English: az monsoon clouds

Rain in the desert is a different thing.

Our monsoon season starts in July. Not like an East Indian monsoon, where the rain rains¬†buckets at a time, but a gradual build up of high thunderclouds that eventually rain when they feel like it. A lot of stern¬†and drang, thunder and lightning, teasing sprinkles which sometimes transform into a gully-washer that fills the channels by the street, and sometimes just passes over with a sniff, saying, “Not today.”

The storm this morning was different, though. A gentle soaking rain, sometimes heavy, accompanied by ground fog so thick I cannot see my beloved red rocks. I have all the doors open and I am feeling the rain. Letting my pores soak in the humidity, hearing it stream from all the gutters into self-made lakes spreading across the ground because the earth is so full it won’t accept any more.

A hovering Rufous Hummingbird on Saltspring Island

Each hummingbird feeder I have (one on each side of the house) has one resident hummer who just sits there, hunkered down, waiting for the rain to stop. This time of year they are mostly rufous, those beautiful copper-colored feisty birds that aggressively chase everyone off. In another two weeks they’ll be gone and our resident Anna’s will take over again for the fall and winter.

My mood is of quiet acceptance. Nothing I need to do, nowhere I need to go. Just being present to what the moment is.

A wealth of radishes

Saturday Morning Food CoopEvery other Saturday I make the trek to a close by town to harvest baskets of vegetables and fruit at my food coop. I put in my order on Monday, but it’s never guaranteed what will be there.

We follow the seasons: winter saw a lot of broccoli and winter squash; now I am seeing fresh sweet corn. The size varies: One time I got a ten pound butternut squash; this week the mangos are small and the zucchini enormous–just like you’d find in a regular garden.

You bring your own container, and pick up a basket of vegetables and a basket of fruit:

Food Coop Baskets

This week there was watermelon, Asian pears, bananas and mangoes; fresh sweet corn, asparagus, purple potatoes, endive, orange peppers, onions, garlic, mushrooms:

basket close up

When I bring them home, Foxy has to sample. Who says cats aren’t vegetarian!

Cat eating vegetables

My challenge is to cook them all. Salad, of course. Vegetable broth for the leftovers. They sent along herbs as well this week: fresh basil, oregano, rosemary. My refrigerator is so fragrant.

food on table

Now the research and fun starts. Artichoke and endive? Egg plant? I’ve got some busy times ahead of me this weekend.