Friday, July 1, 2016

Rain... Not!

Monsoon season. That's the claim. True, the air is more humid, where 90 degrees is now uncomfortable outside. Entertainment includes watching clouds build, anvil out, spread, slide past... somewhere else. It also includes listening to the news crews spazz out over a few drops on the windshield of their out-and-about news vehicle while we can't help but notice that it's seldom enough to even turn the wipers on, or at least not above the slowest intermittent level.

It's truly different down here. I just finished watching the local news with its weather radar showing the whole west valley - yes, including here, and for miles in all directions - in the green that indicates light to medium rainfall. Reality? Not a drop. Not here. Not in any direction I can see the sky from. Nothing falling. Nada. Just little clouds breaking up. Maybe 20 miles away there are actual storms.

Good thing I watered the backyard bushes today. Leaves have been dropping, stem ends curling, flowers somewhere between anemic and stopped, some remaining leaves turning white at the tips and the dead bits moving in towards where the stems join the branches. Last fall's new cacti plantings are yellowing, agaves browning. OK, only one agave, but other established ones are yellowing from their usual deep green.

We did have some actual rainfall the other night. I guess that's what you could call it. When we went out and stood in it, we'd get maybe five drops on us per minute. Felt great. Where it hit the driveway, easiest place to see the reflections of anything wet from the closest street light, each indivual drop lasted perhaps 15 seconds before drying up. The whole thing lasted about 5 minutes. We noticed it because we were taking garbage out. Steve and I sat out to enjoy it, it's been so rare.

Yes, it's truly different down here.

You might think there is no chance mosquitoes thrive down here. We used to. But apparently enough of our neighbors water stuff that there are scattered tiny cups of water that last just long enough. Dry as it is, they only get to about a third of the size of what we're used to in Minnesota. They make up for size in the venom they inject, not only stinging sharply as it goes in but leaving a badly itching welt that bothers for over a week. Fortunately they are also fairly rare in the backyard.

I got the good-to-go from my surgeon this afternoon, so the day I hit the 8-week mark I promised him I'd stay for, we're on the road. Lists are made, stuff getting checked off. I got that 6-month oil change this morning, quite a contrast from my former semi-monthly one. I still hadn't driven enough miles to need it for that reason, but hey, six months and ready to hit the road. The surgeon wants to see me again in four months for another post-surgery check, and we'll be back well before that.

Probably be ready to get away from the hoards of Minnesota style skeeters by then too. They may not be as obnoxious when they bite, but make up for it in ravenous swarms.

Oh, the radar is still showing green for rain here and still for miles around. The sun is lovely.

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