Summer in the desert is pretty special. It’s hot of course, but there are some great things to enjoy during the long summer months. As you’ve probably heard, maybe even more than once, Arizona has been in a drought. And monsoon has been disappointing.
But this summer, that changed!
Monsoon actually arrived!
The last two years, monsoon has neglected our desert. In 2020, we got less than 2″ of rain during monsoon. Not only did we not get a lot of rain but we didn’t even get many clouds! And it was HOT. Without even rolling down your window, just looking at the desert would make you cringe. The signature green of the Sonoran desert had faded to a pale sage green against a lot of brown. The plants were shriveling and dying. It was painful to watch. But then the monsoon of 2021 arrived!
It arrived early. It arrived with clouds. And rain, thunder and lightning. It brought wind and cooler temperatures. In other words, it was back! And wow, it was almost worth the wait. July brought record rainfall of 8.23″ making it not just the wettest July on record, but the wettest month ever for Tucson! It didn’t take long for the water absorbing plants to fill themselves up with the rain and plump up nicely. Soon, the desert became a lush, green, happy landscape once again.
Summer in the desert…
Summer in the desert brings not just the heat, it brings a lot of beauty. As the intense sun rises early every morning to scorch itself across the landscape, it coaxes flowers out of those plain looking cacti. First there are bumps on the edges of the prickly pear pads and they swell until the flowers inside burst out of the top and cover it in blooms. As those flowers start to wane, the saguaros pop out their blooms and the tops – this year the sides too – are covered in white waxy flowers. And while all that is going on, the wildflowers are painting the hills and roadsides with great splashes of color!
Monsoon is a really inspiring time here.
I really don’t like the thunder and lightning, I’m not fond of the wind, and I hate to be wet so you probably think I just endure monsoon. I suppose that’s kind of true but I love love love the effect the rains have on the desert. I enjoy the coolness that comes before and after the storms. I like the anticipation of something different going on in the sky each day. And despite not being a rain kind of person, I’m still incredibly inspired during monsoon.
In my imagination I see all the desert critters dancing in the rains. I see the plants happily slurping up all the rain they can drink. And I’m intrigued by how the desert landscape is re-sculpted after each storm. Below are a couple monsoon dancing critter inspired cards you’ll love sending to your favorite people.
Did you see these on my Facebook and Instagram?
Below are some of my inspiration pictures I shared on Facebook & Instagram. I collect inspiration pictures from my gardens, our nightly walks and the desert around me. Sometimes I try to take the picture in the way I see it becoming a painting. They don’t always end up that way, most of the time my brush creates something way off from what my brain thought would happen but the process is still fun. A lot of the pictures I take aren’t worth sharing. They’re for the form of the plant or flower, sometimes for the perfect color in the perfect light or just a reminder of something I’d like to do. But other times they’re worth sharing and that’s when they show up on Facebook and Instagram.
If you’re not already following me and you’d like to see what inspires me, maybe start your Monday off with a funny or know where I’ll be next, you can Like me on Facebook and Follow me on Instagram. I’d love to see you there!
I hope you enjoy the desert at all times of the year as I do.
Sometimes it’s crazy hot, other times ridiculously cold but it’s always beautiful.
I love sharing with you the beauty I find here in the desert.