Rain On The Hoodoos

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We were at our favorite observation point at Bryce national park observing the state of the rock formations in the Valley of the Non-essential Hoodoos when it suddenly began to rain. That in itself is not that unusual, however it was only raining on this one particular set of hoodoos. Not on any of the other hoodoos, (of which some say there are too many of, but we disagree thinking that one cannot have too many hoodoos), but just on these particular hoodoos. As if by design. As if it was being created by some unknown entity just to rain there and nowhere else. A weather modification as it were.

“Hmm,” we said to no one in particular “this has the look of some nefarious organization at work here. Could it be *The Institute?” But then we remembered that The Institute had gone bosoms up, as they say, hunted down and removed root and twig, never to be a formal Worldwide organization again. All of its minions, staff, even its Director cast to the four winds to seek employment elsewhere or to starve pathetically in a ditch somewhere. It’s tons of equipment melted down for the slag market. All of its records, data and spiral notebooks snapped up by its jealous vindictive competitors to be pored through for their secrets. Secrets The Institute had developed over years of blood sweat and tears, not to mention hard work and no small amount of intellectual theft.

We were interested yet dismayed to find that a certain huge, yet well-known imaging processing software company (who shall remain nameless, but whose initials are ADOBE) have blatantly appropriated the Weather Modification program pioneered by the Oceanography and Atmospheric weather modification team of the now defunct organization known as The Institute and incorporated it into its shoddy yet expensive software. You can find it under Adobe/ Photoshop/ Filters/ Make it Rain on the Hoodoos/ Light/ Moderate/ Heavy. To support the claim that The Institute first developed this program we have done some research and found several items that reference The Institutes use of its weather modification program to do good in the world and not do bad, which we have listed below for your perusual.


Bad Weather Day

All Dreams Must End

Storm of The Full Moon

Moon Painting

Cloud Cutting

Stored Away Storms


Behind The Ridge

Thor’s Revenge

Although those of us that remember The Institute are pretty darn mad at that heartless yet soulless large Company that apparently is getting filthy rich off the sweat of the people who made it all possible, we kind of secretly like the ease of how they made it work. The Institute’s program was unwieldy, requiring lots of nuclear power and boring deep into the bowels of the earth for the pilings that held up the equipment and to keep it from shaking causing the neighbors cows to abort. Not to mention the excessive production of enormous quantities of EMF’s around the power shed whenever they fired that stuff up. If by some stroke of fate The Institute ever returns we may just appropriate it for our own use again. Be warned Adobe whats good for the goose is good for the gander.

Anasazi Garden


When many people think of the desert the first image that comes to mind is the Great Sahara desert, or perhaps the Skeleton Coast of Namibia, or the Great Sand Dunes of the Southwestern United states, or even your back yard if you don’t water it. A place barren and inhospitable to life. A place where nothing grows and you dare not venture far from water lest you perish. Which is a pretty easy thing to do if you’re standing out there in the noon day sun with no hat, which we would hasten to add you shouldn’t do, even if you are English and that comes natural to you. We’ve noticed that whenever we’re trapped in the desert and near death we always have a vision of Joe Cocker in his bright red English soldiers jacket singing “With a Little Help From My Friends” marching on before us. This always saves us and we make it back to civilization in one piece, thirsty but alive, but then we’re experts and trained for this kind of thing. But that’s just us, your mileage may vary.

But if you are somewhere like Johns canyon, Utah and its early morning you’ll see something entirely different. A desert garden literally brimming with life. It may be different than what you’re used to thinking of how a garden should be, but then you’re in a different place than you would normally be. As you journey through the canyons you will see small gardens tucked away in every nook and cranny, one after the other until you realize that this is a veritable oasis in the middle of a desolate land.

We are always struck by how similar in feel these desert gardens are to Japanese gardens, which couldn’t be more opposite in nature. The Japanese garden being lush and green with carefully manicured plants, with small trickling streams feeding into water-lily filled ponds, compared to this dry desert garden with its carefully chosen plants, tucked in amongst the boulders, placed just so to take advantage of what ever moisture may be sent its way. The color palette of this garden with its earth tones and giant boulders selected for their color and texture and positioned to fill the space but not overwhelm it is the same in feel if not color, as you find in the perfect temple gardens of Kyoto.

Sometimes we think, that is the experts in our botanical department who are paid to think about these things, think, that there must have been an early visitation to this land by wandering Samurai gardeners who traveled the world spreading their knowledge of how to make a perfect garden where one couldn’t possibly be, teaching people like the Anasazi how to have beauty in their lives in an inhospitable place. A group of Ninja gardening warriors, as it were, dedicated to creating beauty in even the most unreceptive, belligerent landscapes. Or not. But it’s as good a reason as any for the gardens being there.

Our First-strike gardeners here at *The Institute’s World-wide Center for Horticultural Research and truck farm have been collecting gardens just like this one and transporting them root and twig, back to our Botanical center completely intact, where our own hybrid gardeners keep and protect them for posterity. We have gardens similar in size and scope to this one that we have found throughout the world and brought back here to the Institute for safe keeping and our own personal viewing pleasure. Sometimes we let the public view them but not very often. You actually have to have some kind of pull to get in. If you’re interested write us and include your bio and an 11,000 word essay on why we should even let you in the front door and we’ll get back to you if you qualify. Thank you in advance for your interest.

* Note: For those of you unfamiliar with The Institute and what it does, please see the page labeled The Institute on the Menu Bar above. That should explain everything. You shouldn’t have one single question remaining regarding The Institute after reading it. None. For those of you favored few who already know about the Institute, Nevermind. Return to your daily activities. Thank you for your support.