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Rincon Mountain foothills

Tanque Verde, AZ, USA
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Cactus fruit and the promise of rain Tanque Verde Arizona United States

Cactus fruit and the promise of rain

Late June in southern Arizona: the 'snowbirds' have fled, but for the hardy souls who endure the heat, the promise of rain eventually appears...Saguaro blooms morph into crimson fruit, harvested by the native Tohono O'odham people who turn it into the wine used in their "singing down the rain" ceremonies...

According to legend, the first Spanish explorer of the desert southwest, Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, prayed for rain on the banks of the Santa Cruz river near Tucson on June 24th, 1540. On that day, the feast-day of John the Baptist, the monsoon began.

Meteorologically speaking, the rains usually begin in early July, but "The El Día de San Juan Fiesta" continues to be observed in June. Sometimes, the skies cooperate...

For more info on Tucson's Fiesta:

For more info on the Tohono O'odham tradition: