Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Rain in the Desert

     It does not rain too often here in the high desert. When it does, it tends to be a pretty spectacular event. This afternoon, the clouds gathered, thunder was heard in the distance, and then the warm breeze carried the wet smell of sagebrush. The regular schedule of the birds at my feeders is interrupted as they all gather to get one last meal just in case they’re stuck in the shelter of the trees for the night – wrens, pigeons, blue jays all grabbing a quick bite. In the summer, we worry about those thunder-storms that come bringing no rain. Dry lightning, as we call it, starts brushfires. Thunder seemed to crash right over the house, and then a nice, hard rain came down for just a few minutes leaving the air cooler and the earth washed.
     "Who has cut a channel for the torrents of rain, and a way for the thunderbolt, to bring rain on a land where no one lives, on the desert, which is empty of human life, to satisfy the waste and desolate land, and to make the ground put forth grass?”
                    – Job 38


  1. Dry lightning is unusual here. Heavy downpours very common. I also love the smell of the land after rain. The quotation from Job is so wonderful for a desert place.

  2.      When the rain begins, everyone here gets into a kind of celebratory mood because it means any lightning-sparked fires will have less of a chance. When there's thunder and lightning, but no rain, we all tend to begin to sniff the air and scan the horizon for the brushfires that will surely come.


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