23 Jun Rain Finally Falls
Monsoon season has started.
We were greeted by our first rain on June 18th. I was out of town, planning to hike in the mountains of Pine, AZ. Thunderstorms get nasty out here, and when I stepped out of my car in Pine, I could hear rumbling from the earth. I knew I would be caught in a storm if I wanted to hike, so I had to change plans. I looked around and saw some big brown horse-looking things eating out of a trailer. I was so confused about what they were, wondering who in the world let their horses out like this without looking over them. They started to move around, and one looked up, and it confused me even more because now I thought it was a cow. Out of all of these 4 legged critters, one that’s way bigger than the others begins to move, and I realized these things were ELKS. It was a bull with all his cows (yes, female elks are called cows, so I was somewhat right), and man, these things were huge. I stayed out a bit longer to continue watching them as the thunderstorm rolled in and got a couple of looks from them as they ate.
This was really my first-weekend outing by myself, and I decided to go to a lavender farm on the outskirts of Pine. The smell was lovely, and their products ranged from lavender cooking seasoning to sore muscle salve. Pine is a small town filled with little restaurants and hidden gems. I know ill be heading back to this place many times throughout my time here.
Other than having an exciting weekend, my weekdays have been filled with staffing the Lower Cliff Dwelling and reading/ taking notes on many books that I have related to my project. Learning every day and researching for my project has been so fun, and I enjoy being able to work with such a great team. Since the summer is our slow season, we currently have many small ongoing projects that keep us busy.
Since it gets so hot, we have seen some trees produce sap! Mesquite sap is edible and was used to treat stomach aches by the ancestral people of Tonto Basin. The tree produces pods that ripen twice a year in July and October.
The Palo Verde also produces seeds after it blooms in the spring! It is Arizona’s state tree and above this text is a photo of the sap that the tree produces.