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One of the things that I love about living in the Southwest, is the monsoon season that arrives every summer.

Sporadic, often violent storms come and dump a lot of rain in a short amount of time.

To deal with the large amount of water, you will see catchment basins in neighborhoods and also around businesses.  These catchment basins help to keep areas from flooding.

In our neighborhood, we have a few catchment basins and when they fill up, it is time for fun…

My husband, our two youngest kids and our dogs came out to play in the water.

The dogs jumped right in….so did the kids.

Our two little dogs, Tobey and Max had to swim because the water was so deep.

I was surprised that they liked it as much as they did.  

Gracie and Kai decided to race across the water.

Gracie won, but then I think that Kai fell on purpose because he wanted to get wet all the way.  It’s funny how that seems to happen to Kai a lot.

Tobey took a break from the fun and watched Kai challenge Max to a race…

Max won….because Kai fell in the water again 😉

We had fun playing in the water, but soon it was time for the fun to end.

Kai needed a little help getting home….

I love it when it rains.  Actually, most desert-dwellers welcome the rain.  Believe it or not…the rain is a welcome change to bright, sunny days.  

The park near my home is starting to fill up with water – this is supposed to happen.  Two previous storms this week have started the process, but we are expecting a very large storm to hit today which could bring 3 – 4 inches more (which is a lot for us).

I notice the park filling up when I took my children to school this morning, so I ran back home and got my camera and returned to take pictures.

Look around an urban desert landscape and you are likely to find examples of the above, which is known as a detention basin or dry pond.  The purpose is to hold large amounts of water from rainfall and keep it from flooding the streets.  

During the summer months, we often receive periodic torrential rains over a short period of time.  These dry ponds rapidly fill with water, which helps to prevent flooded streets.  The water in the pond is then slowly released via a small outflow opening.  Water usually stands in these basins for 24 – 48 after rainfall ends.

Most parks in our area are dual purpose; they serve as a park, but also as a detention basin.  The edges are raised up, forming a bowl shape, which allows them to hold water.

I snapped this photo this morning of a group of Mallard ducks taking advantage of our now wet ‘dry pond’.

Do you want to know what my favorite part is about the rain?

It is how the desert looks afterwards….