A Lonely Desert Grassland Road

The last day of my long weekend, I was ready to be back home.

But first, after breakfast, I finally drove out on Pinto Canyon Road, into the pastoral morning light.


After one truck there was not one more vehicle, for miles. In fact my entire 30 minutes there.


New agaves a start to a stronger entry?



Gracious yet expansive. Peaceful.




Some Little Walnut / Juglans microcarpa trees where the occasional stormwater collects along the draw…



…the effects of a late spring freeze on these trees’ foliage.



Almost back in Marfa, this looks like someone is working on the concrete buildings Donald Judd sketched but never realized.


Or are these remnants of incomplete construction when Judd was alive?



A simple but bold monument to enter a small housing area, complete with some of the finer plants in the desert world…




The Horizontals and the Verticals

“Small gestures get lost out here.” – Kornegay


That scene along US-90 says much with Torrey Yucca, Texas Beargrass, and dry, pre-monsoon season grama grasses.

This Alpine mural with local ranch brands says something similar.



From Alpine back to Marfa, colors and forms without one flower.



Of course a Volvo is parked at the building of this word mural!



“When no one else can, a Mexi(can)!” – many before me


I wonder where those tall and heavy South American cacti are headed?

Almost home, a quick drive-by detour.


A Week in the Life of a Yucca

Never mind, it took 3 weeks for all this. Time flies!

One of my favorite skyline accent plants is right off my tiny patio, and it bloomed for the first time in at least two years.

Photos from 3/30 to 4/18/2015 –

3/30 – Torrey Yucca / Yucca torreyi
talk about exotic…so rich…take that, crepe myrtles!
3/31 – unfurling
to think we grow this stuff so effortlessly

That’s an all-too-common sky, until recently. I know, no pity for the other 85% of the time, or our temperatures at least 85% of the time.

without pucture wounds, I measured this flower stalk just under 36″ tall (36″ sounds more impressive than 3′)

Maybe it paid off, to dump my mop water at the base of this clump every couple weeks? Or a (finally) winter with decent moisture? Maybe combined it help develop this display.

4/7 – uh oh, top-heavy

The flopping over certainly hasn’t been from our spring winds. I think 2015 has been the most mellow for wind and sand storms I may have seen in 23 years, in the region known for free tooth cleanings many spring afternoons. While most of you are getting verdant…

falling over, or just groovin’?
4/12 – clouds back, flowers fading
back to the dust
adios, until next spring…and hola, cobalt blue sky

It’s not like yuccas are lame, like bradford pears and russian sage are.

But seeing our everyday yuccas soar into the sky, then add flowers, helps take the blahs of ordinary from the high desert.

Does anything in the plant world do that same thing for you?