Monsoons Are Here!

The monsoon rains are here! Well, at least they are in the area. Our rains are usually very localized, so that one community may get a nice shower and others nearby may get nothing. We have received about 3/8″ of rain from one storm so far this year. The humidity is up everywhere which makes working very uncomfortable and we feel pretty drained at the end of the day.

It is now time to trim all the fan palms. We like to wait to start the Mexican Fan Palms after June 15 and the California Fan Palms after July 15 to ensure all the seed stalks are out and can be removed for the year. I’ve done a couple California’s and it looks like the stalks are formed! The van is back from the shop so we are going full speed on palms right now.

All of the palms are to be trimmed so that NO live, healthy fronds are removed above horizontal – NO CARROT-TOPPING! This is according to ANSI standards and common sense. Our experiments have proven that taking off more fronds does not make the pruning last longer. In fact, having older fronds on the trees helps minimize cold damage so that taking off less fronds can actually result in less dead fronds after a year of growth!

The monsoons bring clouds, which makes for more interesting looking skies. Here are a couple shots in our neighborhood!

Monsoon Storms in the Works!

Monsoon Storm Sundown!

I have been watching the Maricopa County Flood Control automatic rain gages to see where rain has been falling in an effort to try to get out collecting beetles right after a good rain (>3/4″). There are many rare species that are only active as adults for a single day and their emergence is triggered by rain. The day and night after such a rain can be awesome collecting, if you can get out! I have not been able to hit such a mass emergence – yet…

The rain gages showed almost an inch of rain out by Gladden, so the next day being Saturday I headed out. I saw some evidence of a big storm, but really no mass emergence although I walked a large area for several hours. I will have to keep watching the gages and still hope to hit it just right sometime, somewhere, this year.

One of the broken power poles along a stretch of highway near Gladden, AZ!

Imagine what kind of winds it would have taken to break off a mile of power poles like this!

Tags: ,