Thursday, August 1, 2013

Come Hell or High Water - Monsoon Season

Hail piled a foot high at the office
August is here and July is past. It will be remembered as a month that brought weather that was juuust a bit north of the cray-cray. I will recreate some of it here.

It begins with severe drought conditions and a near statewide closure of the National Forests, then swiftly proceeds to be one of the wettest months in years. Then armageddon paid a visit to Casa Dirt around mid-month, bringing 1.25+ inches of rain cascading down in a twenty minute period. Along with the downpour came a hard driving blast of blueberry-sized hail which shredded all plant life. Hail cover accumulated on the ground like super-mean-spirited-hostile-snow before the rains melted it down and washed it away. Unexpected would be a fine way to describe it.

End result:  Rain barrels filled-over with water sitting mere feet away from a garden now torn asunder. A whole fence line of grape vines (and grapes), no mas. An entire plot of happy green chile plants reduced to stems with roots. Now if that ain't a step-back kick in the junk. I didn't cry, but it did get me thinking about how other men sometimes sob and cry and carry-on and that all sunk my spirits some. Then I remembered that there was some cold IPA in the fridge and that was that and now here's August.

Front porch geranium took one for the team. Sorry bro.

The St Francis underpass did not fair well. Took a day to
drain and dry then a crew from the City came in and swept it clean.

High water mark from the tunnel flood reached just above the crossbar of my bike. That's no joke. 

And some downstream video of the biblical event:

The Arroyo Chamisos in flood mode - near Camino Carlos Rey

Related Posts:
  - Arroyo Chamiso Bike Underpass Nears Completion
  - More to Dirt than just Trails and Adventure

View Gail Ryba Trail - Santa Fe, NM in a larger map


  1. Down here in Deming, we got occasional rain and lots of clouds, but nothing destructive. I know how you feel with your crops....I grow three kinds of melons, yellow squash, and some peppers every year, and two years ago we got one of those hail storms and I lost it all......wanted to cry also...I love those darn summer melons....

  2. Nice post.

    I'm sorry about the plants. Do you think the grapes will grow back? In vineyards I think they trim those back quite a bit every year.

    The mud looks slippery. Did it cause any adventures in biking or running? (Or walking in from the car for that matter.)

    Here at the apartment the desert is completely paved over or replaced with foreign objects like grass in an obvious attempt to keep us disoriented and paying our rent. But when I lived in Moriarity the little house I rented was surrounded by that substance that builds up on the bottom of your shoes, clay or whatever. I could not understand why there were wood chips spread all around the driveway, until it rained and I was walking on platform shoes after a few paces.

  3. We've had so much rain and moisture over the last three weeks that half of my garden has bounced back. At least the leaves have grown back. Don't know if we'll see any fruit with 2.5months left in the season but perhaps all is not lost. The grape vines will return next year, as will the raspberries and strawberries. There just won't be any bunches of grapes to be eaten for this year.

    As for the mud and clay, it depends where you're at. Usually with a flood, the last debris to settle is the lightest or finest, so the dust and fine clay particles settle last. You can see this in the muddy picture above by the underpass. I don't have flooding problems near my house or in the neighborhood, so no heavy clay-mud patches for me. Out in the county, yes.



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