Just Add Water

By Patty Wilber

The monsoons are here!  Early!

Predictions were for weak rains and not until August, but a northern system came in and dumped, for days!  Somehow this changed things up, and the official pronouncement is: The Monsoons are now Here.

Three consecutive days of a dew point over 47F is the official sign of the monsoons. They typically start July 4 and run to early September and provide a lot of our annual precipitation.

Rain started falling June 30th, and at my house, we have had two gully washers (I slept though one on July 2nd and just missed the other on July 9th as I was in town) and some sort of ground wetting every day since, except one!

The effects are AMAZING!

Sprouts!

Grass!

A carpet of photosynthesis!

A carpet of photosynthesis…

Due to weeks like purslane (we have weeds again!)

…due to weeds like purslane (we have weeds again!)

cheat grass and kochia!  (At least it's ground cover!)

cheat grass and kochia! (At least it’s ground cover!)

Slime mold?  Or some sort of something in the fungal group. (Slime molds are their own special bizarro category.)

Slime mold? Or some sort of something in the fungal group. (Slime molds are not fungi; they are their own special bizarro category.)

Water in places we didn't want.  When we removed the chicken shed, we changed the water flow patterns. I put wood stove pellets on the mud to help dry it up more quickly.  The puff up by absorbing lots of water and disintegrate.  The price is right, too!

Water in places we didn’t want. When we removed the chicken shed, we changed the water flow patterns. I put wood stove pellets on the mud to help dry it up more quickly. They puff up by absorbing lots of water and disintegrate. The price is right, too, and they work in stalls.

Erosion.  The water runs across the arena (better than creating a lake) but then it has to go somewhere!

Erosion. The water runs across the arena (better than creating a lake) but then it has to go somewhere! I have some tractor work to do!

This cone got buried!

This cone got buried. I kind of like this picture in an abstract art kind of way. Maybe I should crop it so the cone is perfectly centered…

The water tanks are full!!

The water tanks are full!! (and then some!)

And look what happens when you add water to horses:

They Super Size! Mjo is the Fjord and King (at a mere 18 hands) is a 3 yr old Clydesdale.

They Super Size! Mojo is the Fjord and King (at a mere 18 hands) is a 3 yr old Clydesdale.

I am astonished, amazed, in awe, at the tenacity of life.  After nearly 10 months of little precipitation, it took less than 10 days for hope to spring green heads out of the formerly dust dry earth.

Our landscape has been altered by the prolonged drought, and while this wet spell may be just a small respite from a bigger picture of change, (as corny as it may sound) this sudden proliferation from what appeared to be nothing, fills my heart!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About BlogPatty

Here's the skinny: I have a thing for horses. They make sense to me. I have a small horse training business (it's a "boutique" training business, not because it's super fancy, but because the horses get a lot of personal attention). I also go by Dr. Wilber, and teach biology full-time at a Central New Mexico Community college.
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12 Responses to Just Add Water

  1. Doranna says:

    Isn’t it just the best thing ever? I think it might be over, but the joy of seeing that haze of green over the ground is so profound! Too bad the Rio Grande is still dry…it’s just a band-aid effect. But when it comes to taking us out of tinder box status for a while, that’s a pretty profound band-aid!

    This is actually the most grass growth in the back pasture area in three years–where Duncan hasn’t been allowed for those three years in spite of my grand plans when we moved here. I hope we continue to get enough drizzles to keep it going!

    • Patty says:

      It tried really hard to rain on us yesterday and did rain hard over in Moriarty area in the a.m., so I am not giving up hope yet! I saw a couple of spots along the trail where a squirrel had cached sunflower seeds and they are all sprouting in a clump!

      And it is cooler with the cloud cover! Funny how cloud cover often makes it warmer in winter!

  2. Suzan Morrow Farrell says:

    Desert climes just amaze me–the transformation is so fast. Living in Minnesota we don’t see that. I hope you get enough moisture to help with your drought now.

    • Patty says:

      It is astonishing (but I also seem to be easily astonished!). The other day I was riding in Albuquerque with a nice view to the west. Two cells were dumping rain twenty or thirty miles away in two dark columns and the sky was oranging up in streaks in between as the sun went down. Then to see the effects at ground level…so viscerally pleasing.
      A friend just move to Minnesota and she is amazed by its greenness. We told her “Just wait for winter!”

      • Suzan Morrow Farrell says:

        Of course it depends on the winter, last year it was all white, the year before just cold and brown most of the year. Last year winter just wouldn’t end–snow in April even and lots of it. So now we’re really enjoying summer since it FINALLY got here.

        • Patty says:

          Surviving (mentally) such a long winter just scares me!

      • Doranna says:

        “Viscerally pleasing.” Yes!

        • Patty says:

          I was kind of happy with that phraseology myself :)-would have used it in the blog if I’d have thought of it sooner!

  3. Marilyn says:

    It’s truly amazing what a little water will do in a desert climate. May the rains continue, long and gentle, to properly soak the ground!

    • Patty says:

      Fingers crossed!!

      • Marilyn says:

        Well, I keep offering to send you folks some of the (sometimes excess) Louisiana water, but no one’s yet figured out how to economically transfer it. Dang it — where’s that trans-spatial warp tunnel when you need it?

        • Patty says:

          I think we will have to go standard pipeline here pretty soon! Heck water in a bottle costs more than gas and a water pipeline would be way less hazardous than a gas or oil line, doncha think?

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