Arizona desert monsoon bliss! (But mosquitoes.)

This year we’ve been blessed with a spectacular magical monsoon in our spectacular magical desert! This monsoon’s brought us the thunderstorms and rainfall we’ve missed in recent summers past, and it’s been fantastic. We had that intense heat wave in June, right around the time other states had theirs (I’m thinking of 119 in Portland, where many people don’t have A/C), but the temps dropped to classic monsoon lows almost as soon as July got underway. We’ve had cool temperatures ranging from the mid-90’s to mid-100s, we’ve enjoyed frequent storm activity (thunder! lightning! strong winds! RAIN!), and yesterday, my friends, I discovered mushrooms growing near the date palm in my front yard.

Mushrooms near the roots of the front yard date palm

Unfortunately, the monsoon’s also brought out mosquitoes with its humidity. And the mosquitoes have kept me from being with my son, who’s been out quite a lot in the early mornings and late afternoons and onward into the night. Yes, my tortoise child has been sleeping under the stars near his beloved hibiscus plants.

23andMe reports that I’m genetically likely to get more mosquito bites than others, which explains my entire life. It has nothing to do with perfumes or other fragrances I might be wearing. It’s not about fragrances. It’s about molecules.

Female mosquitoes have a complex olfactory system that lets them sniff out their food. As it turns out, mosquitoes have preferences! Mosquitoes are attracted to certain molecules in body odor and breath and depending on the proportions of these molecules, some people may appear more delicious than others. But keep in mind that anyone can get bitten by mosquitoes, which can carry disease. So to deter those itchy intruders, the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization recommend using mosquito repellent, wearing protective clothing, and staying indoors during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.

“…staying indoors during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.” – Of course. That’s when Geronimo is also the most active.

I’ve learned the hard way to spend just a few minutes with him at a time, dressed in full mosquito battle gear. I was trying to stay away from chemical mosquito repellants, but after doing some research, I’ve accepted that essential oils aren’t going to be adequate if I want to spend quality time with my scale-kid. It’s one of those things I have to say to hell with and just get the scientifically created repellent. It’s okay. This evening I stood at the window and watched Geronimo playing and grazing and patrolling the back fence, and then I went to my computer and ordered some repellent for curbside pickup. I’ll retrieve it tomorrow after work, so when I get home, I’ll be ready!

I didn’t mean to shift the focus of this post to the mosquitoes, though. It sounds like I’m complaining when really I just wanted to rave about the wondrous, exhilarating monsoon this year.

May this find you all doing well and staying safe!

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