Sunday, October 17, 2010

Desert Skies

As the sun set today in the desert sky there was a hint of rain in the fresh air. The clouds were hues of pink and orange. The dusty wet smell reminded me of the home where I grew up in Arizona. When I was a girl we lived in Scottsdale, Arizona; then a rural town full of corn fields and turkey farms. Now it is a booming sophisticated city with acres of golf courses and mileage of designer shops.

My father would take me out to the edge of the city to see the sun set behind the thorny and soft Sonoran Desert. Some may think it an irony that I associate a desert to being soft. The Sonoran Desert, however, is lush with vegetation. Nowhere else in the world can you find the beautiful saguaro cactus. The area is also rich with other wonderful plants like the prickly pear cactus, agave plant, and the willowy mesquite trees. All these varieties of vegetation produce wonderful fruits, juices, & beans. The indigenous people to the area used these plants for their survival.

Now I live in the Mohave Desert. It reminds me more of the moon with it's grey stark landscape. No matter how hard the developers try, there is always the rock hard moonscape to deal with. I must admit also, that I am not as familiar with the plants of the Mohave. I do know, however, what I like, and the one saving grace of the Mohave Desert in my opinion is the Joshua Tree. I had never heard of one until the band, U2 came out with an album, "Joshua Tree". Now I look forward to driving through them on my way to California. There is an entire forest that is an environmental landmark.

So, no matter if it is Sonoran or Mohave, I will always love the sunsets of the desert. I guess I am a "desert rat" at heart!

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