Tuesday, September 8, 2009

On the Road Again

Traveling this past week has brought me to a friend's home in Tucson. Tucson has three temperatures: hot, really hot, and so hot you can't live outside for more than half a minute. The natives or the naturalized Tucsonians tell me that "It's a dry heat" - as though somehow that makes it different from turning on the oven to broil. That's a dry heat too.

Plants here have adapted to their environment by storing water. I have a new respect for plants. If you can't migrate, you've got to make the best of things. Adapt or die, I believe is the Darwinian turn of phrase for this. Anyhow, small lizards scurry about in the mornings and the evenings, cactus wrens sing joyfully - or else they're calling for rescue - and billowing clouds form in the late afternoons.

These clouds bring the monsoon rains, and these are some spectacular rains. Torrents of rain plummet from the clouds, pelting the ground with big, fat drops. Pancake rain, someone called it. I went outside to cool off and was thoroughly drenched in one nano-second. It was worth it. Once the rain stopped, the heat resumed and I evaporated dry within minutes.

All this brings me to the topic of chili peppers, and that's the topic for the next post. When even the peppers give off heat waves, you know nature is simmering.

More next time.


  1. I have family in Phoenix. Been there when it was like 120 degrees. "Oh, its dry heat," they tell me. "No," I reply, "Its a blast furnace. Where's the mall with air conditioning?"

    Stephen Tremp

  2. Peppers...I was once tricked into including banana peppers in my garden. How could anything be more benign than a pepper labeled "banana?" I almost burned my lips off.

    As for Arizona, I take my trips to AZ sometime between October and April but never in the summer.

  3. I know what you mean about the heat, it's September and the evenings are cooling off but its still so hot during the day. I always pick cool and cloudy places for our summer vacations like the north west or this year, Alaska.


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~ I'm the author of Headwind: The Intrepid Adventures of OSS Agent Katrin Nissen. If you're a WWII buff, you'll like it here!