Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Desert Rush

Words by Greg
Photos by Greg and Trina

The spring season, like ocean waves, has been rushing in and sweeping out. The snow has vanished, returned, and vanished again. Flowers and fruit trees have blossomed, then frozen. Snow has become rain then sunshine and hot, dry wind. Then back to rain and more snow in the high country.

One hot summer day amid all this spring weather, several days after the most recent snow, Trina, the dogs and I headed off into a corner of the desert. The target: a canyon where cool water cuts through a gash in the dry landscape. We find something satisfying about the rush of chilly wetness in the midst of bare rock and scrubby plateaus. We entertain ourselves by sitting quietly near the burble and flow, letting the water and the world move past us. Or by tromping up or down the water course, finding ways around cliffy corners and past waterfalls.

One might think that the creek's green lushness would be where spring flowers were blooming, but most of the blossoms we saw were from desert adapted plants in the surrounding dry country. We waded and explored and just sat absorbing. Blazing sunshine on winter skin. Cool shade under fresh cottonwood leaves. Icy water splashing into chilly mist. Warm smell of red rock. Small creatures wandering their wide worlds. Bright warbles of birds that stayed hidden from us.

The hot day slid behind a veil of clouds as the evening drove toward darkness and as we drove homeward. By morning the hot summer day was a memory. Cold rain and near-freezing winds blew into the valley as the wave of the season rushed outward again.

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