Sabot L'ours (sabotlours) wrote,
Sabot L'ours

Extreme Dog Walking - 2011 edition

Every year about this time, i.e. monsoon season, I usually make a post about something I call "extreme dog walking." My loyal readers know that every day I take the dog for a walk up on the mesa. Some of you have even had the privilege of joining me on my daily/nightly expeditions. The mesa is relatively flat and about the only things out there taller than you are a few pinion trees. It's not a real good spot to be in during a thunderstorm where there is plenty of cloud-to-ground lightning. Anubis had a great sixth-sense for thunderstorms. We would start the walk, but if there was the slightest hint of thunder and/or lightning, he would run back into the yard. Mesa, on the other paw, could care less about storms. There are bunnies and lizards to chase! It really makes me become and expert on trying to read the clouds. Is the storm building? Dying? Which way is it moving? Will a fluffy cloud become a storm cloud within the next 30 minutes? Etc etc.

Last night we had a nice batch of storms pass over the city. I decided to take a chance and go for walkies. The mesa provides a wonderful vista for the entire Rio Grande Valley. Off to the south there were ominous black clouds building. There were numerous lightning strikes, but using the 1000'/sec rule of thumb for the speed of sound, the strikes were 5-10 miles away. I kept my eye on the storms and decided to cut the walk short. It would just be my luck to be a mile away from home and have a cloud start throwing off a bunch of bolts. Mesa was disappointed in the abbreviated walkies, but I decided to err on the side of safety. I watched the storm at the marginally safer cliff just above the house. If lightning got close I could be home in a minute. The storm was actually very beautiful. I loved watching the north side of town disappear under a curtain of white as it was pounded by rain. I snapped a few pics with my phone, but I haven't downloaded them yet. It was a classic Western storm with columns of intense rain separated by miles of calm. As for me, I barely got any. It rained, but it seemed never to be hard enough to completely wet the sidewalks. Such are storms in NM.
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