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Pain, Mercy, and Beauty in the Desert

My little dog came running back to me with a big cholla segment on her cheek, next to her mouth.  A friend held her head and neck while I flicked the cholla off, with a comb.  It was not in deep.  But a hemostat (resembling a pliers) finished the job on a couple needles that were in the skin. 

She squealed of course.  It wounds me to hear my little darlin' squeal.  So please consider that a certain amount of righteous anger is justified.  Anger at what?: at how the beauty of the desert is portrayed by tourists and snowbirds!

This morning there was 1.25" of rain in the pan I put out last night before the rain started.  Glorious!  This is the true beauty of the desert.  It is important to yell out about that, because the usual portrayal of the 'beauty of the desert' by snowbirds is -- not wrong -- but distorted by them being climate refugees from the north. 

 "Beauty" is a word that should be reserved for things that make life and survival possible, and water is at the top of the list.  Red sunsets, blue skies, and wearing shorts in January are not necessary for survival.

I want to genuinely emote over the rain but since I buy water from machines in town, it is a little hard to really feel relief from the rain.  Believe it or not, the ritual of putting out a pan for measuring rain helped me to appreciate the rain.


Ed said…
WOW! 1.25" of rain while I was getting 0.22". Are you going to hang around to witness the Spring Bloom? It should be a good show this year with all the winter rains that have come.
William said…
While I don't know where you are (I miss the "Near ---"),here in Ogilby yesterday, my rain gauge recorded .31 inches. Does your pan have straight sides?

Yes, I am a "climate refugee" from Western Oregon. Thursday reminded me of what I have fled from! Are you not also a climate refugee? Why aren't you still outside of La Grande? You have written many times of how you dislike high temperatures and move seeking moderate temps. It is so gratifying to look out my trailer window and see beautiful, clear blue skies with a few puffy clouds. Unfortunately, the wind is blowing around 20 mph, making it uncomfortable to be outside.

I like to imagine my desert water sources are refilled by the Monsoon season of late summer! When I fill my drinking water in Yuma next week, I like to imagine it is Colorado River water.

Ed, when you said you got 0.22" of rain, is that based on your measurement or is it a number from the internet?

I will leave southwestern AZ in a couple days, so I will miss spring blooms. The eye candy isn't worth the hot weather to me.
William, perhaps I should always include my location, with suitable vagueness of course. The camping locations are already so damn known and crowded that I don't want to help that problem.

I like your suggestion of imagining the rain as solving a practical problem. For instance, why didn't I do laundry in the rain water? Maybe that is only of symbolic value, but it helps.

You just keep enjoying those clear blue skies if that is what works for you. Don't let my bad-mouthing sunlight detract from your fun!
Ed said…
The 0.22" rain reading is provided by a weather underground reporting station near where I'm parked.
Barb in FL said…
Poor puppy. Love that last photo's raindrop.