This winter was exceptionally dry in Northern Arizona . Forest fires raged in many forests in the area throughout the summer. Most towns and cities canceled their 4th of July fireworks due to danger of starting more forest fires. The majority of the National Forest around Flagstaff where I and so many others regularly go hiking was closed off to the public for the last several months. And it has been a terrible year for the Hopi dry farmed corn which depends on winter moisture deep in the soil to sustain the plants until the monsoons. Many plants have not come up at all.
And now, at long last, the monsoons are here. The forest is open around Flagstaff.
|view of the 'peaks' from national forest trail as the mountains near Flagstaff are affectionately known|
The arrival of the monsoon means many things. My garden that has been limping along is about to take off, along with weeds that will soon outnumber my plants. Roads will be washed out or muddy and make transportation difficult or impossible for many of my patients. There will be flash floods in towns, canyons, and washes, like the one in Flagstaff today. The mosquitoes will be here in a few weeks, just for a few short weeks.
But for now, I am thoroughly appreciating the first storms to come through Hopi this year:
|The washes are flowing|
|the storm clouds are incredible to watch in the open desert|
|and the monsoon sunsets are unlike any other|
|with the vibrant colors in the sky lighting up the puddles behind my house|