Dreams and False Alarms

“I pulled into the Cactus Tree Motel
To shower off the dust
And I slept on the strange pillows
Of my wanderlust
I dreamed of 747s
Over geometric farms
Dreams Amelia – dreams and false alarms.”
The high desert sky is big. I’ve seen it cower, awe, inspire, calm, humble, and straighten the shoulders on big guys and small children alike. These big skies will reveal when monsoon is coming, leaving, the heat is on, or off, snow is on the way, and which way the wind blows.  When there are large fires in California,  often enough smoke travels into Arizona, to add layers of colorful filtered light to the big sky sunset over the Mingus Mountains.
In all my years of observing this phenomenon, I admit to being startled by the massive scale of this color filled sunset. First time I have observed the entire big sky filled, and it’s message of just how large and deadly this last series of fires in California have been. The LA Times did a fine piece on where and how to help: How to Help Victims of Northern California Fires


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New Oxford American Dictionary:
scale 3 |skāl| 1 a graduated range of values forming a standard system for measuring or grading something: company employees have hit the top of their pay scales.the full range of different levels of people or things, from lowest to highest: two men at opposite ends of the social scale.a series of marks at regular intervals in a line used in measuring something: the mean delivery time is plotted against a scale on the right.a device having a series of marks at regular intervals in a line used in measuring something: she read the exact distance off a scale.a rule determining the distances between marks on a scale: the vertical axis is given on a logarithmic
scale.2 [in singular] the relative size or extent of something: no one foresaw the scale of the disaster | everything in the house is on a grand scale.[often as modifier] a ratio of size in a map, model, drawing, or plan: a one-fifth scale model of a seven-story building | an Ordnance Survey map on a scale of 1:2500.(in full scale of notation) Mathematics a system of numerical notation in which the value of a digit depends upon its position in the number, successive positions representing successive powers of a fixed base: the conversion of the number to the binary scale.
Photography the range of exposures over which a photographic material will give an acceptable variation in density.
3 Music an arrangement of the notes in any system of music in ascending or descending order of pitch: the scale of C major.


  1. Had a nice visit with you on your website this morning. I really support and applaud your recent Black and White photography. Beautifully done, and the desert just seems made for the medium.
    Encourage anyone reading these comments to go see what Nancy does in photos with the desert.

    Good to hear from you, and wishing you all the best. Thank you for stopping by.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When I was a child the beach house our family stayed at in Ocean City NJ had a rooftop patio. They simply are the best, and definitely would be an amazing feature to have in Arizona. The skies have cleared here, and the stars brilliant. This weekend is Orionid Meteor Shower. Thank you for your comments and visit. My best to you.


  3. Beautiful photos!
    Our snowbird house in Arizona has a rooftop patio – absolutely perfect place to watch the sun rise and set. We haven’t been there since April, but don’t mind missing the smoke. We had a whole summer of it here in Alberta from the fires in BC.

    Liked by 1 person

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