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Melissa Bowersock

Stories by Melissa

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Western Light: Christmas at Fort Verde

Fort Verde really does the holiday up right.

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Western Light: Squeezed Moon

A full moon coming up is almost always picture-worthy, but this one had an extra ... twist.

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Western Light: Oak Creek Autumn

Whereas much of the Verde Valley wears its cloak of gray-green until midwinter, there is a hidden treasure in Oak Creek Canyon

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Western Light: Resilience

Living in Arizona is tough; tough for people, tough for animals, tough for plants.

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Western Light: Storm Over the Grand Canyon

On a recent visit to the Canyon, I was lucky enough to see a storm develop over the inner gorge.

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Western Light: Phainopepla

A Phainopepla is sometimes called a black cardinal--perhaps a cardinal's evil twin.

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Western Light: Denali

On a recent trip to Alaska, my family and I were treated to a rare sight of Denali, The Great One, free of its pervasive cloud cover

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Western Light: Rufus Hummingbird

You know the summer is starting to wind down when you see Rufus hummingbirds at your feeder.

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Western Light: Mammatus

Mammatus clouds, named for their similarity to the female anatomy, are generally a sign of unsettled weather.

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Western Light Monsoon Sunset

One thing the monsoon does for us is bring us clouds; glorious, rain-swollen clouds.

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Western Light: Yellow on Yellow

Spring is the time for color, and in Arizona, that color is more often than not yellow.

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Western Light: Desert Spiny Lizard

With the days warming rapidly (too rapidly!), we see more and more creatures out and about, taking advantage of the spring bounty

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Western Light: Cactus Flower

May is the time for cactus, normally so bland, so ordinary, to explode into magnificence.

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Western Light: Slot Canyons

Slot canyons are a distinctly Southwestern phenomena (although they do occur in other places around the world).

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Western Light: Fire night

Cactus are the most remarkable of plants.

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Western Light: Vultures

The vultures are back. Every spring we see them drifting lazily through our skies, wagging their wings on the breezes.

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Western Light: The nose knows

We've trained our dog to not grab at food, but to wait (sometimes patiently, sometimes not) for the "okay" signal before taking it.

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Western Light: wood ducks

Wood ducks are not normally known to include Arizona in their range, but then wood ducks don't read, either.

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Western Light: Super Moon

We've had a lot of Super Moons lately, it seems, and the moon just lends itself to dreamy, peaceful photography.

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Western Light: Door to Nowhere

Jerome is a town of ghosts.

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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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