It’s been a whole week since we arrived in the desert, and we have survived! We have been busy settling in and getting our house set up. Our Little House in the Desert is coming along nicely, and is simple, sweet living.
Arizona seems intent on busting my presuppositions about desert living. I thought it was all tumbleweeds, snakes, dust-devils, and rocks. Turns out, it’s not all like that. Right now it’s “monsoon” season in Arizona, which means that everything is
green less brown than usual, flash floods are more likely, and critters are more likely to seek new shelter. It’s rained twice since we got here. I thought that snakes were an every day occurrence here, but so far, I’ve only seen one snake; a Green Mohave Rattlesnake, which is apparently the “boss” snake in these parts. Lucky me.
|It’s hard to see, but he actually is very pale green.|
It also appears that we have a pack-rat that lives under our porch; he likes to eat our house in the middle of the night. That’s always a fantastic sound to hear on your second night in the desert. They also have “bug seasons” here, kind of like we have love-bug season in Florida. Right now it’s blister-beetle season; smallish ant-like beetles that swarm, stink, and pinch. Next is grasshopper season; giant, black grasshoppers that eat everything and make a good driving game (although you need to wash your car a lot more). Finally (at least as far as anyone has told me) is tarantula season; giant, hairy spiders that walk around everywhere. I just can’t wait for that one to come around.
|A “blister beetle” inside, where he doesn’t belong.|
Even though I haven’t seen more snakes or rats or bugs than that, everyone on the center has at least one snake story, one rat story, and one bug story minimum; which they love to share with the east-coast newbie. After a week of living here, I have all three. I tried to warn them that all hell would break loose because everywhere I move seems to want to welcome me with whatever extreme exists there. In Wisconsin, it was a record-breaking cold winter. In Belgium, it was a record-breaking hot summer. I can only assume that Arizona will follow the same pattern. I’m sorry.
However, the views out here are something else! You can see for miles more than I’m used to; beautiful mountains fill the horizon, and the sunsets seem to burn the sky. It’s a different kind of beautiful than I’ve ever experienced, but it is beautiful.