Throughout the American Southwest and into Mexico, the thunderstorms of the monsoon season sweep from above the sierras onto the deserts and brushlands, and within a few turbulent days the land receives much of its annual allotment of moisture. The pools and mud holes that form after these intense rains are called charcos, which in Spanish means “puddles.” The word is occasionally used when referring to the trenches dug under fences by deer, javelina, or feral hogs as they cross from one pasture to another, perhaps because the furrows fill with water after a rain.

Arturo Longoria