Arboretum Lightning Photo Show

Feb 10, 2004
Scottsdale, AZ USA
Hi Arizonans...

The annual monsoon Lightning Photography Show is running again up at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum Visitors Center near Superior, Arizona until the end of August. Informal coffee reception will be held in the Visitors Center this Saturday 8/6 from 9am-11am. Stop by before exploring the park...

The Boyce Thompson Arboretum is a wonderful morning or day trip. It is a 320-acre Upper Sonoran park with easy access from Hwy 60. It is located at the base of dramatic Picketpost Mountain, which rises from the desert floor. The park was established in the 1920s making it ideal for hikers or those who want to walk or picnic among the lush foliage and trees. Summer hours have been adjusted to 6am-3pm to allow exploring the park in the beautiful morning hours (last admissions taken at 2pm - but take my word that you'd want to arrive in the morning to fully see the park). Even though many of the trails are shaded, bring water (and don't forget your camera!). The park is very alive with birds, butterflies and interesting trees and plants. Hiking/walking trails are for all levels.

Show page:

Park info: 520.689.2811 or

Virtual park tour:
This year I will make it up there... but not on Saturday, which is Storm Debris Cleanup Day Pt 1 of Many.

Get anything good last night? All I managed was to get to Scottsdale too late to see any CGs before the deluge began.
I could see the wall of dust coming. At first I just though it was a low cloud because it was around 9pm and the sun had set. After that, when the dust came in it was so dense it looked like we were in fog. There were a few close strikes, but other than that just some nice rain for few minutes.
Tuesday night was spectacular, I thought the chasing would never end. I heard that PHX got 2-3 inches of rainfall consistently spread all over the Valley, high wind gusts to 60mph. That makes sense because the storms were pounding, with frequent to constant lightning and mega street flooding. Wasn't the lightning weird? There was so much of it and the CGs were swift and aggressive, like Zeus was having a mood swing. Sometimes desert CGs look like feathers or tree-branches, but this lightning was straight, blinding and on a mission. It was a most incredible storm. The speed that the clouds were moving by also impressed me. I can see that Valley residents will be cleaning up after this one for awhile.

Lastnight was a whole different story - I chased one single, beautiful cell that formed over the Mazatzal range. It was a nice tower and threw down a spark or two. Nice looking storm all by itself. The humidity must mean party time for lizards. There were so many of them running around in the deserts lastnight. Cute little guys.

Also up at the Arboretum this Saturday they're holding a "Learn your Lizards" walk as well. I'll be hanging out in the gallery but any visitors might want to check that out too. I took a beautiful photo of a large green lizard last spring in a Superstition mountain canyon. He was quite spectacular, wish I knew what kind he was. The park is so alive with everything, all kinds of critters run around the place.