Tuesday, June 7, 2011


It's June.  The mercury is pushing its way over the 100° mark, the cicadas are playing their tune,

rain is but a distant memory, humidity is so low the air practically crackles.  And Arizona is on fire.San Pedro,ASDM 034
Really, literally. The smell of wood smoke wafts on the morning breeze and the mountains that ring our valley are obscured by the smoky haze. Each day seems to bring news of a new fire, and now two major national forests, Coronado and Apache, have been closed. Completely closed. To camping, picnicking, bird watching, fishing, hiking, driving, escaping the heat or just enjoying the beauty and solitude of nature. Closed.  We consider ourselves lucky to live in a part of the country where tornadoes, hurricanes and blizzards are non-existent, floods a rarity.. But, boy, do we have fires!  In the beautiful White Mountains of northeastern Arizona, many small communities are being evacuated, people leaving without ever knowing whether they will see their homes or businesses again. 

In my yard white-winged doves have taken over the feeders, the yard and every conceivable nesting spot, annoying me from morning till night with their flapping, courting, mounting, cooing, grunting. Their arrival from Mexico in the spring is often the first hint that summer is not far away.  When the last one leaves in October, we breathe a sigh of relief.  Not only that we have survived another summer, but that other birds may now enjoy the yard in peace. 

The joys? Yes, there are joys. Diving in the pool after a sweaty walk. Floating around with my morning coffee in hand.

Sitting on the patio in the waning light watching the nighthawks swoop down on unsuspecting insects, listening to the sounds of quail bedding down, and seeing the first bat flutter by.  Eating fresh tomatoes from the garden. 

At the Desert Museum, the crowds have dwindled, in size but not in enthusiasm.  I’m always struck by the number of visitors from northern Europe during our hottest months.  They impress me with their tolerance, even enjoyment of the heat, their deep interest in the desert, their adventurous spirit and their excellent command of the English language. 

We bide our time until the promise of the monsoon rains becomes a reality, when the desert comes out of its torpor and once again springs to life.  There are those who will complain about the humidity and the bugs.  Not I.  Instead I will revel in the big, puffy cumulus clouds, the dramatic storms and the new life all around.  Until then .  .  .


  1. Congratulations, Carole, on this wonderful site: we look forward to more pictures! As we are still members of the Sonoran Desert Museum, we get often informations, but your personal pictures are always welcome as a great joy for us! Thanks! Heinz and Kaethi

  2. Hi Kaethi, thanks so much for commenting here. I still take a lot of photos at the Museum, and I will send more to you. All my best, Carole

  3. Sharing your love for the Sonoran Desert, I am happy to have found your blog. I like the elegant design very much too!

  4. Thank you, Margarethe! I was afraid the design was too busy, so I was happy to hear that you like it. I am a faithful follower of your blog.


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