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I have painted my favorite mountain range since moving to Arizona. The Santa Catalina Mountains bask in the late day winter sunlight after a rare storm brings snow to their rugged peaks. The Sonoran Desert below remains dry, as it is often too low in elevation to receive snowfall and instead rain.
The lone ocotillo plant blooms from the recent rains, and a saguaro cactus stands tall standing guard over its little cousins, the prickly pear cactus.
The Catalinas, with its many definitive features including the Pusch Ridge, Finger Rock, Mount Kimball, Rattlesnake Peak, Thimble Peak, and Mount Lemmon, rise to over 9,000 feet at their highest point and are a part of the Madera Sky Island Mountain chain of southern Arizona.
Towering to the north of Tucson, views of these spectacular mountains are afforded from any point in the city. This perspective would be out to the far east, possibly within Saguaro National Park - Rincon Mountain district. There is no better time to view them than at sunset, when the Arizona skies light up in hues of orange, purple, gold, and deep blue. Winter brings some of the best sunsets, as there tend to be more clouds and ice crystals in the atmosphere, radiating ambient light throughout the landscape when the sun finally sets in the late afternoon to the southwest.
Winter is also one of the most beautiful times to be in and around Tucson, as sometimes one can see snow on these mountains as I've painted here, but still enjoy the warmth of the valley below.
April 24th, 2019
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