Although I was born in London, my family lived for many years in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Santa Fe is 7,199 feet (2134 m) above sea level (Trivia: It’s the highest state capital in the USA) and experiences what is called a semi-arid climate with chilly winters and very warm summers. Due to the relative aridity and elevation, daily temperatures vary is between 25 °F (14 °C) and 30 °F (17 °C) throughout the year. In summer, the days are exceedingly hot, but you will need a cardigan or light jacket in the evening when the temperature drops. Lying at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, Santa Fe has snow and excellent skiing in winter and although it is cold, it’s easy to get sunburned while outdoors when the sky is clear. The ‘rainy season’ is in July and August with the arrival of the North American Monsoon. It will simply pour, often accompanied by thunder and lightning, for about an hour every afternoon, regular as clock-work. The dry ground is unable to absorb this amount of rain all at once, causing temporary flooding on the roads and a torrent of water in the arroyos (dry stream beds).
I remember flying from New Mexico to England to visit my grandparents in Wimbledon and looking down once the plane had cleared the clouds to see the green quilt-work of the English countryside. From up above, you can really see what a difference rain makes to the terrain. And the quality of the air is so different in the UK; you can feel the moisture in the atmosphere. It smells fresh and clean and alive! When my parents visited me they always commented on this. They loved everything about Santa Fe, including the desert landscape, but every now and then longed for a grassy garden. “I really miss all this green" my mother always said when she arrived. And most of us will agree that nothing can beat walking barefoot through the grass and the smell of a wet or just-mown lawn!
April (and May!) showers really do bring the flowers (as well as lots of lovely lush grass!)