Tucson AZ Home Loan Info


Storm Front Moving In To Tucson: A Lone Sentinel

Storm front moving in to Tucson

A storm front moved in to the Tucson area this morning, and we love it.  Every drop of moisture is precious in the Arizona Sonoran Desert, and we were blessed with half an inch of rain today.

Keith Long, USGSI took the photo this morning while hiking with my friend Keith Long, a geologist with the USGS. 

We hiked in King Canyon,  an easily-accessible spot opposite the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum.  We had to quit before lunch when this weather front rolled in.

More later.  We found some wonderful ancient petroglyphs, and I'll share them with you tomorrow.


I'm Mike in Tucson, your preferred Tucson Mortgage Lender. NMLS #223495

SUNSTREET MORTGAGE llc ~ Mortgage Bankers, Not Brokers!
Offices in Scottsdale, Tucson, and Nogales, AZ, and Albuquerque, NM.

Reach me any time on my Blackberry  (520) 349-9090

photos copyright Mike in Tucson

Comment balloon 41 commentsMike Jones • February 20 2010 10:05PM


Mike ~ Thanks for the info. We have has so much precipitation in Southern Maryland it is a complete muck hole.

Posted by Monique Combs, Royal Shell Real Estate - Monique Combs (Royal Shell Real Estate ) almost 11 years ago

What an intriguing photograph, Mike... Very very cool. Can't wait to hear more about the petroglyphs - and see photos! Did you know they were there, or did you stumble upon them?


Posted by Debi Boucher, "Realtor Showcase" - Real Estate Photography/Virtual Tours ( Real Estate Showcase Photography) almost 11 years ago


Knew they were there from a hike more than 10 years ago with a friend who is now 89 and can't hike any more.  I'll put the photos up tomorrow.


Thanks for being the first to comment.  Spring's coming.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) almost 11 years ago

Hi Mike, That sure is one ugly cactus, Just kidding. But it looks like it has seen some hard times. Must be that drought we think of as we see green to the color of      dirt, :-)  Can't wait to see your other photos of the Petroglyphs. Mike, you certainly do capture some wonderful images and we all appreciate that you share the story. That cloudy sky looks very ominous. We had a .1 inch of rain in one cloud burst and then Sun the rest of the day.

Posted by William Johnson, Retired Real Estate Professional (Retired) almost 11 years ago

Mike, I loved the photos.  I was in many parts of Arizona some years ago and went (which I didn't know) during the summer.....also known as Monsoon Season.  It rained every night we were there with some of the most beautiful lightening storms I have ever seen!

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) almost 11 years ago

WOW Mike that is a tall cactus and thanks for the view!

VB ;o)

Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz almost 11 years ago

Vegas Bob,

It's taller than most telephone poles!


Our desert lightning storms are fantastic, aren't they?!


The discoloration indicates that the saguaro survived a grass fire at some point in its past.  The one arm to the left of the photo is stunted as a result of the fire, and you can see the blackened area at the root of the arm.  Thanks for the kind words.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) almost 11 years ago

I'm not sure I've ever seen one that tall.  I love those rocks.  What are they called?  Not schist's...

Posted by Doreen McPherson, Phoenix Arizona Real Estate ~ (Homesmart ~ Scottsdale ~ Tempe) almost 11 years ago

I did a spell check on schist and you're not going to believe what one of the first words to come up was.  Shame on you AR!  LOL!!

Posted by Doreen McPherson, Phoenix Arizona Real Estate ~ (Homesmart ~ Scottsdale ~ Tempe) almost 11 years ago

How cool - we have some great rock formations in our desert with lots of wonderful things left behind by our Native Americans - look forward to seeing the other photos too

Posted by Thesa Chambers, Principal Broker - Licensed in Oregon (Fred Real Estate Group) almost 11 years ago

I think that cactus is beautiful.  So enduring, so masterful, so lasting so picturesque and so completely unique. 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) almost 11 years ago


Thanks for a lovely photo and reminding those of us cursing precipitation that it is important!

