Every September I look at my cameras sitting on their shelves and I get filled with a familiar feeling of jealousy mixed with excitement. Jealous of the 75 degree temperatures throughout the rest of the country but excited about the seven months of gorgeous weather we are about to start here in Phoenix. Don't tell my friends back east that I finally admitted we only have two seasons here in Arizona: sweltering and perfect. They will never let me live that down.
This time of year is when most photographers in the 48th State begin to come out of reverse-hibernation, at least during the mornings or evenings, to capture all those brilliant picture ideas we've been saving all summer. It starts with the arrival of our infamous monsoons. Ah, but to live the desert! One of the few ecosystems that rejoices upon the sight of rain clouds! Our inner storm chasers convince us that braving flooded washes and blinding dust storms might be worth getting the first lightning bolt picture of the season. Have a look at Strike1 below by Kenneth Hagemeyer from Glendale, Arizona (CC BY-ND 2.0).
The rain cools everything down. It makes us want to be outside again! It turns the once dry and brown desert into a lush, green paradise. The flowers, the wildlife, all come out to play after the rain. Even the parking lot known as Interstate 10 seems to be slightly more bearable as we make the transition into fall. As you gear up for your autumn photograph trips, don't forget to stop by the "Phoenix Bat Cave" at 40th St. and Camelback Rd. one last time. The Mexican free-tailed bats will fly south for the winter around the end of October and we will have to wait until next May before we see them again. It is really quite neat if you have never seen them fly in person!