Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Traditional Start To Summer!

In Tucson, the traditional start of Summer is the arrival of the monsoon season, the cooling rains saving us from the hellish temperatures that normally peak over 105F. The rains typically arrive around the 4th of July, sometimes weeks earlier, sometimes later. This year there hasn't been rain since .02" fell on May 2nd, so the desert is dry, dry, dry... In those years, the alternate traditional start of Summer is the ignition of "A" Mountain with the City's fireworks display!

We were lucky enough to get invites to two July 4th parties - one to our neighbor Audrey's with her family, church friends, and former Iowans! She grew up in Iowa so has relatives, as well as collections of friends from the Midwest as well. The second gathering was at our friend Jane's house (who originally introduced Melinda and I), at the foot of where Tucson sets off their fireworks display. Melinda had never been there for the show, so we were looking forward to it.

Since we had eaten at Audrey's, we didn't partake much of the feast, but had fun visiting, seeing the grand baby Isabel, and witnessing the amateur fireworks and firepower on display in the neighborhood. The first display after sunset was the planetary alignment to the west, which will be continuing the coming weeks. Among the stars of Leo, the planets Venus, Mars and Saturn are gathering and will cluster later in the month, eventually joined by Mercury and the Moon.

Finally, about 9:20 the "big boy" fireworks started! We took lots of pictures, most pretty boring, mostly overexposed... Shown here are some of my favorites. And, as predicted, with the dry conditions, the sparks ignited vegetation on the side of the mountain about halfway through the display. After the conclusion of the show, the fire department arrived and made short work of the flames, but the traditions continues!

And even though we waited till nearly 11pm to leave, we still got caught in traffic, taking us over 50 minutes for the normal 15 minute drive home. But it is always great to get together with friends, especially when gunpowder is involved!

1 comment:

David A. Harvey said...

Great shots! Happy 4th!