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04 August 2010

High Desert

 (Image by - requires credit given!)

In the previous post Lisa commented about how dry it looks at our house.  That is true.  We are technically "high desert" & it is quite dry.  When i was a kid, i assumed that "desert" was mostly like this image:  largely flat, sand, dry.  In college ecology, i learned that designations of different regions are based on annual rainfall.  

We get quite a lot of snow, but we rarely if ever have significant rain in the summer, which makes it very dry.  Also, humidity is quite low.  On occasion the humidity will reach in 50-60% but that is uncommon.  Usually our humidity is 10-15%.  This makes us high desert. 

Where i grew up in Montana was not quite the same.  They get much more rainfall during the summers, but it also has the possibility of being very dry if it is a dry summer.  Humidity there is similar to Big Bear.  I'm coming to think that the greenness that is so common on the East Coast of this country is directly  a result of the humidity which is responsible for all the green deciduous trees that populate that green land.  On much of the West Coast, pine trees are the norm.  Any deciduous trees we have are either scrub, or have adapted (aspen & cottonwood) or are ones that are watered by people.  Much of the Western part of the country needs individual watering to keep it green.  

Yes, it is dry where we live.  But right now Sugarbear is looking quite green!  We will never have grass/a lawn, however.

I can tell August has arrived.  The lows at night, which never were over 52F for July, are back to the low to mid 40s again.  The days are still warm - usually mid-70s, but it won't be long before it is cool.  Summer is on its way out.  We kept the duvet on the bed all summer, a light one.  I usually didn't need it, but Duane likes to sleep very warm.  I change the duvet covers for the season, think i have about 6 of them.  It is time to change from the yellow-flowered summer one to a one that is rather more like fall.  (Duane will be happy to see the flowers go.  He's not fond of flowered stuff.)  He will probably soon be asking for winter sheets again, too!

We still have about 6 weeks before the trees start to turn, too. 



lisa said...

Well, thank you, for the post. I keep forgeting how so much things can change from one spot to another. I remember going out to Arizona and going through all the states between Illinois and there and seeing the scenery change so drastically. I don't get to travel that often and when I do it is not that far away. I have to say though that every place sure does have its beauty!

Jo said...

That is a beautiful photograph.

It gets very hot and dry here in British Columbia in the summertime. The Interior of BC is desert too, complete with cactii and rattlesnakes. Today there is a haze over everything from all the wildfires burning -- there have been about 1800 of them so far, and it's only August. The summer is speeding past though, isn't it?

Mrs. Mac said...

Everything looks so green in the pics. You've been busy in the yard .. do you find gardening therapeutic? We're not over with summer here just yet. In a month from now I will so welcome autumn so I can slow down a bit.