Posted by Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ (Weichert) almost 11 years ago

Hi Mike---great pics and I think the saguaro is very old, right? From what I remember from hiking in Tuscon, the (normal) arms take a hundred years to grow? ---and this is the only place on earth where they grow--is that correct? I find them so incredible---they look pre-historic don't they? It would be nice if you did a  whole post just on the saguaro; they are fascinating! Meanwhile, I can't wait to hear about the stones too!...and maybe the washes when they are full??? I know, I know, I am being a little pushy, but I miss Tuscon and won't get back any time soon...thanks for the little taste!!!

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 11 years ago

Hi Mike, Actually I was guessing that to to be the case. With the years it takes to develop into this size, it is rather stunning that the old girl made through the fire and is doing as well as she is. Crtainly is a tall cactus. I am still very much taken with the separations of color in entire photo. You might have already told me, but what type of camera, lenses are you using?

Posted by William Johnson, Retired Real Estate Professional (Retired) almost 11 years ago

Hi Mike, I just Noticed that your post was featured and you are now also featured in our Group. Please put your award up at the top if you can so everyone will see it. Congratulations, Job well done.

This post is Featured in the Active Rain PhotoBlogger Group!

Posted by William Johnson, Retired Real Estate Professional (Retired) almost 11 years ago

Morning Mike, like you I am an avid outdoorsman and always enjoy your incredibly good photographs taken on your outings. Have a good Sunday!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate) almost 11 years ago

Wow, that is one tall cactus. Nice picture. I think that storm is moving west and should be hitting San Diego later today.

Posted by Melissa Zavala, Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County (Broadpoint Properties) almost 11 years ago

Great photos. We had a 4 hour long thunderstom in the morning. Oklahoma weather is fantastic. One day you get 6 inches of snow, the next day it climbs to 55 degrees, and then it morphs into a thunderstorm. Will Rogers was right, if you don't like the Oklahoma weather, just wait a minute.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) almost 11 years ago

One more comment. I think I have cactus envy.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) almost 11 years ago

Mike, I think that cactus is just plain beautiful....your skills help us see the character of this magnificent Saguaro, of course. WOW and WOW! I'll be back for more tomorrow. Beautiful work! Love the title! Yes, Geologists do rock! We are rock hounds...

Posted by Jeanean Gendron, Specializing in Selling Unique Properties (The Address Realty) almost 11 years ago

Neat photo. Thanks for sharing. Rain in a desert if always welcome. We in the Northeast are preparing for two snow storms forecast for later this week, both 12 + inch storms. The groundhog was correct, 6 more weeks of Winter.

Posted by Gordon W. Miller (Green Mountain Real Estate ) almost 11 years ago

The contrast is amazing!  Got to love the beauty and danger of nature all rolled into one.  I would not want to be caught in the desert during a gully washer!

Posted by Renée Donohue~Home Photography, Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer (Savvy Home Pix) almost 11 years ago

We have had record precipitation and it is raining again this morning..wish I could send it to you today. 

Posted by 1~Judi Barrett, BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK (Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745) almost 11 years ago

Nice photo (as always) -- we got some of that rain up here as well and appreciated it .

Posted by Bob & Carolin Benjamin, East Phoenix Arizona Homes (Benjamin Realty LLC) almost 11 years ago

Oooh, Renee described the photo of the cactus perfectly...beauty and danger rolled into one! Nice. You get credit for the incredible photography. Very nice and enjoyable to look at.

Posted by Terrie Leighton, Reno Real Estate Agent ~ Selling Homes in Reno (Ferrari-Lund Real Estate ) almost 11 years ago

Hi Mike,  Asisde from the comments on needing water I thought the picture was stunning !

Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) almost 11 years ago

Mike, what a phenomenal photo! I can hardly wait to see the pics you took of the petroglyphs!

Posted by Maria Morton, Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758 (Platinum Realty) almost 11 years ago

Mike your storms usually hit Montrose a couple of days later. We have a foot of snow and still snowing. No golf tomorrow.

Posted by Joan Zappa, Professional treatment of our clients, brings awes (Eagles Wings Realty) almost 11 years ago


There's another rolling in on Monday...


Thanks for the kind words; much success to you this week!


I'll get that post done today.


We only get 12 inches of rain per year, so we treasure each drop.


Thanks for saying so.  I wish you a successful week!


I hope the rains for both of us this year came early enough for a flower-laden desert this spring.


Me, too!  Love the new profile photo with your daughter.


