The space is so wide open here in the Chihuahuan desert that scale is sometimes a bit hard for me to grasp. Those mountains are 25 miles away. I can see that dust storm from 30 miles away. And the sky itself seems endless, 180 degrees of blue so wide from side to side I feel like I’m under a dome.
I’ve started taking photos of details in the deserts I am passing through. I can appreciate the desert more in the myriad pieces of diversity that are all around me than I can by staring out at the endless horizon.
This spent flower stalk of a yucca plant caught my eye, waving in the stiff breeze. The structure of it was the first nudge I felt to focus on details. It’s beautiful in its own way even though its purpose of spreading seeds has long since been fulfilled.
These two trees are holding firm against the water in the irrigation canal. There are clear signs of flooding all around it but still the roots hold.
This is all that remains of what must have been a mighty tree. There are none this big anywhere around it, and I have no idea why it survived so long when others didn’t and then eventually it died too.
But lest you think details are best seen in black and white, let me expand the palette. Early signs of of spring, although they might get blighted by snow next week, persist and give hope that winter might finally be on its way out.
And the bright blue of sky cheers me up immensely, especially after four years of Pacific Northwest shades of grey.
But there is still too much to see and marvel at, the world very much alive in the bright light and wind, exultant with the fever of spring, the delight of morning.
Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire