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  1. I think there is a lot of beauty out in the desert. Danger too but lots and lots of beauty. Thank you for taking us on your trips with us. I hope to post pics of my own wanderings soon! Being out amongst nature is just so inviggorating. I’d forgotten that but rediscovered it last weekend. *wistful sigh*

    • Mother Nature has so much to show us (and teach us), but we have to make ourselves available, no? So glad you’ve rediscovered her bounty. Can’t wait to see your pictures!!

  2. I’m not a desert fan. It’s too brown for me. But that first picture is gorgeous! πŸ™‚

    (You’d think I’d like it because I love the heat, but I need trees. Lots of trees!)

    • There are lots of trees in the desert–sycamore, palms, cottonwood, mesquite, smoke and palo verde, to name a few. They’re not identical to what you’d find in wetter climates, perhaps, but they’re well-suited to their environment.

      That said, everyone has his/her preferences. Truth be told, I’m most fond of lush green trees with thick undergrowth, ocean waves and cool mountain streams….

  3. Great desert photos, Melodye — I especially like the fuzzy backlit tops of those cacti in the first image.

    I’ve only been in the desert once (well, twice, I guess, if you count the return trip from California), and — aside from the often intense heat — I loved it. So different from the area in which we live, the colors, shapes, sounds. Someday, I’d like to go back. — PL

    • I like that we have so many unique ecosystems to explore, right here in our own country. I’d never visited the NE as an adult until just recently, and wow, it’s gorgeous! You are fortunate to live there. And you can always revisit the desert. Or travel west, to the beachside communities of Orange County… πŸ™‚

      Wondering: Do you believe, as I do, that our souls/bodies are more at rest in some places than others? I’ve tried learning over the years “in whatsoever state I’m in, therewith to be content.” (Credit: the Apostle Paul.) That works for me in the abstract, or as a metaphor, but certain environmental conditions –icy cold and endless flatlands, for instance — make me uneasy.

      • I like that we have so many unique ecosystems to explore, right here in our own country. I’d never visited the NE as an adult until just recently, and wow, it’s gorgeous! You are fortunate to live there. And you can always revisit the desert. Or travel west, to the beachside communities of Orange County… πŸ™‚

        “Wondering: Do you believe, as I do, that our souls/bodies are more at rest in some places than others? I’ve tried learning over the years “in whatsoever state I’m in, therewith to be content.” (Credit: the Apostle Paul.) That works for me in the abstract, or as a metaphor, but certain environmental conditions –icy cold and endless flatlands, for instance — make me uneasy.”

        I absolutely believe that. And those places can be unexpected. For me, one of the times I felt most at peace was on the motorcycle trip out to California back in 1991, and we were riding through Kansas. I’d often heard that Kansas was a boring state to drive through, but I found the seemingly-endless rolling green hills to be beautiful. For hundreds of miles, we rode through this landscape, with a constant wind from the south which made us lean the bikes into that breeze about ten degrees off vertical, so as to not be blown off the right side of the road. Sounds unpleasant, but it wasn’t. I think I was amused at the fact that I was riding in a straight line, but doing something with the motorcycle (leaning it over) which ordinarily would make it turn.

        And the ocean… I discovered during my first few years with Jeannine, when we lived near the NH seacoast, that I loved the sounds and smells and sights of the beach — not to sunbathe or be part of a noisy, suntan lotion-scented, Frisbee-tossing crowd, but just to be there, soaking in all of that sensual input. I especially loved the sound the small pebbles and rocks made as the waves went out and pulled them along. And standing still on the sand for a few minutes where the waves could come in and wash over your feet, and enjoying that delicious sensation as the moving water began to wash away the sand under your heels and toes.

        Closer to home, there is a short stretch — probably only about a half a mile or so — which is part of one of my favorite bicycle routes. It’s a bumpy dirt road, one of several old byways in Northampton which have escaped being paved. It’s not terribly well-maintained, and people sometimes dump unwanted stuff like old mattresses and TV sets along the sides of it — my daughter would probably label it as “sketchy” — and the surface varies from hard-packed dirt (my favorite) to mud (occasionally, after big rains) and sand (my least favorite). This length of road winds through and under many trees, with the occasional field on left and right. I don’t know what it is, but when I get there, I calm down. — PL

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