mermaidcamp

mermaidcamp

Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water

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Doing a Rain Dance

June 24, 2015 4 Comments

monsoon clouds

monsoon clouds

The Aztecs worshiped the sun, but in Arizona we worship the rain.  Our rainy season is dramatic and somewhat predictable.  Summer heat draws moisture up from the Sea of Cortez to form clouds.  The monsoon season lasts from late June until August, shifting slightly from year to year.  Winter rains are scattered at best, but in the heat of our dry summer we are guaranteed to get some rain.  Tropical style thunder storms fly around, dropping a big loads of water and filling the sky with lightening.  They can be dangerous because of lightening strikes.  Almost every year someone here is stuck by lightning on a golf course.  The most severe safety issue that comes with rainy season is flash flooding.  Washes fill with water and swell so quickly that anyone in the bed has to hustle in order to avoid being swept away.  The rivers that flow through the city can flood the banks and cause damage along the shore, but normally it just carries debris and silt down from the mountains rapidly.  Hiking this time of year carries with it risk that other seasons just don’t have.  There is erosion of the soil because the surface becomes so compacted that the rain does not sink into the earth when it begins to rain.  If we are lucky we will have many afternoons that run in to thunder storms for a few hours.  It is rare that it would rain all day. These tropical events are short and sweet.

desert

desert

I catch water from my roof in a rain container in my backyard.  It is empty and ready to receive.  For those who live in cloudy places it is hard to explain the full significance of these first glimpses of our holy rainy season.  It holds promise and humidity for the future.  We know that we spend more water resources than we can afford, but for a brief period every summer we can immerse ourselves in storms and lightening, floods and washes overflowing.  Water, water, everywhere….but not for long.  Here is to a glorious monsoon that sinks into the ground and makes everything bloom with happiness.

ocotillo

ocotillo

Monsoon Color

July 28, 2013 6 Comments

The desert when it rains is a magical place full of excitement and drama. All of a sudden the sky opens; great thunder and roaring winds announce monsoon season. Color explodes while plants express gratitude for the long cool drink.  We enjoy the vibrant blooming while it lasts, and pray for more rain.

Native Seed S.E.A.R.C.H.

July 27, 2013 5 Comments

I am a member of a very special organization in Tucson. Native Seed S.E.A.R.C.H is a source for beans, garden seeds, education, and many local products.  I support the mission and benefit from the close proximity of the store.  We eat a wide variety of beans and chilies.  The store carries the basic ingredients we use all the time in our diet.  The seed preservation is the most important aspect of the mission.  Today I planted 5 new plants I bought at the monsoon plant sale: 3 new watermelon varieties, a bell pepper and a special cucumber.  They are all vigorous and healthy.  I expect them to thrive in the rainy season, which was the point of the sale.  We can grow many vegetables and fruits until  frost, and if we protect them even longer.  I have harvested giant crops of green tomatoes in December.  These plant varieties are from Arizona and New Mexico, so they are adapted to our climate.  I look forward to my Navaho red watermelon.  You don’t need to live here to join.  If you live in other parts of the country you can enjoy the benefits of membership which will keep your garden interesting.

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