Thweet, thweet, thweet! Hearing the sound nearby, I’m thinking “bird with a lisp.” Scanning the area, I locate the source of the odd song. It’s a small wren-like bird sitting on a branch of my palo verde tree. Its little tongue is hanging out; it still sings. In 100+ degree heat coupled with dry desert air, this crazy little creature is singing. Or maybe he’s trying to get my attention. It could be bird-speak for “getting a little thirsty here; how about some water!”
Not one to shirk duties in my little corner of the world, I dig through my stuff for a suitable shallow dish to put water in, a sort of make-shift bird fountain. In a bag of seashells, I find a large conch shell just right for the purpose. Filled with water, I place it beside the stones circling the tree and cacti; a memento from the ocean here in the middle of the Sonoran desert. I like the contrast.
Me, I’m dreaming of rain. Sleeping, waking, driving car, riding bike, dreaming of rain. Great droplets of water pouring down from the heavens, bringing that first heavy smell of dust from the air being driven back down to the ground. Then the satin smooth, clean, pristine, desert flora scented air, heavy with that wonderful green smell of the native creosote bush.
Gone for now are the cool nights. The a/c runs and runs and runs. Some people here use a dry heat a/c called a “swamp cooler.” So named because it puts moisture back into the air. It looks like a regular a/c with a hose attached to a water source. Water is passed through a filter, droplets are caught on the filter and a fan blows through it all. This creates a cooling breeze.
I figure there has to be an end in sight. I think it’s called November! Until then, I’ll stick with my good ole a/c and spritz water around on the sand with a hose every once in a while.
Today there is wondrous relief. The sky wears billowy, thick clouds today. Some are even gray. My heart skips a beat, I’m excited. Could it be rain? The weather forecast says, “no chance!” Still, I visualize rain coming to bless my part of the desert.
Sitting this evening in my little courtyard, I notice the ground surrounding the tree and cacti has become caked, concrete-like. Once again, I fish around in an outside storage compartment of the RV and find an extra hose suitable for irrigation. After hooking up the hose, I turn the water on to a slow trickle; enough to help the plants whet their whistles.
Satisfied with my work, I sit back and gaze on my little oasis. With the sun beginning to set, the quail scurry past me and across the road to roost in a nearby tree. I’m settling in here; taking care of my little corner of the world. For a time, creating a haven as much for myself as for the surrounding desert flora and fauna.
(aka Tin Can Traveler)