Today I was wandering around my back yard, searching my trees for a cicada exoskeleton for today's post. I've heard their familiar buzzing for a couple weeks now, a sure sign that monsoon season is here. The North America monsoon occurs from Mexico north to the southwestern U.S. In Arizona, we receive a lot of high winds, dust storms and heavy violent thunderstorms beginning as early as late June (like this year) and continuing into September. In fact, we get the majority of our annual rain during this time. Most desert plants are adapted to take advantage of the rain when it does arrive, and make do with little for the rest of the year. Rather than having to use a cicada to demonstrate the return of the monsoon, the monsoon showed up itself around 4:00 this afternoon. The rain started off as if poured from a bucket and came down hard for about 40 minutes. When it stopped, almost as suddenly as it had began, the street in front of my home had become a river and a nearby freeway corridor had turned into a lake - stranding all these drivers who had to wait for the water to recede.