One Hail of a Weekend!

10-13 Hail1

Monsoon season ends,

with pelting by pea-sized hail-

Nature’s inspired show.

10-13 Hail2

I don’t see hail often, so when I do, I can’t help but watch in awe.  The pinging of the ice pellets on our rain gutters had an almost musical effect.  The show lasted for about ten minutes and it was amazing- though I didn’t ask for an encore, because I know the damage it can cause!

A few years ago, a hailstorm hit Scottsdale.  I watched helplessly from inside my office building while my car was pelted for several minutes, leaving it dimpled like a golf ball.  But this wasn’t my first experience with hail in Arizona…

I don’t remember the exact year now (that’s what happens when you get old 🙂 ) but I figure it was probably 1989 or 1990, because I was in high school.  My parents and I watched from the sliding door as a newly-planted mesquite tree struggled in the heavy winds.  My dad went out to re-tie the stakes in hopes that it would help the tree remain upright.  Then hail came and my dad was still working on it, so I decided to help hold the tree.  Hail might be small, but it sure stings when it hits bare skin!  When the tree was tied good enough, we dashed inside, met by my mom who supported us in her own way:  she took lots of photos.

Even after being rained and hailed on, my hair still stood tall.  Ah, the wonders of White Rain hairspray…

Well, that’s enough about hail.  I’m working on a fiction story written for another of Emilio Pasquale’s photos.  I plan on posting later in the week, so I hope you’ll come back by and check it out.

Have a beautiful week!

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Going Underground – Haiku (and more)

Arizona sun

relentless for months on end-

we went underground.

Lava Caves

Over the weekend, we went somewhere that forced me to face a few of my fears all at one time.  It wasn’t exactly by choice… I was kind of out-voted, and majority rules.  I don’t know why no one wanted to stay home and clean our tile floors.

We went on an excursion to the Lava River Cave (near Flagstaff, AZ.)   Fears aside, I looked forward to one thing:  40 degree temperatures inside the cave.  It’s been quite warm (okay, hot) in Arizona for a few months, so being cold without standing in front of the wide-open freezer sounded rather nice.

Good news:  I only bumped my head on low ceilings twice (you’d think I’d have learned after the first time, but no,)  and despite my older son’s effort to freak me out with claims of seeing bats, none nested in my hair (I checked.)

My older son led the way and as usual, I was the last of our group.   There is a danger of being left behind when you’re last, but I had insurance:  I packed the snacks in my knapsack.  Yep… that’s one way to make sure they keep me close.

I mentioned in the beginning that this one mile walk would have me encounter several fears.  You might guess that bats is one of those fears.  Now, I’m not afraid of bats per se… just bats deep inside a cave.  This brings me to another fear that I break into a sweat just thinking of:  enclosed spaces.  I only had one near panic attack in area that was about three feet high.  My family was there for me… well, my husband at least- he held my hand and talked me through it while my kids laughed at me.  (Charming little men, they are…)

I am also not a fan of the dark, or rather the things I can’t see because it’s dark.  I had this covered, though.  I carried two flashlights and a baggie with twelve AA batteries.  Hey, when facing fears, I didn’t intend to go down without a light, I mean fight 🙂

Oh dear, that was terrible. I really should see about writing my posts earlier in the evening!

Do you share any of these fears?  Have you explored caves?

Haiku – Leaving Our Mark

Immersed in nature;

once peaceful, pristine, untouched-

marred by carelessness.

06-26 Tree

A few weeks ago, we traveled down a dirt road just to see where it went.  We happened upon an area of lush greenery – so dense, it reminded me a bit of hiking in Shenandoah.  Of course, I had to get out and take pictures because, let’s face it, most of Arizona is quite dry and brittle- especially this time of year.  As we were getting ready to go, a flash of red caught my eye (see center of photo).

I was disappointed to see it was a paper cup (Panda Express, I think) tossed into a tree.  I’d like to think there was a time when people cared and respected the land.  I’d like to think we could get there again.  The world is not a trash bin and my hope is that those who treat it as such will wake up and see the error in their ways.  (And if not, perhaps awakening underneath a trash heap might open their eyes 🙂 )

I hope you have a beautiful (litter-free) Thursday!

Haiku: Tunnel to Nowhere

Tunnel to nowhere-

hidden among rocky slopes.

“Somewhere” abandoned.

05-16 Unfinished Tunnel

Our ongoing (but slowly progressing) household projects have prevented me from hiking or finding inspiration in my surroundings.  Seriously, all I can see are trenches of rocks and partial fences… I’ll do an update next week!

A couple months ago, the scouts went on a hike to an out-of-the-way destination so the boys could see a tunnel to nowhere.  I was intrigued by the story.  Apparently, it was going to be a railroad tunnel, but about thirty feet in, the plan was scrapped.  Now, it’s basically a cave… a damp, musty one with a great deal of graffiti on the walls.

This got me thinking about what separates finished projects from ‘nowhere’ tunnels.  It could be a matter of drive, planning, or the result of unforeseen factors that impede progress.  I keep this in mind as days go by with no progress on trenches or fencing.  As long as we do a little each day, we are getting somewhere.

I’m curious – how do you extract inspiration that has been buried under the rubble of “life”?

In The Water (Haiku)

Ancient water flows

from arsenic-tainted spring.

Drink at your own risk!

04-29 Montezumas Well3

I was fascinated by Montezuma Well, mostly because in the desert, you don’t often come across a spring that constantly replenishes a pool of water.  Cool, right?   Of course, it figures that the water has tested for high levels of arsenic.  (I read this on a sign after my husband let one of our dogs have a drink of ‘fresh’ water flowing in a nearby stream.)

I think my husband now realizes that it’s beneficial to read the informational signs posted throughout monument grounds.  However, I don’t think it will make him any more likely to read them in future.  It’s kind of like knowing that broccoli is good for you, but choosing to eat chocolate instead 🙂