A New Chapter

By laurie54

The Desert Speaks*

That's actually the name of a local show on public television*

I live in an interesting location.  High on a hill, from the back of my house is the view of my neighborhood and the Santa Rita mountains.  Out the front (behind the houses across the street) is the desert.  I have a very short walk to the end of my street to enter it.

There are often misperceptions about what the southwest desert (mostly the Sonoran desert) looks like.  There aren't any windblown dunes for miles in every direction.  It's more of what I would call a 'living' desert.  There aren't a lot of Giant Saguaro cactus this far to the south of Tucson other than in places they were meant to be by people. 

I couldn't decide what to post so I chose four examples from my walk today.  It's surprisingly sparse in most places.  The earth is not so much sand as it is soft (and occasionally powdery) dirt. There's a quail scooting from one hiding spot to another in front of a prickly pear but avoiding the cow pie to its left.  The flowers are on a cholla (choy-a) cactus, the species of which I haven't yet looked up. A mesquite tree stands alone and the plant which seems to be most prevalent out there, the cholla, are clumped together, different species among them.

It's a great place to walk but you really need to stay on the trails and watch where you step when it's this hot.  Rattlesnakes really don't like to be surprised  (nor do I!) I took a few steps off the dirt path into some grass and didn't realize I had tiny bits of cholla stuck on my sneakers until I was taking them off.  I needed tweezers to get all of the needles out of the rubber on the side.  That's why I wear hiking boots or leather sneakers out there.  Wearing mesh can get painful. 
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I bumped into an old school friend at the store today. He started showing off, talking about his well paid job and expensive sports cars.
Then he pulled out his phone and showed me a photo of his wife and said, “She’s beautiful, isn’t she?”
I said, “If you think she’s gorgeous, you should see my girlfriend.”
He said, “Why? Is she a stunner?”
I said, “No, she’s an optometrist.”

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