TS Weather -> Real, Live Thunderstorms

Watching the sky last night, I figured we might get rain here in Phoenix in an hour or two. “Naked” lightning bolts danced in the clouds over on the other side of South Mountain – not the reflected, back-lit illumination from discharges further down toward Tucson, but direct strikes I could see.

Thirteen, fourteen, fifteen … muted rumblings quite some ways away.

The wind picked up with gusts and flurries and a new, sudden chill, and the air temp dropped to below 80. I turned in to bed around 10PM. By 11PM I awoke to the sound of heavy rain – yes! – on the roof and skylights. How neat! And now the thunder began, not rafter-shaking jolts, but loud and immediate nonetheless. Lighting flashes penetrate every dark corner of the house interior; even under the covers with your eyes closed, you know what the weather is doing now.

I awoke at midnight, and again at 1AM. The storm had moved on to the north, and apparently also to a second location to the west. I noted sleepily that one can still easily fix the direction of the sound of thunder indoors, due to its low-frequency penetration. The rain on the roof diminished to a nearly silent patter, and I drifted off to sleep again untill the morning.

Pool AlgaeThe pool picked up a couple of inches of new water. The water level was already too high, so I backflushed for half an hour to get it right. Since I’m trying to get rid of the algae, this is, as Martha says, a good thing. I added a couple of bags of shock and can see the difference. We will get the pool through this messy monsoon season come hell or high water, if you’ll pardon the expression.

The yard is greening nicely though, as I wrote last night, the main beneficiary is the crab grass. I noticed a volunteer plant by the side of the house. It looks to me for all the world like a hydrangea, though I have no idea how it would get to this part of the country. I have a soft spot for volunteer plants. They usually turn out to be weeds, too.

Palm in bloomAs for the palms in full bloom, these palms send out tubular shoots up to 10-12 feet long, just LOADED with tiny berries that ripen into seed pods about twice the diameter of a BB shot. Although these are a nuisance in the pool basket filter, I am not seeing a lot of them. What I am seeing is wind-blown leaf debris from all over the neighborhood. To the left is a shot of one of the palms, laden with berries. I have no idea what species these are. They seem to be the same kind that, in time, grow to heights grossly disproportionate to the yards in which they reside, over a hundred feet, with those ridiculous tufts of palm fronds sticking out of the very top, which MIGHT briefly provide shade for a neighbor on the next block. Ours are perhaps 20 years old, and still shade our own back yard.

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