8/19/09 - Everybody knows New Mexico is a dry state, but it's not as dry as Wyoming, which came as a surprise to me. Most of New Mexico's rain comes during June through September, when the monsoon brings afternoon thunderstorms. This year's monsoon isn't delivering rain as often everybody expects, but the storms that do come through are impressive.

GullywasherThe last one filled the normally dry arroyos with roaring, muddy water during the half-hour it rained like this, which flooded Joe & Laurie's yard and pounded the roof with hailstones.

When it was over, the dry ponds that spatter the landscape were dry no more. Frogs that survive dormant deep below the cracked, dry mud announced themselves with melodious purring.

The next day, the grass was greener and taller. When your life depends on water and don't know when your next drink will arrive, you have to take care of business in a hurry.

8/24/09 - I don't know about everybody else, but when a sailor sees a sky like this, up close like this, she figures it's way past time to don a safety harness, reef the main, and switch to the storm jib. This kind of cloud used to make Ted and me wisecrack on the Chesapeake "You think there's any wind in that?" There always is and things always get interesting, whether the cloud is on the Atlantic seaboard or the New Mexico mountains.

The trouble with cats is that they think we people don't know what we're talking about.