Posts Tagged With: Cloud

Weather, I Like It or Not

Tornado sirens keep going off in my head.

Nope, I don’t live in Oklahoma anymore.

All the noise and turmoil jostles me from the inside, mostly in my head, but my stomach seems involved as well. This happens sometimes in the summer, at least it does here in the desert.

Maybe my body and brain attempt to hibernate like those frogs from around here that emerge for a brief season and then burrow underground until the next wet season. Unfortunately that’s not an option for we humanoids.

English: cloud and rain, weather forecast symbol

Cloud and rain, weather forecast symbol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hibernating sounds delightful doesn’t it? Sleep for three to five months while the land bakes, crackles, pulls away from the edges and curls up in tight little fists. I’m certain this climate wasn’t intended for human consumption. Look at how many hoops we have to jump through to make it habitable. Miles of canals, cavernous wells, refrigerated air, draining a river dry before it reaches its final destination.

Clearly the heat plays its games with my neurons, my electrolytes, my sense of well-being. Surely I’m a snow bird with a need to fly north with the spring winds, then waft back on southern breezes during the winter months. Can someone please tell my bank account about my true nature and needs? Being stuck here in 110 plus degrees turns me into a pillar of salt as I look back at all the moderate, temperate, reasonable places we’ve lived. Even twenty below winters sound mild in comparison to this silliness.

I recently spent three weeks up north in cooler country, admittedly mostly indoors. But, it was still gloriously cool in the evenings, reasonable in the daytime, tolerable any time. So, coming back to the desert has thrown my body into conniptions.

I’d forgotten that taking a walk any later than eight in the morning might result in a daylong headache. It had slipped my mind that stepping outdoors for a breath of fresh air might not smell the least bit fresh. Burnt and over baked and ozonated, yes, but fresh, no. I had easily let the hard truth of endless summer filter out of my consciousness.

Stepping off the plane into the physical onslaught of oppressive heat, even in the relative shelter of the temporary hallway from plane to terminal, left me feeling drained of energy and instantly tired. My very cell remembered, even if my head forgot, that desert summers suck the life out of a person. Literally and figuratively.

Sorry for being such a downer today. The transition has been a brutal one. And that’s WITH a great air conditioning system.

This time of year the seven-day forecast teasingly shows pictures of clouds with raindrops. Then, in the fine print below the cloud something like “10%” or “20%” shows up. They call that a chance of rain. I call it teasing. I call that false advertising. In fact, it’s downright mean.

English: A example of Cumulus congestus which ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many mornings I wake to billowing cloud formations tinged in pinks and corals with a promise of moisture in the air. I’ve learned not to fall for the ploy. Late afternoons do something similar with huge plumes of clouds over the distant mountains taunting and laughing with the potential of a downpour. The clouds lift to dizzying heights, establish an anvil shape and collapse into a dry, hot wind and then disappear.

I think straight blue sky is easier to take than those pretender clouds. At least with blue you know where you stand. Heat, all day, no matter what.

Sure, someday the cool weather will arrive. Someday after Halloween usually. And by cool I mean high temperatures that don’t breach the one hundred degree Fahrenheit mark.

Kids come out of the woodwork on a day where the temps are under one hundred. It’s the jackpot, the lalapalooza, the signaling of the end of cabin fever days stuck inside with recirculated air and inactivity. I can hardly wait to see frisbees soaring, lacrosse sticks flying, children on the playground, night games in the park and pickup football scrimmages.

Even more I look forward to planting my fall/winter garden.

It’ll happen. Eventually.

Until then I watch.

I wait.

I hope for rain.

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Categories: Mental Health, Nature, Outdoors, The World | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Singing in the Rain

Goutte d'eau.

Goutte d’eau. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Three days of  rain!  Yes, we’ve had rain in abundance.  Not the quick blast from a passing cloud that pounds the ground with too much water then runs off the desert’s hard surface, but a slow soaking, drizzly mist, with an occasional extra burst of water washing down the sky.

Walking at the Riparian in the rain gives the place an entirely different spin.

I’ve been here literally hundreds of times.  I’ve walked the same paths, sat on the same benches, paused at the same spots, turned left at the same tree.

Today is different.

Today rain has changed everything.

Instead of hearing the crunch of gravel under every footfall, I hear the plash and patter of drops through the leaves, a quiet drumming on the water’s surface.

Today the greens are more alive and vibrant with a sheen of moisture and a kind of renewed energy of life.

Today the flower buds on the bushes glow with a difference in the light.  This isn’t the usual direct sun, but a diaphanous cloud-filtered light that highlights colors more.

There’s a bush that looks as if it’s been hung with pearls.  The raindrops have gathered on the ends of each branch on a small, solid puff-ball, giving the illusion of an ice droplet or a crystallized grain of sand.  Nature’s magic at it’s best.

The ducks wander the paths today, not content to stay in their ponds.  A turtle plods across a grassy patch and pushes its way into the thick, wet undergrowth.

Swallows dip, soar, swoop, circle, and skim the water’s surface, dancing an intricate and ancient rhythm.

The air is humid with the verdant scent of growth and hope.

I feel newly washed after three days of these gifts from the clouds. Almost anything is possible.  Or so it seems.

Categories: Joy, Outdoors | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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