Wednesday, July 15, 2020


For two weeks we sat outside, watching the sunset with Big Cuter and Queen T, his sweetie, comfortably ensconced in chairs on the back patio.  There were some clouds.  There were bats.  There were giant flying beetles which attacked my son, and only my son.

The sunsets were grey and pink and bright yellow.  The clouds were high, when they were there at all.  For the last few days of their visit, the kids saw storm clouds moving in from the south, bringing humidity but no thunder or lightning.

Then, they left.

And all hell broke loose.

The winds on Saturday night were astoundingly fierce.  The front windows, facing east, were bowing.  I stood outside under the overhand in the backyard and felt absolutely nothing.  Not a breeze, not a whiff of impending rain, not a leaf blown into my face.  It was peaceful and calm, sheltered under the corners of the house, while the trees in the open space beyond were whippped to a fenzy.

There was no lightning to amuse me.  I went back inside to the television, and then to bed.

In the morning, the pool was covered with plant detritus.  A glance out the library window and the dining room window showed no damage in the front; we set to work cleaning the mess to spare the pool's filter an overwhelming task.  Then, I opened the garage door to pick up the Sunday paper and I saw this:
Yes, that's one third of our palo verde, lying peacefully on my driveway.  Want to see the damage up close and personal?  
Branches broke off the still-standing trunk, healthy branches torn asunder by the winds. One of the main trunks (palo verdes are pruned to have multiple trunks) split neatly from the others.
The tree is not rotted; you can tell by the healthy innards exposed by the disastrophe.... and it is a disastrophe, even as the animals begin to build homes in the newly exposed areas.  See the thin yellow strand crossing the V?  That wasn't there earlier this morning when I took the first photos.

The desert is not easy.  The extremes have consequences.  For the homeowner, that means scheduling the handyman to clear the driveway and dispose of the fallen limbs.  For those who live in and on and under the Great Outdoors, it means new possibilities.

There are consequences.  Not all of them are problematic; some bring opportunities.  Of course, since I'm at the top of this food chain, the new housing development currently under construction will be removed tomorrow.  Urban renewal in my own front yard.... I feel (vaguely) guilty.


  1. This gave me a very weird feeling because I was dreaming just before I woke up this morning that I was walking a desert and loping limbs (although dead limbs) off trees. Your pictures looked eerily familiar. I don't live anywhere near a desert. Just one of those woowoo experiences.

    1. we are communicating through our dreams!! Woo woo indeed!

  2. We got a fair amount of wind Saturday night, but nothing like where you are. It rained for about 15 minutes and that was it. So far, nothing much is happening in the Tucson Mountain Park.

    1. I'm watching the lightning out the front winndow over the Pusch Ridge and the sun shining brightly over my backyard.


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