)

We got to the camp on the Mogollon Rim about lunch time. The weather was perfect.

Time for a hike. 
 The kids were to pick up 5 - 10 non-living items found along the trail.
 Then under the huge ramada they gethered for instruction.
 Time to describe their finds with 5 descriptive words to identify each thing's physical properties.
That led to the afternoon's projects identifying various physical properties of different substances.

Hay ride after dinner!

It got a bit chilly overnight, but the kids were up early and in need of a morning hike.

More science projects the next day and a group photo. 
Was that all the kids there were?! I could have sworn there were twice as many!