Monday, August 13, 2012

The effects of the rainy season. (梅雨の効果。)

So, most of Japan is notorious for this funny little weather phenomenon called 梅雨 (tsuyu, the rainy season; check it out.) Basically, from some undetermined point in June to some undetermined point in July (okay, sure, there are averages, but we all know how reliable those are), the rain falls like a college student onto a free buffet which includes churros.

... indefatigably, I mean. Ahem.

Now, to a desert dweller such as myself, this is more than a little strange.

In fact, it's downright "freaky," to employ the vernacular.

(The humidity isn't too great either, let me tell you, but considering the fact that that's still an issue at present... it isn't really 梅雨-specific.)

Having only experienced these early summer months in Hokkaido before, I was, prior to this year, blissfully inexperienced in terms of this so-called rainy season.

So too, it seems, was my dear little desert amigo, Sabotendaa. (He has a name now. The resemblance to his namesake is uncanny.)

You see, I leave him out on my balcony so he gets plenty of sunshine. My room only really gets indirect sunlight, and I want to be sure that he gets as close to his native habitat as we can possibly manage in this temperate-cum-subtropical suburban paradise of Sakyo-ku. As we've discussed before, I've taken a certain degree of pride in his unprecedented growth since he has returned to my care. Far be it from me to rob him of his birthright. 

But... well...

Let's just say I may have been a little bit neglectful when it comes to remembering where my dear cactus was when it was coming down in buckets.


Apparently, your average cactus is very much the optimist, and will attempt to make as many damn pitchers of lemonade as possible when presented with a veritable crap-ton of weather-varietal lemons.

Instead of giving in to the temptation to simply up and drown in this excess of precipitation (I have... experience with other cacti succumbing to such a fate... though through no fault of my own, I assure you!), my adorable little prickle-puss instead chose to put on a little weight in order to take full advantage of this bounty of hydration.

After all, that is, of course, what most desert creatures do, given the opportunity. Desert storms, while few and far between, tend to be hard-hitting, and therefore everything has to take in as much water as it can, as fast as it can, despite any resulting consequences, if it wants to survive until the next downpour.

In other words, my tiny little cactus has the survival instincts of a full grown saguaro.

I'm.... so proud. (sniff)

And look!

All better!
A month or two later, and he's thinned right out again. It may be my imagination, but I also think he's a little taller to boot. Talk about adaptation! This is one tenacious little sucker, let me tell you.

(...although you may be able to see that the fake dirt hasn't fared so well. Apparently it just can't handle precipitation of that magnitude.)

This is Edo, signing off pondering how her Japan blog has been overrun by such a cornucopia of desert-related tomfoolery.

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