It was not too bad previously, but it seems to be getting worse each day now. This parched, ever so dry dusty desert is in desperate need of moisture.

Our drought continues on and on. I’m reminded of it each time I drive the dirt roads up and down our nearby hills. 

Plumes and clouds of ultra fine dust follow me. When I slow down they tend to catch up, surround and try to smother me. 

When I pass another vehicle those pesky dust clouds descend on me, invade my eyes and nose and make me sneeze. 

I wash my car one day and it has a coat of dust both outside and inside the next day. 

Dust in the wind. Dust swirling in the afternoon air

It’s caked on my skin, it’s here, there and everywhere

Sprinkling my clothes, tickling my nose

Getting into my shoes and tingling my toes

Survival is tough for wildlife and critters of the desert in times like these. I see patches of dry bleached animal bones here and there scattered among the desert brush. What little streams and ponds there were have dried up long ago.

Cool clear water is now a most precious sought after commodity in this land of rock, dust and sagebrush. 

I suppose there’s still some moisture beneath the ground of our dry river beds. Cottonwood trees continue to line their banks sprouting bright green leaves. Just now however, they are changing color as we enter fall. 

Trees, animal and human bodies are composed primarily of water. And they need to continually replenish and circulate this much needed life giving liquid. 

So life forms in the desert, especially humans, could almost be compared to fish out of water.

I have not always lived in the desert. I was born and raised in a lush green land of fog, mist and precipitation. The Emerald Isle gets its name from it’s abundance of regular rain.

I also lived many years on the South Pacific islands. We were surrounded by hundreds of thousands of cubic miles of water. And the trade winds brought us regular daily showers.

But, oddly enough, this dry desert climate suits me. I don’t get colds regularly as I used to elsewhere. I don’t constantly sweat the way I did in more moist atmospheres such as the tropics. 

If it was not so terribly hot here in the months of July and August and if we were blessed with a little more rain from time to time, then I would be a happy camper.

That’s not to say I’m not happy with the way things are now. But my degree of satisfaction and happiness would surely increase with the addition of the above.

But then again I guess we should be careful what we wish for. It could be that in a future article of mine you might see me express great concern about fierce downpours and widespread flooding!

It’s not only dust in the air that’s bothering us these days, we also have a grey smoky haze drifting in here somewhat regularly now. It dulls our brightness and obscures our normal baby blue sky. It is smoke from the dreadful forest fires raging through California and Oregon. 

You know, dear reader, how some people like meteorologists, farmers and sailors tend to go on and on about the weather. Well I guess I’m doing that a bit here myself. 

It’s a safe, comfortable, familiar subject. You’re not likely to get in a heated argument or fist fight discussing it as you might by bringing up religion or politics. 

So, you see, I wanted to avoid any mention of the election in this issue. I didn’t want to bring up all the current conflict and division. I would prefer to remain friends with readers who may differ with me and my views. 

There’s no need for boxing gloves or to elevate our blood pressures.

Force, violence and resentments are such non-productive wastes of energy and emotion. 

Anyhow, I’m looking out for better weather and also, hopefully, some peace and happiness.

Dan can be reached at danhughoconnor@gmail.com