Thursday, July 22, 2010
The Rains are Here!
What makes Arizonans different from other people? When it rains, others go inside—but we go outside!
Rain is a miracle. We love the feel of those huge monsoon raindrops, the sight of mist rising from the streets as cold water hits hot tarmac, the way the desert smells after a rain. And I get a kick out of hearing the splay-toed frogs, who come out only after a monsoon rain. They sound like itsy-bitsy goats bleating.
This year the miracle was late in coming. June 15th was the official beginning of the monsoon season, like June 21st was the first day of summer, but those dates don't mean a lot when the rains don't come until mid-July and the temps have hit triple digits already in May.
I came back to Green Valley July 18th after spending ten days in Idaho for Gary's 50th class reunion and two family reunions, and I was stricken by how horribly dry everything looked. My area of Arizona is in the Sonoran desert, which gets more rain than the Mojave--Green Valley really is green. But we're in a drought that's lasted 10 years now, and every little bit of rain is precious.
So I was hoping that the rains would have come while I was gone, but no luck. When even the cactus start withering, it's bad.
Then Monday afternoon, I could smell rain in the air. Someone was getting blessed moisture, but not my neighborhood. Later in the evening I heard the first splats of rain on my skylights. What a delightful sound! I crossed my fingers, hoping it would continue for more than just a few minutes. It did, for several hours, which is not usual for the monsoon. Those rains are usually localized, hard, and short.
We heard on the morning news that our area had gotten almost an inch and a half. So Gary and I jumped in the car shortly after six to go see if there was water in the Santa Cruz river. It's dry most of the year, so seeing water running is a real thrill.
I'm happy to say that on Tuesday, July 20th, there was water in the Santa Cruz! And you've seen the photo to prove it.