11.06.2012,3:06 PM
When the Desert Smells Like Rain

A wave of cool breeze sweeps over me
pushing the heavy warmth away
and carrying the sensuous smell
of damp desert earth
tinged with tangy creosote bush.
Small droplets of cold water
make tiny little skin muscles
wake the wispy hairs that
stand like porcupines on my arms.
Open your nostrils and breathe it in.
Drink the odors of the desert under rain
listen to thunder music caress your ears.
This is when the desert smells like rain.
Embrace it.
This is when it all comes to life.

Shortly after arriving into Fort Davis, in the Big Bend area of Texas, we experienced one of several monsoon rains during late September and throughout October. A juxtaposition for a desert and polar opposite of the year before, the rains have rejuvenated the parched northern Chihuahuan desert; desert floor and island mountains. Grasses wave, flowers play, and trees burst with green magnificence.

During the eight days while based in Fort Davis, rain, winds, thunder and lightening pelted the area for more than 24 hours. Reported rainfall varied from over four inches around FD and near Alpine, to 0.5" closer to the Rio Grande. People were doing happy dances and hugging their water tanks (including us). Roads were washed out, rocks and sand were plowed from some sections of road. But no one minded.

Twice more, we had monsoon storms pelt the area, this time concentrated along the river. But the lightening shows were unequaled in most of the locals' memories. River water levels rose 5-9 feet in a few hours. Sections of road recently opened from the last rain were again closed in the national park.

But that's okay. Because water is life.

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posted by Macrobe
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