And that’s what happens when you get lots of rain in the desert.
When we arrived here in May, it was obvious that we were in high desert country. Other than the pinon pines and scrub brush, there was very little green.
Then, with the beginning of July, the monsoon season began. We had never experienced a desert monsoon season, and from what the locals tell us, the one we got this year was quite out of the ordinary.
Then, by late morning, the clouds were beginning to build, and almost always, the afternoon brought showers.
The transition shown in the next three photos occurred in less than 30 minutes. The rain soon followed.
This continued through July, August and September. Often our reward was a beautiful rainbow. In the case of this one, a double rainbow.
The lake has been losing volume due to the drought for the last several years. In September, the storms that brought such devastation to Colorado communities, hit here with less vengeance, but still flooded many of the surrounding communities. The lake lies between the Continental Divide and the Zuni Mountains, and the water began to flow in from both directions.
At least 3 times during the summer, park employees had moved the boat dock in order to keep it in the water. The morning after the strongest storm, they found it 10 feet out into the water. Overnight, the water had risen that much, and continued to rise for several days, adding as much as 5-10 feet of depth to the lake. A worker waded in water over his waist to hook a chain to the dock so it could be pulled to shore.
The process had to be repeated the next day, as the water had consumed even more of the shore.
The visual benefit to all the water was an immense greening of the park and a profusion of wildflowers. This photo is the September view of area shown earlier.
Across the lake then………………………………………… Now
There have been numerous varieties of wildflowers, in every shape, size and color. Here are a few of the photos.
Some are bright and eye catching
while others are demure.
Some are tall and proud, while others are tiny and hidden among the rocks.
My very favorite have been the wild four o’clocks. Living up to their name, they bloom around 4 pm and close up about 9 am, but they are so abundant, bright and vibrant. I loved it when one came up under the tree in our front yard, and lavished me with blooms throughout its season.
But all the wildflowers have their own beauty, and will shine but for a short time. We have feel very fortunate to have been able to witness the desert bloom.