Monday, July 19, 2010

Monsoon Season Comes to the High Desert

It’s here!! The glorious rainy season, the MONSOON has truly arrived. The official date (15 June) came and went. The traditional kick-off date (July 4 – independence from the heat!) came and went. The three consecutive days of dew point above 55 degrees F came and went. We had a few sprinkles, but no MONSOON until Saturday. In a good 2 month monsoon season we will receive 65% of our annual rain. In a poor one, the year will be dismal, as we will be dry again until December.

So what makes it the real McCoy? It is the end of heat that makes you run from shadow to shadow, to pant with the jackrabbits. It is the cool stiff breeze that rolls in ahead of the massive deep gray sky. It is the bright orange sunset seen through the building clouds. It is the rain so brief yet so hard that the streets and streambeds run like little rivers and my 200 gallon rainbarrel fills in half an hour. It is the brilliant lightning with thunder so loud and so fast you wonder if you’re dead and don’t know it yet.

It is also the handsome, majestic tarantulas creeping up from their long hibernation to mate. Other strange creatures and unusual flowers make their brief annual but flamboyant appearances. You can feel a release of the tension that builds day after scorching day during June. Suddenly, it is another spring. A luxurious, wet green glorious spring in July. The earth is renewed. We are renewed.

Some good storms will drop an inch of rain in an hour. Occasionally the winds take down a power line or pole. Who needs power when you have rain and cool breezes?

The sunset looked like a forest fire in our mountains through the deep gray brewing sky tonight. A cool wind is blowing and there’s a whopper heading our way. No problem. We are prepared. My candles and matches are strategically placed around the house and my filtered water jug is full. Let it rip. IT’S THE MONSOON !!

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