It is amazing how the desert explodes after the first big rain. The smell of the moisture hitting the dust is wonderful, sweet and almost overwhelming. Grass grows out of the dust, cottonwood seeds from the spring suddenly produce 3 feet tall seedlings within a few days.

With the first Summer rain the Siberian Elm seedlings also arrive. It seems that in a dry year the Siberian Elm produces even more seeds than usual. I have already pulled out hundreds of little elms this week alone. Some people hire companies who use huge vaccum cleaners to vacuum up the elm seeds in the yards….

The first Siberian Elms were planted in Santa Fe during the depression to control soil erosion that was happening because people were cutting down piÃ’on trees for firewood. Now it is illegal to plant Siberian Elm trees, but there are thousands in Santa Fe already.

I have lived in Santa Fe for over 16 years and it still amazes me that it can hail at the end of July. Today an afternoon thunderstorm started with heavy rain, then turned to pea-sized hail and then went back to hail wiith sunshine. The landscape looked looked hyper-real with the sunshine lighting up the land under the clouds….