Wow, that was cool.

I’m sitting in my cabin watching it rain. It’s tapering off now, but a few minutes ago it was really raining. What’s odd is that that’s all it was doing. No thunder, no great flashes of lightning striking the ridgelines, hardly any wind.

Just rain. It started steady, then got hard, then got really hard. The ground is saturated right now, so it was no time at all before the water started standing on the ground rather than soaking in. Anywhere it’s not level – which is nearly everywhere – it started to run off.

I’ve dug a ditch at my front yard, so the little gully to the east of the cabin will drain that way instead of sheeting across the yard. The little rise at the side of the gully began to dump water into the ditch. Of course it was doing that all along the gully, and soon the gully started to run. The ditch began to flow, deeper and faster. All the gullies flow to the wash. I looked out my rain-streaked window to the west, and saw water flowing on the edge of the wash fed by just the three gullies coming from the ridge into whose crotch the Secret Lair so moistly nestles. If it’s doing this a mile to the east, the water is hitting a big plateau which drains to a couple of canyons like funnels, miles and miles long. They come together and form the headwaters for this particular wash. When they run, that’s when we get flash floods.

The rain has stopped for the moment, and the little torrents from the gullies have stopped. But I might hear the rushing any minute, when the wash cuts loose and becomes a river for an hour or two. It’s cool – normally with a hard rain I’m dealing with the wind and the lightning, scared dogs and a Joel who’s not as calm as he’d like to be. Storms here mean it. But right now it’s just water. I can watch the process of the thing. That’s kinda rare.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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5 Responses to Wow, that was cool.

  1. PJ says:

    My family was at the “U-dig” sunstone mine in eastern Oregon a year or so back when one of those came through, quite a show. It completely filled up the pit so that was the end of our expedition to dig sunstones. However, afterward we could just walk around and see the low sun reflecting on the now-clean surface stones so we got a few that way.

    Ages ago when I was stationed in Twentynine Palms I used to ride my motorcycle to San Diego on weekends. There was a place near Palm Springs where the water from a wash simply went over the highway half a foot deep, saw it a couple times. The desert is an interesting place.

    Have you read Edward Abbey’s stuff? He was a real fan of the desert.

  2. Ian says:

    And I picked today to drive back in! Took me about 90 minutes to make the last couple miles…but I made it! Thank you, Toyota.

  3. They had some ferocious rain in Arizona these last few days. Saw on the news where people were floating away in their cars. I know the rain must be pleasant to watch, but I hope you don’t get washed away.

  4. Matt says:

    In the S E corner of AZ we have had solid rain like that every evening for about a week now. Getting a bit sick of it to be honest.

  5. What Matt said. Gonna’ start growing mossy soon. The grasses are almost hip high – and just full of carnivorous insects.Vines in the garden can put on 6-8″ a day – haven’t had to water for about 10 days now. Rain barrels are full and clear. Morning Glory vines are popping up all over – expecting to see the flowers in a couple more days. The desert toads are out in force every night now – TCOB. All around this property it seems the fattest time of the year.

To the stake with the heretic!