We were hiking in a wash with high rock walls, so we figured that staying dry was the better part of valor.  :)

Green Mountain Group,

That pesky groundhog!


I think we need a "rockhound" group here on Active Rain!  Will you moderate it?


You've got me laughing out loud about the cactus envy.  :)


I'm thinking it was a different storm; we generally get your weather while it's heading east.


I understand your love of the outdoors; I share it, and Tucson is a great place for me.


Thanks for the comments and the award ribbon!  The camera is a one-piece Panasonic Lumix ($230 or so at Costco) with a 10X optical zoom and Leica lens.


It sounds like you're just going to have to come back for a visit!  You're right about the saguaros, especially those that are isolated as this one is.  It takes a very long time for them to grow their first arm.  Even when they're located near a wash, it can take 75 years for the first arm to bud, according to the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum.


Our grandkids in NJ were telling us that there is still snow on the Boardwalk in Ocean City, and that you have another noreaster moving in this week!  Stay warm, or just come visit us in Tucson!


They're the icon of the desert southwest, and although this one has had a rough life, it's utterly magnificent!


I'll get it done today; thanks for stopping by to comment.


You're just a troublemaker with your spellcheck.  LOL  I don't know what the layered formation is called.  It's limestone, though, according to Keith Long (the man in the photo.)

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) almost 11 years ago

Wow. Nice pic Mike. Sure is a whole different world there compared to the dreary New England winter. Thanks for lifting our spirits.


Posted by Mark McHugh, Realtor Rhode Island 401-641-3842 (Clearmark Real Estate llc) almost 11 years ago

Hi Mike,  This photo is simply stunning, the desert is such a stark contrast to most landscapes. That saquaro looks like a lone sentinel that has stood the test of time!  Congratulations on the feature and also on getting that much needed rain.

Posted by Mary Douglas, REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado (United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado) almost 11 years ago

Mike, what a wonder photo of this beautiful cactus. I din't know that they grew that tall....Hiking is the best way to see an area...and find great wonders like this one.

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate almost 11 years ago

Go rain! Great photo Mike. Good luck with the precipitation.

Posted by Scott Taylor, REALTOR (Realty Center - Orlando - Ocoee) almost 11 years ago

wow - that looks like it is going to be one nasty storm!!!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) almost 11 years ago

You should also join the ActiveRain Nature Station group and post your great nature pictures there, too.

I found a place here in San Diego where there are quite a few saguaros growing:

Saguaro in San Diego

Posted by Not a real person almost 11 years ago

Get out Russel!!  I didn't know they had them in California!  Are they transplanted or do they grow naturally? 

Posted by Doreen McPherson, Phoenix Arizona Real Estate ~ (Homesmart ~ Scottsdale ~ Tempe) almost 11 years ago

Mike - nice picture. I would love to visit Arizona. I hear that the desert is beautiful.

Posted by Mark Montross, Listing and Buyer Specialist (Catamount Realty Group) almost 11 years ago

Hi Mike....I don't know where in the stats this cactus measures, but I have never seen a saguaro this tall....not even in the old movies.  It's fantasic, I love the natural beauty of your state.  Great picture!

Posted by Gail MacMillan almost 11 years ago

Hi Mike!  I just had to stop and say, now THAT is a cactus!  I can't believe how tall it grew--funny but, your post was about the storm and the telephone pole cactus is what's captured everyone's attention!!

Have a wonderful Wednesday...

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, The right Charlotte REALTOR! (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) almost 11 years ago

Gigantic cactus! I love the dark clouds in your photo, and occasionally miss those good noisy thunderstorms that make all kinds of noise.

Posted by Susie Blackmon, Ocala, Horses, Western Wear, Horse Farms, Marketing almost 11 years ago


Stormclouds are among my favorite subjects!  Thanks for commenting.


It's one imposing plant!  But I still like the storm...


I hadn't planned to be taking photos, but when I saw this cactus with that background...


That it is!  Act on your feelings; life is short.


Me neither!


Thanks for the invitation; I'll join your group.


We had some rain out of that one!


Thanks for stopping by to comment!


I'll be out there again today!


I appreciate your encouragement!


Hang in there; spring's coming!

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) almost 11 years ago

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