Ranger Kathryn's Arches

June 20, 2011

Aridity

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 6:59 pm
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It's sprinkling up near Tapestry Arch

It rained here yesterday, about o.13 inch. When I had gone outside and felt the air sticking to me, I checked the humidity: 34%. About two to three times normal. Here’s a photo of me in a rain jacket just to prove we have precipitation in the desert.

Wallace Stegner, a most memorable Western writer, describes the effects of our lack of moisture:

“Aridity, more than anything else, gives the Western landscape its character. It is aridity that gives the air its special dry clarity; aridity that puts brilliance in the light and polishes and enlarges the stars; aridity that leads the grasses to evolve as bunches rather than as turf; aridity that exposes the pigmentation of the raw earth and limits, almost eliminates, the color of chlorophyl; aridity that erodes the earth in cliffs and badlands rather than in softened and vegetated slopes.”

Everything around me is formed by water, or preserved by its lack. I apologize to my Minnesota friends who are right now getting many days of drenching… but I love our 300 days of sunshine a year.

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