Monsoon in the Desert

We got our first good rain Saturday and then a lot more Sunday. Perhaps this is the start of Monsoon Season.

The word monsoon conjures up, at least for me, images of a storm-swept tropical spot. Little did I know it also denotes the rainy season in the arid Southwest. July through September are our wettest months, typically with thunderstorms late in the day.

The rainfall for the last two monsoon seasons was below average. We cross our fingers for this year’s since we are in the midst of a drought. Wildfires are burning thousands of acres in the Southwest, including one in Arizona that killed 19 firefighters. Our county has banned the use of most fireworks. Growers who depend on historical ditches, called acequias, for irrigation have devised methods of sharing.

My garden in between storms

At our house, we conserve water as best we can given our source is a well. You know the usual things: short showers, not running the faucet nor washing our cars. I save the water I use to wash vegetables for the plants outdoors. I run the drip system on my garden only in the evening and every three days. The plants are heavily mulched with straw.

So it’s with relief we got good rain two days in a row. Actually, it was the first significant rain since I planted the first parts of my vegetable garden in early April. The plants shot up a few inches afterward

As I write this post, I watch a savage display of chain lightning in the black sky to the north. And then maybe 20 minutes later, rain hits the window of my office. Monsoon Season. We surely need it.