Wednesday Roam — Monsoon Season 2015

Here we are, hip deep in monsoon season. Albuquerque got three inches of rain over the past two days. It rained most of last night. When you only get nine or ten in most years, three inches is a lot of water.  We might come close to doubling our average this year. We have had fairly frequent rain showers since May — we are three inches or more over the average for this time of year and now we are entering the monsoon season. There hasn’t been much of a wildfire season (yet) but we always have to watch the bosque forests along the Rio Grande. Dry grass and Cottonwood fluff collect in drifts and can be very flammable.

Typical Afternoon Monsoon Rain (ABQ Journal)
Typical Afternoon Monsoon Rain (ABQ Journal)

Desert storms are usually accompanied by spectacular lightning. Lightning with out rain is a sure formula for wildfires. We have been having quite a show but I’m not good at capturing it in photos.  The storms moving from the south or west bump up against the Sandia Mountains and have to climb 5,000 feet to get over and they react with lots of rain and lightning. Storms from the north are already primed by having to move out of the Jemez or Sangre de Cristo mountains.

Sunset storm against the Sandias

As I sat down to write this we had another storm blow in out of the Jemez Mountains. This one looked worse than it was but we had lots of wind and hail at first and then just about fifteen minutes of wind-blown rain — followed by a sunny and cool afternoon.

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This is 2:30 in the afternoon – not much lightning

We need the rain — we have been in a serious drought. There is a strong El Nino out in the Pacific Ocean that is causing our wet-ness….thank-you very kindly.  That being said, the green-ness of the desert is disconcerting. It reminds me of a huge golf course. My own yard has a super-abundance of Chamisa (AKA Rabbit-bush elsewhere). I had to chop out a couple bushels of salt-bush from growing up in my driveway.  I’m almost hip deep in rabbits.  I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.

Desert southwest of Albuquerque
Desert southwest of Albuquerque

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Epilogue — Well, if I’m writing about the rain and the weather there must not be much else going on…right? Actually, I got so angry about some of what I heard and read after the Supreme Court’s recent decisions on marriage equality and healthcare that I was unfit for human companionship and my writing reflected my attitude. This represents a little therapy as I calm down.  Getting my thoughts on paper helps me think through what is important but it isn’t always necessary to share those thoughts. The whole week of reaction to the court decisions could have benefited by people not racing out to be first to inflict their opinion on everyone else.

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