Tuesday, April 14, 2009

dust devils

Here is a picture of my parents taken on South Mountain in Phoenix, Arizona. As you can see, Phoenix is definitely a desert environment. This picture was taken in the summer and was the first time that my parents had been to Arizona. The heat in the summer is terrible. My dad said that when he got off the plane at the Phoenix airport that the heat hit him like a wall. He was coming from Miami which is hot in the summer but nothing even close to Arizona. I have to explain that in those days (late 60’s) when you got off a plane in Phoenix, they would push these metal stairs on wheels up to the side of the plane and you would walk down the metal stairs to the tarmac and across the hot asphalt tarmac to a the airport terminal. Since it was summer and hot, that is the time for the updrafts of air called “dust devils”. They look just like small tornadoes. I use to love going out into the desert and chasing them with my jeep. I would try to drive into them with my jeep. They weren’t strong enough to pick up the jeep but they would give it quite a shaking from side to side. One day while my parents were visiting and I was driving down a street with my dad in my jeep a dust devil happened to strike the jeep and shake it. My dad excitedly said that we had been hit by a tornado. I explained dust devils to him. I waited for the mid-afternoon when it is the hottest and there are plenty of dust devils in the arid desert region around Phoenix and took my dad in the jeep to see them. And there were plenty of them. Several at a time. I offered to drive the jeep into some of them but he looked nervous and declined. I think that he still thought of them as tornado’s which is exactly what they looked like. Both my mom and dad had a good time but I think that they were glad to leave for Miami and get out of the intense heat of Arizona. I know the expression that “it is a dry heat” but when the temperature approaches 120 degrees, it doesn’t matter whether it is dry or not, it is just plain hot. Everyone have a cool day and enjoy.

1 comment:

seaside said...

I find it so unique if you combine both your dad's hair and hairline with your mom's face. I can picture you there. Did you get the storm this morning? It rained here briefly and now it is just grey and windy.