By Murray Bolesta

Borderlands Photographer: Summertime Blues

Summertime in the borderlands is a time of thinning crowds and thickening clouds. During the southwestern monsoon, as June turns to July, the wide open skies fill up with the most dramatic weather of any place on Earth. The June heat drives away many seasonal residents. It’s the hottest month of all in southern Arizona…

Rugged Charm of the Atascosa and Tumacacori Mountains

The Borderlands Photographer The borderlands – what a great place to be! With vast wilderness at your doorstep, not too many other states can boast that benefit for lovers of the outdoors. Southern Arizona’s Atascosa and Tumacacori Mountains form a panorama called Tumacacori Highlands, which also includes the Pajarito Mountains at the border. To residents…

A Celebration of the Borderlands, Part 5

Remind the snowbirds who migrate northward to cooler climes: they’ll miss out on our monsoon season, the fierce majesty of a nature’s performance art. The borderlands photographer swoons for the monsoon. For him or her, August and September is a season to remember. It’s the tumultuous “second springtime” of the Sonoran Desert in parched late…

A Celebration of the Borderlands, Part 4

The heat hits us like a ton of bricks in June, probably the hottest month of all in southern Arizona since the afternoon cooling impact of monsoon storms has not yet happened. June can be challenging for you, the borderlands photographer, in another way too, due to the curse of the nature photographer: the blue…

A Celebration of the Borderlands Part 3

MYTHICAL MAY When the old boys were inventing names for the twelve months of the year, Zeus grew bored, yawned, and left the room, delegating practically the entire task about the gap between April and June to his minions. This made the lesser gods a bit apprehensive about the outcome. After a nervous discussion, Quagmirus,…

A Celebration of the Borderlands, Part 2

April aphorisms are ample. April is for fools; April showers bring forth May flowers; April is taxing; April is a promise that May is bound to keep. I hereby promise that April in southern Arizona will feed the borderlands photographer a natural bounty. In this part of the country, April confirms the tentative appearance of…

Friends of Our Heritage Part 6

While Tubac rests on the edge of the great Sonoran Desert, the Ironwood Forest National Monument, with its strikingly different landscape, seems like it’s on a whole other continent. But the monument is actually quite close, just to the northwest of Tucson, out past the Desert Museum in the valley below. Friends groups, the subject…

The Borderlands Photographer, Friends of Our Heritage Part 5

What do a Cistercian abbey and a pioneering gold mining camp have in common? They’re both reached via Gardner Canyon Road near Sonoita. Also in common is a steadfast commitment of the people working there. On the east side of the Santa Rita Mountains there are heritage treasures rivaling those in the Tubac area. Mining…