The rains finally came here in Tucson Arizona. Their brief but welcome stay was the most violent that I had experienced here in the Sonoran Desert. High winds and torrential rains came in the early evenings on several days inside a single week damaging buildings, knocking down power poles and creating rivers across many of the roads. At times there was one to two feet of water in intersections with no traffic lights to guide us. A major dust storm (haboob) was spawned here in Tucson which then traveled northward and engulfed all of Phoenix, truly an amazing event certainly aided but the very dry conditions in the desert. www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/06/phoenix-dust-storm-photos-video_n_891157.html
With all of the inconvenience that the rains bring I was happy for the many animals and plants that have had to struggle to find water during this very serious drought period. A period so serious in fact that national forests were closed due to extreme fire conditions from a lack of moisture, a first since we came here to Tucson. Over 500,000 acres burned in multiple fires across the state including the Sierra Vista fire which leveled many homes and businesses as it marched across the parched earth. I watched the tragedy unfold in Sierra Vista and could not believe how fast thousands of acres were lost.
The rains have left us at least for the time being and the small watering hole that we provide outside our window remains busy with visits from coyote, rabbits, mule deer, all manor of birds and I'm sure many night visitors while we sleep as the water seems to disappear when we are not watching. Birds come to drink and bathe all day long and in the evening the rabbits gingerly approach including our very special three eared one that has been a regular for some time.
I am hopeful that the rains will return soon as the temperatures exceed 100 on most days this time of year and have reached as high as 111 degrees on occasion. Can you imagine temperatures over 100 degrees and not being able to find adequate water? What must it feel like to be thirsty in that kind of environment? Perhaps it's time to stop denying mans impact on the environment, time to admit that global warming is real and that we can and should try to do something about it before it's too late.
P.S. I just startled a coyote getting a drink outside my window.