Anza Borrego Desert State Park is having a series of summer storms in September that build up in the early afternoon with ominous, dark gray clouds forming in the northwest. As they move slowly across the sky, the sound of low emitting thunder, grumbling and rumbling deep in the belly of these clouds, is like no sound I have ever heard before. Instead of a crashing boom after the crack of a lightening bolt, there is just a constant, thrumming vibration as the clouds pile up overhead. If the desert is fortunate, these clouds will give up their moisture and provide life giving water to the plants and animals below. If not, the clouds will move on and pass overhead without releasing so much as a drop of water. The entire desert seems to hold its breath in anxious hope that rain will come soon. And when the rain does come, it arrives in torrents and sheets and all at once. The rain is usually a drenching downpour, saturating the foothills as the water finds a path to lower ground. You would think that the rainfall would immediately be soaked right up and into the sandy soil, but it doesn’t. The water stays on the surface as it turns into a muddy, raging, flash flood and can be quite dangerous to anything left in its path. Because these storms are putting on a display right in my very own back yard, I feel like I have a ringside seat to nature’s “Greatest Show on Earth!”
Below are a few of the photographs that I took today. Anza Borrego Desert State Park is a beautiful and wild place in which to live out my retirement years. At least for now that is.
Michael and I left Maui yesterday afternoon with a potent storm building out in the Pacific and arrived in San Diego with the same storm packing quite a punch. We are now in Borrego Springs and the wind is blowing really hard with some rain sprinkled into the mix. I have sand dunes forming on every door and window sill, and the pool looks like a wild and wholly pond. Palm fronds and sand are everywhere. Our power is out and the house is cold and soon it will be dark. I have plenty of candles lit, thanks to my good friend Dolly and I will just have to settle in for the night with my iPad. Aren’t storms, weather and mother nature amazing? That is, as long as you can seek shelter from the rain….
We picked up Miss Callie at 10 am Friday morning at Holiday Pet Hotel and headed home with the rain pouring down and Callie crying softly to herself. She was restless and meowed a lot but was just fine. Holiday Pet Hotel takes excellent care of her and no amount of complaining on her part will convince me otherwise. She is a funny little one, and her facial expressions are so dramatic that you can tell exactly how she is feeling. She can be very expressive and quite the drama queen. That is why she reminds me of my Jack Russel, Miss Addie. Addie was a drama queen too. So Callie complained to herself the whole way home but perked up as soon as we started to head down Montezuma Grade. She could smell the desert and recognized that we were almost home. The wind was howling down the grade and just as we crossed the line leaving the high desert, the sun started to peak out from the clouds and a rainbow emerged in the distance. Callie sat up on top of the suitcases and watched the storm blowing past and you could tell she was excited about heading home again.
As we continued down the grade, the rainbow turned into a double with the second and higher rainbow trying desperately to hold its own. This lasted until we got down to the desert floor and we rushed over to our favorite lookout at Henderson Canyon so that I could take a couple more photographs. Michael is very good about that with me. He is always super supportive and encouraging about my photography, and even after a long day of travel, and a super long day yesterday, he goes the extra mile to place me in a good position to take a fabulous photo. As we drove past the house, Callie let out a squawk and a meow of complaint. She had recognized the house when we drove past it, and couldn’t understand why we didn’t turn into the driveway.
The last photos are taken out at Henderson Canyon and the reward at the end of the rainbow were the beautiful clouds that were forming because of the powerful winds. What a gift and a pot of gold for me to drive back home just as the storm was cresting over the San Ysidro Mountain Range. I will remember this day for a long time and I can tell that Callie is very happy to be home again and in Michael’s warm embrace.