Tag Archives: Arizona

Western Drought: Expect More Fires & Water Wars

As of mid-June, nearly three-quarters of the US’s West has been experiencing “severe,” “extreme,” or “exceptional” drought conditions. In addition to the states above, it also includes northern states like North Dakota and Montana.

Overall, climate change is playing a role. But there are smaller factors at play that are tied to climate change as well. Including…

  • Not enough rain. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) said the Southwest’s 2020 monsoon season (read: ‘nonsoon’) was “the hottest and driest summer/monsoon season on record.” And the decrease in rainfall is having an impact on today’s drought (think: not enough water for crops, lakes, or reservoirs). And for the little rain that has fallen, it could dry up faster because of…
  • Warmer temps. The NOAA dubbed 2020 the second-hottest year on record. And in late June, a record-breaking heat wave hit the Pacific Northwest, with the temperature reaching up to 112 degrees Fahrenheit in places like Portland, OR. (Psst…if you’re dealing with hot weather, here are some tips to stay safe.) Hotter, drier weather creates a thirsty environment, which speeds up evaporation. Rising temps are also causing snowpacks to melt faster, and they’re reportedly producing less runoff – a vital water resource. All of which means there’s less water available for communities and ecosystems.

Experts are also worried that the current dry and hot conditions will have a ripple effect, which brings us to wildfires. Last year’s West Coast wildfire season was the worst ever. Fires in California killed 31 people, burned more than 4 million acres, and destroyed thousands of buildings and structures. And this year, states like Arizona have seen an early start to their wildfire season. But the effects of the drought stretch even further.

Walks: Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona

Petrified Forest National Park is in northeastern Arizona. In its south, the Rainbow Forest is full of colorful petrified wood. It’s home to the Rainbow Forest Museum, with its paleontology exhibits and many trail access points. In the park’s center are the petroglyphs of Newspaper Rock and the ruined village of Puerco Pueblo. To the north, the Painted Desert Inn, a 1930s adobe building, is a museum with Hopi murals. 

Petrified Forest National Park contains the petrified remains of 225 million-year-old trees from the Late Triassic Period. Surrounding the petrified wood are millions of years of deposition, uplift, and erosion, creating the Chinle Formation. This rock formation creates the red hues of the Painted Desert and the blue tones of the Blue Mesa region. Petrified Forest is situated near the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau with elevations ranging from 5300 feet to 6235 feet. It was the uplift of the Colorado Plateau, starting about 60 million years ago, and the erosion that followed and continues today, which carved the present landscape.

Views: Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park, in Arizona, is home to much of the immense Grand Canyon, with its layered bands of red rock revealing millions of years of geological history. Viewpoints include Mather Point, Yavapai Observation Station and architect Mary Colter’s Lookout Studio and her Desert View Watchtower. Lipan Point, with wide views of the canyon and Colorado River, is a popular, especially at sunrise and sunset. 

Business: Why Arizona is Now A Technology Hub

Arizona has rapidly become an epicenter for electric vehicle and self-driving tech, and it’s now the site of three big new semiconductor factories as the U.S. struggles to increase production during the global chip shortage. In 2020, Phoenix attracted more residents than any other U.S. city for the fourth year in a row, as highly skilled workers flocked to the lower cost of living and wide open spaces of the Grand Canyon State. From Lucid Motors to ElectraMeccanica, Intel to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, 634 companies relocated or expanded in Arizona between 2015 and 2020. CNBC asked the governor, big companies, and Arizonans about why the tech boom is happening and how it’s changing the state.

Winter Views: Clouds Fill Snow-Covered Grand Canyon In Arizona (Video)

A snowy Grand Canyon was shrouded by a partial cloud inversion in Arizona.

Grand Canyon National Park, in Arizona, is home to much of the immense Grand Canyon, with its layered bands of red rock revealing millions of years of geological history. Viewpoints include Mather Point, Yavapai Observation Station and architect Mary Colter’s Lookout Studio and her Desert View Watchtower. Lipan Point, with wide views of the canyon and Colorado River, is a popular, especially at sunrise and sunset. 

Views: A Quick Road Trip Down ‘U.S. Route 66’ (Video)

U.S. Highway 66 — popularly known as Route 66 or the Mother Road — holds a special place in American consciousness and evokes images of simpler times, mom and pop businesses, and the icons of a mobile nation on the road. Discover this shared heritage through the historic places that recall those images and experiences that are reminders of our past and evidence of the influence of the automobile.   

Driving Historic Route 66

The romance of Route 66 continues to captivate people around the world. Running between Chicago and Los Angeles, “over two thousand miles all the way” in the words of the popular R&B anthem, this legendary old road passes through the heart of the United States on a diagonal trip that takes in some of the country’s most archetypal roadside scenes. If you’re looking for great displays of neon signs, rusty middle-of-nowhere truck stops, or kitschy Americana, do as the song says and “get your kicks on Route 66.”

Timelapse Travel: Night Sky In Arizona (4K Video)

This is a short trailer of the 30+ minutes of timelapse I shot in 2020 at locations in South Dakota, Wyoming and Arizona. It was shot with Nikon D850 cameras in still mode and rendered at 8K resolution. My past features have aired on the DirecTV 4K channel, a few are on Stingray Naturescape on Youtube. The Astrum feature may be available as a download in the future.

SpaceX Starlink satellites are visible in parking orbit right after the Feb 17, 2020 launch in several of the shots. They look like scattered stars that aren’t moving across the sky. Normally satellites will streak across the sky in timelapse..

1:40 to the left of the saguaro

2:27 to the left of cactus.

2:43 lower left 1/4 of the frame

Music “The Trailer” by Jeffrey Peterson. Licensed through Audiojungle.com

Aerial Views: Western U.S. And Southeast Asia (Video)

Filmed and Edited by: Jason Hatfield

This is the time of year myself and other photographers share our favorite photos from the past year. 2020 was obviously a very challenging time and despite struggles of my own I was vastly more fortunate than many. As I started to think on what were my favorite photographs I decided this time to share a film that conveys some of the incredible experiences and views I had. There’s so much more that happened but just these few minutes is enough.

Locations featured include: Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming, Oregon, Washington, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia