Summer in Tucson means monsoon rains. The heat creates a convective force creating thunderheads over the mountains, that then move through the city, dumping rain on its residents. These late afternoon storms often leave a canvas of clouds on which the beautiful sunsets Tucson has become famous for are painted. But the monsoon is not the only time we enjoy these amazing sites—our signature sunsets happen year round. Enjoy these sunsets.

1 Light poles at a park are silhouetted by the setting sun in Tucson, AZ.

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The University of Arizona, in Tucson, AZ, is an important part of the city. It provides many jobs as well as advanced education for many of its citizens. The U of A Wildcats spots teams provide entertainment for many in the city and across the country as well. These are some photos of the campus, focusing on much of the interesting architecture that can be seen there.

Old Main

1 Old Main is the original building that housed the entire university when it opened its doors on October 1, 1891.

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The Independence Day Car Show has become a Saddlebrooke tradition, attracting automobile enthusiasts from all over southeastern Arizona. This year’s show featured cars from the 20s to the present day, including a 2006 Ferrari F430. Later that night they provided a fireworks show.

Wide shot of Saddlebrooke car show near Tucson, AZ

1 Spectators enjoy the Saddlebrooke car show on July 4, 2009, near Tucson, AZ

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Many years ago what is now the Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, AZ, was a series of square concrete cages housing the typical assortment of animals – lions, tigers, monkeys. The zoo has come a long way, with all animals in much larger areas designed to be more like their natural habitats. Where possible, animals are grouped together as they would be in the wild, such as the zebras and ostrichs. There are plans to expand the zoo to provide even more area for the animals to roam.

Giraffe at the Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, AZ

1 One of the giraffes at the Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, AZ gets up close and personal with the camera.

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Fireworks are a highlight of Independence Day celebrations around the US, and Tucson, AZ is no different. We do have issues with the dry desert catching fire, which sometimes stops the city sponsored show. But smaller shows abound, like the one where these pictures were taken a few years ago. Each year the community of Saddlebrooke, just north of Tucson, hosts a small show that is visible from anywhere in the development. Residents set up chairs in their yards, turn out their lights and enjoy the show. A few years ago I brought my camera and a tripod and captured these images.

Fireworks

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  • July 3rd, 2009
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Sufficient winter rains bring a beautiful season of wildflowers in the spring, and a sufficiently wet monsoon will do the same in the summer.

Wildflowers along a road side

1 This beautiful display of wildflowers appeared along Ajo Road near Kitt Peak National Observatory.

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A favorite spot for visitors and Tucsonans alike is Sabino Canyon. It serves as a trailhead to miles of hiking into the Catalina Mountains as well as being a place to simply enjoy the beauty of the desert. In the summer, during monsoon, the clouds are fascinating to watch as the thunderheads build in a constantly changing display of beauty and power. Desert dwellers especially appreciate this as the clouds promise cooling rain and he water that is desperately needed for survival in this dry, hot climate.

Clouds form in a blue sky over Sabino Canyon

1 Clouds form in a blue sky over Sabino Canyon outside of Tucson, AZ

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  • June 29th, 2009
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