Scenes from the Desert

I feel like there’s some sort of expectation of the desert being a bland, monotonous landscape of sand dunes. But my seventeen years of being a desert-dweller have told me otherwise. Here, plants have adopted unconventional structures in an attempt to adapt to the hot, dry climate. This is the home of the majestic Saguaro, Prickly Pear, and Barrel Cactus, just to name a few. And oftentimes, you need not go far to discover these beautiful forms of life.

Every morning, when I wake up and look out my bedroom window, I am greeted by a gorgeous array of desert plants foregrounded by a beautiful forget-me-not blue sky.

When summer turns into autumn, the trees will not change colors, and the leaves will not fall in a shower of gold rain. No, no, no. Something even better happens: when summer turns into autumn, the cactus flowers will bloom into persimmon-colored blossoms. This picture was taken in my front yard nearly two years ago, but the vivid colors of a barrel cactus’s flowers is a perfect exhibit of the desert’s wonders.

The beauty of desert is not limited to maintained front yards, however. A hike into the nearby mountains takes you breathtakingly into a world of skyscraper plants, reaching up towards the clear blue skies above.

But what I will most miss when I leave this place for college is not the view from my room, or blooming of cactus flowers, or the hikes of awesome beauty. What I miss are the moments when the sun peaks out from behind the mountains, trees, and cacti, and paints the sky in hues of oranges and gold.

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~ by thechanster on 3:43 pm, Wednesday, June 4, 2008.

2 Responses to “Scenes from the Desert”

  1. God, Charlotte, those are AMAZING pictures!!!! So unbelievably gorgeous! I especially loved the picture of the barrel cactus–that one is gallery-quality. And I loved your description of the “persimmon-colored blossoms”–gorgeous pictures and prose! Good work!

  2. Wow! I didn’t know cactus leaves were that pretty purple! Amazing photos!

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