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The Desert is many things. Forgiving is not one of those things. What doesn’t bite you will stab or sting you in the desert. “When the big rain came, forty days and forty nights, Southern Arizona got half an inch.”
The half an inch isn’t quite true in the Sonoran Desert. About half the yearly rainfall in the Sonoran Desert comes during the Summer Monsoon season.
Although the campers that attended Burning Man were in the Nevada desert, the monsoon season did what the Extinction Rebellion could not do. Heavy monsoon rains closed the road into and out of the event encampment.
The Sonoran Desert is greener than the deserts of California and Nevada. Greenery doesn’t mean it’s any more benevolent than the Mojave Desert. It is the hottest desert in both Mexico and the United States. 100,000 square miles of desert that claims lives every year.
Having lived in the Sonoran Desert, you learn to adapt to the heat. If you go to the grocery store you go straight home after shopping. Ice cream is not going to survive the trip that includes other stops on the way home. Hiking during the summer requires drinking a liter of water every hour on the hike. Outdoor landscape work starts early and ends early in the day.
When the lightning and rain come you obey the ‘Do Not Enter When Flooded’ road signs. That’s called the ‘Stupid Motorist’ law in Arizona. You can be required to pay for the swift water rescue in addition to the regular fine.
Mike Olbinski is a master of time-lapse photography. His video will give you a look at the Summer Monsoon in Arizona.