Saturday, April 25, 2020
At one point in my life, I was able to travel some. The area that resonated with me most was the “high desert” southwest of the USA. If you’ve seen my “About” page, you know that story. As I write this, I feel uncomfortable doing any sort of post at all… but I’m going to share a little about my adopted home.
I’m mortified to remember a long ago conversation with a man who enthused about his fondness for the beauties of the desert regions of the USA. He asked if I thought it was beautiful and I’m ashamed to say that I exclaimed, “But it’s all brown.” That was and continues to be the comment I’ve heard most often from other people. Back then, I was still “California dreaming,” (it took 20 years for me to give up that dream), but that conversation led me to investigate the Southwest, and of course the “brown” concept was far from true.
However, in writing this post I now realize why so many people had that perception. All the photos I find online are lifeless and brown. Not that there is not beauty there, but it’s a very limited view of a large area.
Brown certainly does not apply to the “high desert.” Writing this post exposed confusion even about that term. I suppose the “High Desert” as a proper name is limited to part of California, Nevada, and Utah — the Mojave Desert. However, people who live in other parts of the Southwest, places with high altitudes, also describe their homes as high desert.
Those high altitudes don’t always mean a place is in the mountains. For instance Albuquerque, New Mexico is a “mile high” city just like Denver, Colorado. However, it is not in the mountains. Those of us who live in such high altitudes (my home is 4,000+ feet) get four seasons. As you go farther south, the winters are more limited. For the first time in my adult life, I actually enjoyed winter this year!
Sure it gets hot in the summer, but it isn’t Death Valley. No, there isn’t nearly as much greenery, and trees aren’t so plentiful that they block the view of the sky. However, there are many tree-lined streets in communities across the “desert southwest.” The tree-lined part doesn’t apply to my street, but most of my neighbors have mature trees. Pecan trees and pistachios really like the climate.
I’m terrible with plants. I’m surprised that my cactus garden survived me. I thought a 6 ft. tall clump of big thorns was an unidentified dead something. Then it came into bloom, and attracted hummingbirds!
A wide variety of plants are adaptable to the dry climate. Even though I knew that, I was amazed by the prevalence of roses in many areas. The real shocker was that I haven’t killed the roses. This year they are heavy with blossoms. The large dark pink rosebush in the backyard has huge blossoms this year (much larger than last spring).
The cacti have bloomed (individually) at various times during the past year. I haven’t figured out their schedule. The small cacti below are competing with the roses.
I made the video below to celebrate the my one-year anniversary in my new location, which was roughly the first of this month. I have rare moments when I feel like I’ve actually done something. However, the reality quickly comes back — I haven’t made any progress toward the kind of healing that I need most. In fact, I’ve had so many setbacks that I have even farther to go than I did a year ago.
Meanwhile, I’m making slowly plugging away at the novel I started in November. Usually, my novels have more women characters than men. It surprised me when I realized this one has a lot of male characters. Also, I let the heroine have a fraction of my own history. Otherwise, it’s “out the roof” on the quirky factor. It’s a challenge to work on a novel concurrently with a serial, but I hope that I can amp up my pace and share the finished book with you fairly soon.
Next weekend I’ll be back with a new free chapter of the steampunk riverboat serial, The Delta Pearl. If you missed the last episode, here’s the link: https://teagansbooks.com/2020/04/11/the-delta-pearl-30-observe/
I love to get your comments and hope you’ll stop to say hello — but if you can’t be nice, then shut the fork up. Remember this is a sanctuary for me, and my readers.
Copyright © 2020 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene
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