Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Rains Are Here! The Rains Are Here!

Desert Nature Fact No. 1:  The summer rainy season is defined by 3 consecutive days of a dew point 55 degrees or over. In 2008, the lazy weather service decided the monsoon season would officially be June 15 to September 30, but us old timers still reckon the rainy season the old way. Yesterday we hit the magic number for the first time, so we knew it was coming. The toads are out. The winds had shifted and the storms were starting to form south of the border; they just weren't strong enough to make it up here. Yesterday, there was some rain in southeastern Arizona. "Maybe next week," everyone said.

Then at 3:35 this morning, I was awakened by the sound of rain hitting my windows. Yes, rain, and a goodly amount. And lots of brilliant, flashing lightning racing across the sky. There was thunder, too, although I have to say I didn't notice it. My informal weather station (a plastic tub in the yard, on a flat surface, away from the eaves of the house) registered almost 1/4-inch (on the Mossy Nest Pointer Finger Immersion Test).

Cuddle Monster, who was sleeping with me, woke up, and I carefully watched to see if he would have any reaction to the lightning and thunder. None. I breathed a huge sigh of relief. I've never had to deal with a dog afraid of loud noises, although Camille was a little scared. Not excessively afraid, just a little nervous. She'd hide in the closet or under the bed until the noisemaker was over. But there's a big difference between dealing with a nervous 12-lb cat and a scared 85-lb dog, and I'm glad to not have to try to figure out how to do that.

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