Thursday, August 7, 2014

Summer and monsoons

I haven't written for a while, I guess it's because I've been finishing up my desert story about a shape-shifting coyote! Those of you who enjoy this blog may also enjoy this story that is set here in the Sonoran desert.

 Summer has been very different this year, with less heat and less crazy storms. We've had some good rains but they've mostly come in a soft soaking manner instead of the wild winds that threw around our patio furniture last year. I have to say I've missed the lightning and thunder and the hurricane force winds that swirled around our house, but then again I think all the plants have been VERY happy with how much water they've soaked into their thirsty roots.

Every year we notice differences in what blooms and when, and the kinds of animals and birds who frequent our environs. This year the bats had been oddly absent. I have no idea why although I plan to look into it. The coyotes have yet to roam by with their babies. Still in their dens I suppose. Javelina haven't come to the compost in two months, or if they have, I haven't seen them. I hear the roadrunners and see them in our yard from time to time. I learned about their sad puppy sound when calling a mate and now I'm instantly aware of them. I have seen no snakes and oddly, I miss them. I've been  told that August is the month they are on the move. I've seen one Bufo toad this year--he was hiding under the lip of our house in a cool damp spot during the heat of the day. I fed him a black beetle. But the next day he had moved on.

Wildflowers are in full bloom after the rains, the desert poppies and the blue morning glories mingling to make a beautiful blue and orange patchwork behind our house. The two devil's claw plants that suddenly sprang up in our yard were eaten immediately by rabbits, but I have high hopes for another batch. I pick up their fragrance every so often when I'm hiking the trails behind our house.

I've been enjoying the solitude of this time of year, the lack of traffic and people. Yes, it's hot sometimes--too hot to walk if I don't get out early, but it's still magical. With the clouds the sunsets have been spectacular, and the warm mornings make it possible to sit outside with a cup of coffee in my P.J.'s. And the warm nights offer a time to view the stars. So far I haven't grown tired of the ever-changing light on the mountains, the shifting colors that drift slowly across the sky in the evening. Sometimes I feel like the beauty of what I'm seeing couldn't possibly be real!

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