Pedestrian traffic is still disrupted at Scottdale Chaparral Dog Park [See my previous post; This Didn’t Start Out to be a Rant but….. ] but it is our favorite of the area Dog Parks so Saturday morning means hopping in the car for the trip.
It is the second consecutive day of outstanding autumn weather in Harper’s Valley! As a transplanted Michigander, I wax nostalgic for the change of seasons from summer to autumn. A briskness in the morning air, the increasing color in the trees, even the return of the students to Ann Arbor and the arrival of football season; these things say “Fall” to me. We have none of those here.
Autumn in Phoenix is marked by a break in the relentless heat of summer. Rising with the dawn to find it is a balmy 78* and not a forbidding 98* is a joy. In both cases temps will rise another 20* as the day progresses but the anticipation of days staying in double-digits is an amazingly cheerful prospect.
Autumn in Phoenix also marks the end of the monsoon season with its overcast skies and fluctuating humidity. People in other regions ‘pooh-pooh’ discussion of Arizona humidity because the levels are comparatively low. These are the same people who invariably offer “But it’s a dry heat.” when they hear our temps. At the risk of sounding the whiner, if the 6% humidity is what makes the 110* heat tolerable then the humidity fluctuating between 30% and 60% is cause for mild grumbling…. but I digress.
The behavior of the dogs changes with the season as well. In summer, even at 6:30 AM, the dogs take frequent breaks. They will engage each other for brief periods of play but by 7:30 or 8:00 everyone is lounging in the shady spots….where the ‘parents’ have been all along. With cooler weather, the dogs play like they are on a mission. Parents are advised to keep clear because dogs chasing each other on a ‘dead run’ are no respecters of personal space. If you don’t want to get plowed over by the passing pack best stand aside near a tree.
Eventually, however, the time comes when she lets me know she’s ready to go home.