Waiting for the Monsoon

After July 4th here in Albuquerque we enter the weather pattern known as Monsoon season. There is so little rain in the desert that when we experience what others might call a summer afternoon rain shower we get to call it a monsoon. This summer we have yet to see any monsoon rains in our fair city, at least where we live on the west side of town. Thunderstorms have built up recently in the afternoons over the Sandias and maybe folks in the foothills have seen a bit of rain.

Long stretches of hot, dry days make me forget what a pleasure it can be to get out for a hike. Today was the first day in awhile that our schedule was open so we knew we should be out hiking. But we couldn’t think of anything new or different or particularly exciting. We finally settled on a short jaunt in the Sandias along the 10K South trail.

For something that is so familiar and, also, a relatively short drive, I was astounded at what an enjoyable hike we had. No monsoon rains here in town, but up there it was obvious that yesterday’s black clouds had dumped rain in the mountains. The air was fresh, the grass was green and our feet and pant legs were soon wet from the moisture still clinging to the undergrowth.

Refreshing green meadow.

Incongruous to think of ski lift chairs in the heat of summer.
Looking east down one of the Sandia Peak ski runs.
Humungous fungus amongus.

Mariposa Lily
Hot down there in the city.
Looking to the north.
Looking to the south.
In just a short time a thunderstorm can build up. We didn’t stick around to see if it would rain again today.

Temperatures were a refreshing 65 degrees when we started the hike and had barely reached 70 by the time we got to the car for the drive back. In the 45 minutes it took to get home we watched the temperature keep rising until it was 95 degrees at our house. But just that short hike in the cool mountains completely reverses the summer heat doldrums. I’m still hoping, however, that the monsoon rains will get to our side of town soon.