11 July 2008

You Know It's Summer When...

Last month I wrote a little post about the start of the monsoon season in Phoenix.

Well, last night it arrived -- not so much dust as usual, but LOTS of rain. Officially, 2.17 inches -- which is a huge amount compared to our normal rainfall -- but unofficially, rain gauges in our neighborhood registered more than 3.5 inches. An even greater amount than usual. There was no major damage and things are fine, thank you.

However, there is yet another sign that summer has started: the emergence of the queen termites.

I love entomology, but I don't know a lot about these termites. In most of the Phoenix metropolitan area we have these tiny termites in the soil. They are not the same as the really bad termites that damage houses, but they will work their way through a fair amount of wood given a chance. The houses in our historic district are built on concrete rims (not solid foundations, I don't know what that's called) and our house is several inches above the ground to thwart the little buggers. But, the soil is full of them.

Right after our first big rain of the season last night, the winged termites emerged. I think they are queens. They are bigger then the little termites.

Today, after work, we went to take our trash to the alley and we saw some just start to emerge from the soil. I made Matt run back into the house to get his camera (that I gave him for xmas, thank you) and take a pic and some video of them emerging. You can see the video below. In the pic (click to enlarge), you can see two beige long things with wings (pointed at by the left and right arrows). Those are they. You can also see the regular little pink termite (the middle arrow).

Isn't nature neat?

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