The Sonoran Desert: Here There Be Thorns

I really must be in love, because on my fiancé’s behest, I was about to fly to Tucson, Arizona. In August. If I wanted to experience 100 degree temperatures, I’d have stayed in Florida. And yet, here I was, on a plane, heading into what felt like the world’s biggest pizza oven.

Ah, but it’s a dry heat. The better to desiccate you with, my dear. It felt as if the inside of my nose was going to crack open and crumble to dust.

And yet, upon arrival, a funny thing happened. I fell in love with the place’s unique beauty. I strongly suspect that Arizonans are treated to more thorns per capita than residents of any other state in the union. Saguaro cactus. Organ pipe cactus. Barrel cactus. It has more plant species than any other desert in the world. Cholla. Prickly Pear. Creosote bush. Bur sage. Palo verde. Mesquite. Ironwood. Acacia. I was enchanted.

And running around amongst that flora was an amazing amount of fauna. An astounding variety of lizards, too quick to be photographed. Turtles. Bats. Rabbits. Coyote. Gila monsters. Hummingbirds. Quail. Roadrunners. Snakes. And lest we forget, the troublesome Javelina.

It seems like life should be impossible in the blistering heat of this desert, and yet there it was, all around me. The terrain was amazing, too, with its mountains and plains and dry washes. And, being monsoon season, when it rained, my goodness, it rained, causing floods where one would think water had never been before. And then the temperature would drop 25 blessed, blessed degrees and the desert would bloom and be as lush as it could ever be.

Would I live in the Sonoran Desert? No. I’d miss moisture and grass and nothing scary to step on when barefoot.

Will I visit again? I hope so! There’s a certain poetry to the place. But I hope I won’t be back in August. Please, God, not in August.

Here are some pictures we took of this beautiful land.

I wrote an actual book, and you can own it! How cool is that? http://amzn.to/2mlPVh5

Topographical Introversion

I’m about as introverted as a person can be without curling into a little ball and crawling back inside my mother’s womb. I love to read. Most of the time I’m quite content to be by myself. And while I long for two or three friends in this new city of mine, if I had much more than that I’d probably feel stress.

I’ve also always been drawn to mountains. I feel a great deal of comfort when in a mountainous area. I think it’s because there are lots of nooks and crannies, coves and hollows, valleys and bends. Nature’s womb. It’s as if I’m being embraced by the land. You never hear things on the prairie being described as “cozy”. I love cozy. I feel somehow safer in the mountains. Mountains are the topographical version of introversion.

That makes me wonder if extreme extroverts prefer wide open spaces. But in a way that would be counterintuitive, because those places are typically lonely and isolated. Maybe they’d favor a big city that’s surrounded by wide open spaces. Dallas. Yeah. That might work.

Hey, it’s a theory.

Dallas

[Image credit: walls360.com]