My Desert

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

short story of the desert i live in

We got snow on our mountains a couple of days ago and that is a stunning sight when you are in the low desert where our average temp is north of 110F
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just midnight musings...
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shade and shadows
shadows and shade
have you ever noticed how the sky is lit affects how you perceive things??
or perhaps this is a desert thing....
on a clear day - a really clear day, --
coming down the mountain road from the high desert to the low, the hills that stretch out across the valley from me, look as tho drawn in various shades of pastels that someone has then taken their thumb to, smudging and softening the edges.
surprising when the light itself is sharp & harsh.. this is the time one feels like you can just reach out and touch them, so lightly do they float in your vision.. one could believe that walking up there would be a gently quiet stroll thru undulating hills & dales...
have seen paintings done of these hills, where the shades of lavenders & pinks are so rich they catch your breath, have heard people see such paintings and state mountains don't look like that!.. well sadly maybe their mountains don't.. but if you are lucky enough to be out at sunrise or just before dusk and the sky is lit just so.. for a few mesmerizing moments these colors will astound you..
there is such beauty here, there is such ruthlessness here.. both in the same breath.. a gut punch in perception at times
on a hazy cloudy day where the sky is patchy and shades of grey, i look at those same hills and they are sharp & clear, jagged-edged as tho claws have caught them and pulled them asunder.. those curves no longer seem inviting when you can notice the sharpened outline of jagged teeth even at this distance they are formidable and unfriendly...
i often hear of foolish souls who look upon those hills on clear days, thinking oh what a lovely day and lovely spot for a bit of hiking - just an hour or two.. and they take little or no supplies or precautions.. little knowing those hills bite the unwary. they all too often swallow them whole and Maybe someday will spit them back..
maybe..
for myself, I Love these hills in all of their moods. I used to drive to work at sunrise and watch the pink shadows work their way up the mountainsides...
I love their moods and I have a deep and abiding respect for their ways...
I have climbed a number of them, slid down too many rough bits of rock and sand, camped on the rim of arroyos, even poked my nose in a mine or two (not a smart move I admit)
as the sun would rise I would watch the great horned owls winging their way towards the foothills to their sleeping sites for the day.. have often noted a coyote or 3 quietly trotting back to wherever their current den was to wait out the heat of the coming day...
have had the privilege to briefly share my day and my life with bobcat, desert fox, raven, raccoon, puma, packrat, cactus wren & roadrunner, diamondback, sidewinder, chuckwalla, Cooper's hawk, Kestrel & more...
I have been incredibly lucky and perhaps even blessed by them.
so many humans are utterly oblivious to the sheer number of wildlife that resides here.
Knowing always that for all my love of these places, they do not love me.. they may seduce the viewer, entice them to 'come be one' with the desert.
but for most, it's a false promise and is never ever a safe one.
Love the desert but NEVER forget she is a harsh mistress and will kill you as easily as she can provide food and shelter for those who pay attention..
that's another secret of our hills.. humans think they have 'tamed' the desert.. the desert meanwhile laughs and thumbs its nose at us knowing better..
the desert is fragile tho and easily damaged often beyond saving in places,
But, in the overall scheme of things, its most likely that it will still be here, moving in its slow and stately (most of the time) rhythms - the hills will continue telling their stories even if its only to the mountains and the winds --
Long long past when humans have gone the way of the neanderthals & dinosaurs...


Submitted: October 05, 2021

© Copyright 2021 RL Tyler. All rights reserved.

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