Riding Down the Canyon: Ocotillos and Beyond

There’s something intoxicating about how the air feels in the desert, just like how the light hits.

Morning light is my favorite and most inspiring. Now that it’s warm, I’ve shifted my afternoon hike and mountain bike ride workouts to the morning. I could add sounds to the morning, since not only is wildlife more active between the hot and cold extremes, but mornings seem especially active.

From late last week –

When a freeway was a block away, I had my own enclosed desert oasis and miles of foothills open space beyond my block, so I slept with my sliding door open every night I could…most of the spring and fall.

Now, I still have the mornings on the trail, not as inspiring or serene, but maybe another form of those?

For we who have eyes to see and feel, let’s get in some natural inspiration and solace. Are there places you can go that get your creative gears going, to celebrate your place?


11 Replies to “Riding Down the Canyon: Ocotillos and Beyond”

  1. A beautiful reminder, David, this post, of what it is to LIVE in the world, and not just be a bystander or interloper, without involvement.

    Hi, long time and no hear, Faisal! Thanks for stopping by…yes, living and not just interloping. I used to say “mere existance”, but interloping is more accurate!


  2. Great pics as usual, David:-) I especially like the arroyo drop-off and the tall slender ocotillo!!
    Here on my weekly hikes at the nature center I’ve been watching the woods wake from dormancy as Spring has arrived. From completely bare, to the appearance of ephemeral wildflowers, to the steady unfolding of the forest canopy. It’s become a world of green.
    I’m surprised you haven’t figured out how to add audio to your posts….

    Ha, that’s one advantage of my old blog on Blogger…they didn’t charge xtra for such things. The bird sounds would have been perfect to record.

    Your area does look very green. Thanks, EM:-) In the draw arroyo, you probably noticed the increase of greens and larger plants, like the desert willows, yuccas, acacias, mesquites and so on, from the drier slopes. Just a little more water to soak in… (edited)

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  3. Hey I thought the Chilopsis was OUR native plant! But I’m glad there’s enough of it to go around. Great plant, great trip–Thanks for the journey!

    We share a number of plants, but you have us on all that Sonoran stuff! No jojobas or ironwoods here. You bet, fun most times…

    Your new name, Jacumba…between Campo and Ocotillo?


  4. Now that’s the kind of walk I would like to take. Such beauty. For now I would just like to see the sun!

    I bet you’re ready for some sun…hopefully you’re getting rain like other areas get more of! Today here, it’s actually cloudy but much warmer, still OK views.


  5. Most people get tired of where they live and overlook the beauty of where they are. I love that you still seem excited about the stark beauty of the desert southwest even despite living here for years. “…never lose your childish enthusiasm…” as Federico Fellini once said. I need that Cristiani fix.

    I’m so used to seeing spiky plants and sere, sere, sere, that this almost brisk morning weather at times has grabbed my attention again. Not that I might not enjoy some greenery and wet for a while, but I wonder how long I could take that? Fellini was right. Ciao, signore!


  6. The pink flower appears to be Texas Skeleton Plant, Lygodesmia texana. It’s common up here too.

    Thanks for the ID, the flower looks the same but the ones here are often bushy, to 24″. It threw me, and it’s all over.


  7. As texasdeb said “It isn’t just that you can get out, but that your “out” is so very wide open”… our skies are so much closer. The clouds, the trees, the mountains. I visited my parents up in Spokane, WA, last weekend and had forgotten just how wide open the sky is there, like the desert but without the desert plants.

    It is amazing…part scale, but real from the growth of wet climate trees and skies. And the desert plants…I always marvel at the differences between the wider-open, tree-bare Chihuahuan and Mojave deserts vs. the more treed-up Sonoran Desert areas in Tucson or higher parts of Phoenix.


  8. Great shots, David. It isn’t just that you can get out, but that your “out” is so very wide open. Living in Central Texas the hills and trees cut our views into smaller portions until you get on one side or the other of the fault and back out into pastures and fields. Not a lot of unfenced “wild” left in this part of the state but still a fair amount of “natural”, if that distinction makes any sense.

    Opuntia blossoms do look almost artificial. I think it is those waxy looking bottoms in combination with that shriek of yellow above. The bees here certainly aren’t confused – they start to work those flowers the moment the sun comes out.

    You make agreat contrast, and I think of that as one of the differences between east and west beyond wetter and drier…the wide open, lack of trees vs. enclosed, trees. True, and very fortunate to live out here, but I enjoy my visits to your natural, too…I think your hilly terrain helps bring in more natural than your area might have on that rainfall, if flatter and with fertile soils.

    I notice that…bees and many other insects slurp them up like I do a Sonic grape slush on a hot afternoon!


  9. Wow, really beautiful images of nature. Now that I am back in Wisconsin I really miss the southwest and all its beauty.

    Thanks, just imagine the scent of creosote bush here today…chilly, damp, rained for hours afternoon into the night!


  10. thanks I enjoyed the virtual journey, the close up the red tips, beautiful, you live with some stunning landscapes, Frances

    You’re welcome, and thanks for visiting our corner of the desert! Strange and stunning, when I step back to see better.


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