Sunrays on the Valley

Oro Valley Sunset

Sun Rays over Oro Valley

The weather has been volatile in southern Arizona the past few days. Layers of billowing gray clouds, scattered puffy white clouds, rain, icy mix, a bit of snow, lots of wind, a few periods of bright blue skies.

This is the type of weather changes I’m accustomed to in the Midwest, but my weather watching skills had gotten a bit stale. When I looked at the weather graphics over the Arizona map, there was usually a sunny sun. occasionally a sun with a few clouds, infrequently a chance of rain. It is easy to love a blue sky day.

But these past few days offered opportunities in sky watching that were unmatched in my brief history of Arizona sky watching. Wow. The clouds hovering atop the many mountains peaks or obliterating the mountains themselves in gray swirly masses are captivating. Rainfalls in the desert bring a certain sense of glee, suspending all manner of plans and sensibilities.

And the cloudbreaks, just as the sun is setting are enough to make me stop the car, haul out my camera gear, and capture the sun rays spreading far across Oro Valley.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. Yesterday she took a day trip across southern Arizona, was enthralled with the scenery and the pageantry in the skies.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. This photo could get you all John Denverish, but I date myself. I can see why you stopped to capture this one.

  2. A stunning sunset! I might’a run off the road myself just watching such a sight! I even understand Gandalf’s John Denverish reference, which means I just dated myself as well. Lovely!

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Ha! I try not to run off roads while photographing. I’ve heard it makes husbands, cops, and insurance agents really, really cranky!

  3. What a great capture of the rays! I remember rainy days were very special in the desert and considered them a rare privilege when they came on a day when I didn’t have to work. I have always had a reverence for rain (and snow as well), but it was greatly heightened knowing how vital it was to the desert ecology.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      I never begrudge the desert a drop of rain. I love the sunny desert, sure, but the rainy desert has a certain beauty of its own.

  4. Very cool photo, indeed!

  5. Wow! Wonderful capture of an incredible sky moment.

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