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Melissa Bowersock

Stories by Melissa

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Western Light: Abstracts in Nature

At first this may look like an abstract painting, just shapes and colors.

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Western Light: Sunrises and Sunsets

We are lucky here in Arizona to have such fabulous sunrises and sunsets.

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Western Light: Water

Water assumes many characteristics. It can be glassy smooth, frothing with foam, swirling around rocks, bending images to its twists and turns.

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Western Light: Iridescent clouds

Sometimes the sun, the clouds, the time of day and the angles all line up together to create ephemeral beauty in the sky.

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Western Light: Reflections of fall color

Reflections of the fall color along Clear Creek bring to mind the impressionistic paintings of Monet.

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Western Light: Waxwing Wars

Walking along Clear Creek, I noticed a flock of birds in one tree, all chattering and flitting about.

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Western Light: Autumn Ripples

The autumn leaves are falling en masse now, carpeting the ground and building up in eddies in the creeks and rivers.

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Western Light: Fall Color

While we have adequate fall color around the state, Flagstaff has cornered the market on yellow and gold.

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Western Light: The Painted Desert

Here in Northern Arizona, we are blessed to have many stunning views nearby, not the least of which is the Painted Desert.

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Western Light: Long Exposures

I've been playing around with a new app for iPhones called Longexpo Pro; it's made to allow you to take a long exposure (2 seconds) of a moving object,

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Western Light: Monsoon Fireworks

A series of mini-storms rolled through the Camp Verde area on Monday evening, leaving not much rain but a lasting impression of lightning.

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Western Light: First Bite

First Bite is a term more often associated with fishing than with astronomy, but the very first occlusion of the sun by the moon during an eclipse is known by the same term.

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Western Light: Making Rainbow Eclipses

Here's a different idea for viewing the solar eclipse. If you have a crystal (the bigger the better), stand with your back to the sun and hold the crystal up beside you so it is in the sun.

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Western Light: Bighorn Sheep

We all know our islands of civilization are surrounded by wilderness, but the reality of that can be stunning when the boundaries of the two overlap.

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Western Light: Goodwin Fire residue

Luckily for us, some of the wildfires have been fought into containment. Not so for folks elsewhere, but we can give thanks for our hard-working firefighters and their support teams.

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Western Light: Smokerise

Summer is smoke season in Arizona, no doubt about it. In recent days, the Goodwin fire near Mayer, AZ, has been clouding our skies with orange, ruddy smoke.

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Western Light: Water Mosaic

When the weather turns summer-hot, the creeks and rivers call out to us in multiple ways.

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Western Light: Summer Smoke

Summer (or close to it) can mean only one thing in Arizona: wildfires.

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Western Light: Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah is a stunning example of the power of simple elements like wind and water to shape and sculpt formations in stone.

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Western Light: Cactus Flower

This cactus flower, a hybrid trichocereus called a Flying Saucer, blooms at night because it is pollinated by bats, not by bees and butterflies that are out by day.

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Western Light: Water

Water has an amazing capacity for taking on a multitude of colors, tones, textures and reflective qualities.

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Western Light: Water

Water has an amazing capacity for taking on a multitude of colors, tones, textures and reflective qualities.

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Western Light: Ephemeral quality of grass against the eternity

The ephemeral quality of grass against the eternity of stone, just a reminder that Nature is hard and fragile, fleeting and eternal, changeless and changing all at once and forever.

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Western Light: Slot canyons

Slot canyons are a peculiarly Southwestern phenomenon, beautiful and other-worldly.

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Western Light: Slot canyon sunlight

Sunlight filtering through a slot canyon makes for soft light, pastel colors and delicate shadings.

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Western Light: Raindrops on Roses....

Raindrops on Roses.... Or not. Maybe a cherry tree. Regardless, spring has sprung in the Verde Valley and nothing says spring like the first peek of blossoms sprinkled with rain

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Western Light: Petroglyphs

At the V Bar V Heritage Site is a group of panels depicting various petroglyphs believed to have been created for the sole purpose of tracking seasons and facilitating the successful planting of crops.

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Western Light: Swift Water, Still Water

The recent rains coupled with snow melt have turned Clear Creek into a rushing muddy creek, yet even amid the tumult, a pool of still water reflects the naked trees overhead.

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How do you make an ice spider?

How do you make an ice spider? Easy; put a rock in shallow water and let it freeze overnight

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Western Light: Fogbow

Fogbows are created the same way as rainbows, but because the water droplets in fog are so much smaller than rain, the colors are weak and very often hard to see.

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Western Light: Frost-limned sycamore leaf

A frost-limned sycamore leaf sparkles in the sun. Even in death, the seasonal dress of the trees near Clear Creek still shows beauty, just in a different way. And in the darkest part of winter, we especially look for those tiny glimmers of light that promise warmer days in the coming spring.

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Western Light: Eight Aricaris

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

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Western Light: Sun on Jerome

Recently while walking Wingfield Mesa on a cold autumn day, the clouds were just scudding off after a small storm front. Although most of the world was still in deep shade, I noticed Jerome occupied the small sliver of sunlight that was slanting through the clouds.

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Western Light: Sun Dogs

Sun dogs are part of a halo around the sun, only seen when the conditions are right and ice crystals form in the atmosphere.

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Western Light: Thin, blue band

Have you ever had an unobstructed view of the horizon about sundown, and seen a thin, blue band in the sky just above the earth?

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Western Light: Waterfalls

The gently pattering waterfall over Tonto Natural Bridge has a tendency to capture and reflect a delicate rainbow in its scattered mist. So rare in Arizona, this tiny oasis had to have been a secret treasure for Native Americans and explorers and settlers alike.

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Western Light: Dragonfly

Nature is amazing. I have never understood how living tissue can be transparent, but obviously on this dragonfly, it is very much so. We can easily see right through the wings to the bushes beyond.