Normally when you look out our back door this is what you see:
Blue skies, trees standing upright, sunshine.
But during the monsoon season here in Phoenix, every so often and usually very suddenly, the world outside turns into something that looks like it belongs in a sci-fi show about life on Mars:
It's really strange. The whole of the house fills with an orangey light. Where there was blue sky, it's suddenly an orange sky. The trees whirl and whip in the wind. And there's a strange heavy atmosphere - the type of atmosphere that tells you thunder and lightning is coming (and it does, a big thunderstorm usually accompanies the sand storm).
Unfortunately it means that for the day or so afterwards I'll find even more sand in the house than I usually do, and we'll have to do some diving to the bottom of the pool to clear the leaves, branches and tree bark - I know, your heart bleeds for me doesn't it ;)
And there's also the weirdest smell, which I still haven't gotten used to yet - wet sand, which also smells a bit like damp dog.
But at least the sand storms, the thunder and lightning, and the rain signal that each day we're getting closer and closer to bearable temperatures - we've moved this week to temperatures between 89-97°F (32-36°C) and that sounds fantastic to me after the 2nd hottest September on record.
(All photos today were taken by Goth Child, she wanted that mentioned).