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The Week in Review: the last monsoon event?

Earlier in the week we had a storm — technically outside the officially designated monsoon season — and it was a colorful one.  Our microcosm of Phoenix received about a half inch of technicolor rain in a very short time, without the wind and hail that the same towering clouds dropped on neighbors less than three miles to the east.  The storm brought amazing sunset skies, migrants, optimistic amphibians, and flowers to our yard.  (All photos E.Shock.)

Shortly after these clouds moved over the metro area, the dark skies split, pumping rain and lightning into the creosote-scented night air.

The next morning, we found an excellent red dragonfly drying its wings on barbed wire, “our” spadefoot wound up in the pool again along with the rest of the storm debris, awaiting rescue, and the Herrerrae barrel cactus’s crown of fragrant yellow and red blooms were saturated with color.  The architecturally precise buds tautly await their turn in the vortex of the flower crown — the easier-going little lemony pine-apples slouching around the edge are last year’s fruits, waiting to split open and disgorge their seeds, or be plucked and carried off by an herbivore, and left elsewhere to start a new barrel.

With luck, cactus and wildflower seeds all over the desert will be soaking up the fall moisture, preparing themselves for next spring’s blooming.

(Don’t forget to click to enlarge)

Posted by Allison on Oct 9th 2010 09:57 pm | One Comment
| View close in,cool bug!,natural history,reptiles and amphibians,Spadefoots by the yard,yard list category

One Response to “The Week in Review: the last monsoon event?”

  1. sueon 10 Oct 2010 at 7:07 am link comment

    Gorgeous barrel–we had our own monsoon event here on the central coast last week. We got about 1/2 to 3/4 inch of rain in most areas, coast and mountains, the live oaks loved it. We’re now being warned that we’re entering into La Nina pattern and likely to be in a drought pattern all winter.

    Looks like this is the time to shut off the turf irrigation for good. Not large lawns, front and back, but could be put to better use with some hardscaping, bubbler fountain, yard art. DG paths, some flagstone and low bench walls for interest. Now, to just pay for it!

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