Sunday, July 30, 2006

Love That Dirty Water, Tucson You're My Home

Despite my ten hours of sleep, 6AM to 4PM, and the hours I spent researching Moochie, inner weasels and internet crackpots (Did you know that Tanya Harding is really Lee Harvey Oswald? So claims our next Pharoah.), I did get out today to take about forty pictures in the wake of recent flooding around town. It "only" rained a little over an inch and a half near my house between midnight and 11 AM, but other places the NWS measured got over 3 inches. For those of you who might be keeping score at home, that means some parts of town got over 25% of Tucson's average annual rainfall - in 11 hours. It's pretty humid now, but overall we've had major relief from the heat as the monsoon finally took hold. And I think I just heard thunder again.

The first stop on my photo shoot was the little wash behind the high school, the place with that blue bridge I showed you a week or two ago. The side with the bridge was already almost dry as of 6:30 PM Saturday, but on the other side of the street (E Calle Betelgeux), as seen from my car window here, it was still quite full of water, and rather beautiful.

For the rest of my photo shoot, I went to one of my usual places for post-flooding pictures: Pantano Wash at 22nd Street. A "wash" is basically a riverbed that only has water in it after it rains, and sometimes not even then. As you look at these pictures, keep in mind that this "river" was probably dry less than a week ago. Notice that the line of bushes (or saplings - I'm not quite sure which) is all bent over in the direction of the flow of the floodwaters.

The advantage of going late in the afternoon is that I was able to work sunset into some of the shots. I cheated the saturation on this one, but I like the way it came out. The line of condos or apartment buildings above the opposite bank looks like a fortification here rather than ticky-tacky housing.

Here's another sunset shot with condos as ramparts, defending the west bank.

Flash flooding left behind gullies and debris in the empty lot next to the wash. The one in the background of this shot was probably four or five feet deep in spots. The palo verde trees in the path of the erosion seem to have taken the flooding in stride. I'm petty sure they put down deep roots to get to what little water is usually there, but they also take advantage of places that get water on a frequent basis.

I'm trying to be selective here, but I can't resist showing you a couple more shots from the empty lot next to Pantano Wash. As you can see, it still had standing water in a couple of spots. I like this picture because you can see the clouds just starting to build up again over the Catalinas. Yes, it has rained again since I took this picture.

And here's sunset again, as seen from the empty lot. I did take some sunset pictures from my neighborhood afterward, but this will do for tonight.

It's late, late, late, again. I'll catch up with other promised subjects Sunday night.


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Chris said...

Those are some impressive pictures of the aftermath. My favorite is the sunset, because it reminds me of hope for a new day.

Glad you and your family were all ok.

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julie said...

You can send some of that out North Texas way; you don't have to keep it all to yourself! ;-)

Bea said...

We have a dry stream that cuts across the front of our property, and when it rains, there is a river in our yard. I didn't know it was called a wash! Nice sunset photos. bea

Becky said...

Wet and wild weather. :-)