English: Canyon wall, Oak Creek Canyon, Arizon...

English: Canyon wall, Oak Creek Canyon, Arizona Uploaded on April 20, 2005 by kevinzim http://www.flickr.com/photos/86624586@N00/10194359/in/set-296110 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I first heard the word ‘noseeme” I had no idea what it meant. A gardener was talking about pests. What they are to midwesterners are chiggers.

Those nasty little biters, along with what look like fleas and nastier fire ants all resurrected after a recent monsoon downpour here. And I, not armed with insect repellant, got the worst of the biters. The fire ants were on the hose I was trying to move. My hand felt like I had just touched a hot stove. The noseeme’s–or the bites they made– are now covered in nail polish. Until I put on the clear polish variety, the tiny welts itched like crazy. Last year I had no problem with any of these pests. And the insect control guys take care of the bigger threats, like scorpions. I discovered a centipede that was about six inches long and another inch and a half wide walking across my screened-in porch. Took me a few days before I would venture out there.

For all the bug complaints, we here are happy to get the rain. Yesterday evening we had a terrific hail storm (the size of marbles) that made a lot of racket. Pity the poor drivers out in it, because I’m sure they now have a few dents that were entirely unexpected.

Chris is visiting, and we ventured to Sedona yesterday. Not too bright of an idea since uptown was entirely clogged with tourists, and our trip back to uptown from Oak Creek Canyon was a bumper-to-bumper affair that would rival Chicago’s rush hour. There was a small rockslide that could have accounted for the backup. Anyway, since I am now officially a local and more familiar with some out-of-the-way scenic spots, Chris and I found a spot to take loads of pictures of the red rocks against gray, then clearing skies. I will post mine soon, so stay tuned.