I can’t believe it! We are almost halfway through the month of July! That means that in exactly 5 days we will be leaving Arizona! In a way I am really excited, but at the same time I am sad. I have had a lot of great memories here. Here are some of my favorites…
1) Going to the Grand Canyon. In the beginning of June we were given four days off, so one of my coworkers and I decided to go to the Grand Canyon. It was beautiful!! I have never seen anything so big! It looked as though a giant hole had been torn through the earth. While we were there we got to see California Condors in the wild!! That was an amazing experience. They are huge!! We also visited some Pueblo Indian ruins while we were there. It was amazing to look at these buildings and artifacts and think that hundreds of years ago someone was making these things on a normal day.
2) Going to the Chiricahua Mountains. On another of our days off our boss decided to take us to the Chiricahua Mountains. We went birding, which was a new experience for me. We saw many very cool birds, including the adorable Black-throated Gray Warblers who followed us everywhere, but the highlight for me was getting to see several species of hummingbirds I had not seen yet. These were the adorable little Rufous hummingbird that couldn’t reach the feeder without falling over, the lovely Broad-tailed hummingbird that makes a whistling noise when it flies, the extremely aggressive Blue-throated hummingbirds, and my absolute favorite, the Magnificent hummingbirds. The later two of these species were especially cool because they are almost twice as big as the other species I have seen!!
3) Being stuck in a monsoon. The storms here in Arizona are incredible!! I have never seen so much rain at once or been so close to thunder and lightning before! Most of these monsoons I have seen from the safety of indoors, but one day we were driving to the top of a mountain to remove the temperature sensor we had up there before the rain made the road impassable. We got all the way to the top and decided to wait in the car for a bit because there was a lot of lightning. Then we saw a gray curtain of rain slowly creeping towards us. What started as a drizzle became a downpour, and then a huge hailstorm! We decided to turn around and try to get back, but we couldn’t see the road because of all the rain. We inched our way back towards the main road and eventually outran the storm, until we hit some mud and slid into a ditch. While we were stuck there, the storm caught up to us and dumped sheets of rain on top of us, while lightning struck with thunder following less than a second behind. The ditch that had been empty a few minutes ago was quickly filling up with water. Then, as quickly as it started, it was over. The rain was gone, the water soaked into the ground, and soon the location of our car and some remaining mud was the only indication of the downpour that had just occurred. It was awesome!!
4) Taking down the riparian transect. As a result of the start of monsoon season, the temperature sensors that we had set up next to a small creek needed to be taken down while they could still be reached. That was an adventure! The whole transect was one giant mudslide. By the time we were done we were all soaked and covered in mud from slipping and falling in it. It was actually rather fun. It was like skiing, but in mud…
Well, that’s it for today. I hope you all are having a wonderful summer! God bless, and I will talk at you later.