Time to rant about the weather again! While the astronomer in me likes to see blue sky every day, like the song says "If you want the things you love, you must have showers" (Pennies From Heaven, 1936). Tucson, while you expect to be dry since it is smack dab in the middle of the Sonoran Desert, is still woefully short of its normal dose of rainfall. Through May we normally have just over 3" of rain for the year, but so far we've had a single rainstorm, split between the first and second of March for a total of .6"! Before that, you have to go back to the week before Christmas when we had .2"... So it has been dry - a dry heat, like they say, since our highs our spiking well over 100F lately, though we've not broken 110 yet. I'm still amazed at the extremes here - growing up in the Midwest, the outer surface of an icy drink was always wet from condensation. The other night at the 10pm weather, the temp was still 88F, and the dewpoint (the temperature you would get condensation) was -2F for a relative humidity of 3%! That is just astounding to me...
Anyway, if you have trees or plants of any kind, even the native plants that would normally live in the area, they need monitoring and regular watering. Case in point are a couple prickly pears I planted about 5 years ago in the front yard. I'd not been paying much attention the last couple weeks and they were looking pretty ratty, even though it sported a bloom a week or so ago. The picture at left shows the before image from 3 days ago - just shrunken incredibly. At left it is shown today after a couple sessions with the hose dripping on it. The pictures were taken within a few minutes of each other to compare Saturday's view to today (Tuesday) for matching lighting. It plumped right up and looks a lot happier!
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