Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Arizona Summer, Part I

Well folks, Arizona Summer, Part I, has arrived. For those of you who live in more temperate climes, you may not know that we have two summers — worse and worser. It's not too bad when the temperatures stay below 100° F but those days may be gone until late September or October.

It's a dry heat and, relatively speaking, it is not as uncomfortable as humid heat. I know some of you (maybe most of you) are skeptical about that claim but I have lived in South Florida, visited Atlanta, attended training in Austin and I assert that 90° with 90% humidity is a bad as it gets anywhere.

Even in Minnesota (where I lived for nine years), August can be brutal. My home was not air conditioned and I recall laying in bed, drenched in sweat due to heat and humidity that just wouldn't quit. And, of course, the Minnesota winters were on the other extreme of the temperature scale.

Independence Day turned out to be the hottest day of the year so far in Phoenix. It did not keep folks from doing the traditional 4th of July customs — grilling and watching fireworks. However, I chose to celebrate by hitting golf balls at the driving range. Perhaps not traditional but I enjoyed it.

The following day, I played golf at the nearby Legacy Golf Course. This is one of my favorite golf courses in the area and one that I play somewhat frequently. It was 95° (and only 10% humidity) when I started at 9:00 (not too bad) and 103° (still not oppressive) when I finished about 1:30. A few clouds and a tiny breeze actually kept it quite comfortable — and yes, I drank plenty of fluids.

In addition to the relatively pleasant weather, I shot a very respectable 79. Perhaps the good score made the heat less noticeable.

Based on the calendar, we are should be starting Arizona Summer, Part II. During this phase we begin to see the cumulus and cumulonimbus clouds forming on the horizon to the north during the afternoon. They battle the high pressure here in the valley until they win and bring us the dust storms and thunderstorms in the late afternoon and evening.

Friday evening brought us our first dust storm which stuck as we were having dinner at our favorite sushi restaurant. We had to walk to the car in the blowing dust — which is awful for someone who wears contacts as I do.

However, the weather folks are telling us that the Monsoon (their name for Arizona Summer, Part II) has not yet started. They have their own measuring stick related to a certain number of days when the dew point is above a certain temperature. Most of us say we are in the Monsoon when the humidity makes the temperature oppressive. My weather station says that is still only 11% humidity so, perhaps the weather folks are right.

Regardless of the exact start, from now (or soon) until mid-September the Monsoon is going to force most of us indoors. Or at least on those days when we are not playing golf. Yes, I will play even with the humidity. The rates are just too good to pass up.

However, next week is my next class at the Santa Fe Workshops — Photographing People with John Weiss. I am so excited — I don't know if I'll be able to sleep tonight. For those of you stuck in Arizona, stay cool.


Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com