Summer flood irrigation taught us two things. First, mosquitoes can occur in the desert providing there is enough standing water, which, of course, was the case when the monsoons arrived in Anthony and were coupled with flood irrigation. Thus, come August, pleasant evenings on our patio and portal were no more as clouds of insects sought blood.
Second, swamp coolers provide relief only below a certain percentage of relative humidity. One day in August, I entered the house once again anticipating relief from the heat. I heard the comforting hum of the swamp cooler’s blower, felt the draft from the registers, yet found that the beads of sweat on my brow and under my nose were failing to disappear. Meanwhile, my clothing seemed to stubbornly cling to my skin. Linda began experiencing similar phenomena. Our swamp cooler in Albuquerque never failed to keep us comfortable, even during central New Mexico’s monsoon season. Something was causing this new discomfort. Rightly or wrongly, we figured it was the additional humidity of the flood irrigation, so we replaced the swamp cooling with air-conditioning, absorbed the additional cost in electricity, and felt immediately better.