Looking through my Flickr site recently, I found a stream-of-conscious piece about Arizona, and thought I'd repost it here interspersed with a few images from that time.
Early Morning Sky in late July
Organ Pipe Morning Bloom
The entrance to the Desert Botanical Garden
always looks magical in early morning light.
Members are allowed in at 6 a.m. twice a
week. The light is so gorgeous, I don't mind
the heat so much, although it's already
starting to bake.
Ah, Arizona. Can't live there. Can visit.
Unfortunately, I can't include the full sensory experience here.
The heavy blanket of heat, the smell of creosote bushes, the pale feathery palo verde trees swaying in the hot breeze,
the sounds of native birds cooing, rattling or buzzing, the subtle change in humidity when the seasons shift, the sight of saguaro cacti in the pouring rain when the monsoon rains finally hit and the sudden burst of growth,
Ocotillo Leafing Out /o ko TEE yo/
the public art on every highway ramp and overpass, the taste of prickley pear candy, the tinkle of seed pods on the ground, and cookies made from them,
the fellowship of people, the native crafts that astound one everywhere, the sight of a tarantula spider running across the road on a reservation, the thrill (and terror) of having to pass someone on a two-lane highway at 100 mph, while seeing oncoming traffic two miles away,
the sheer grandure and scale of the landscape, trying to capture it all,
The Echo Cliffs between Flagstaff and Page.
staying inside all day because of the heat waiting for the temps to drop below 100F and the humidity to rise above 4%, then going out in the late evening to eat and check out the gallery scene,
spilled water drying on the floor in minutes, no cold water in Summer,
waiting and waiting for rainclouds to drop some moisture, arroyos or "rivers" of dry gravel, gravel desert yards,
the people in Scottsdale who insist on wasting water to grow green grass, the canals of water, the flavour of PHX water, the isolation and poverty of the reservations,
the vibrant creativity and skill of artisans featured at the Heard Museum, my lusting after turquoise I can't afford,
Contemporary work by Jesse Monogya at the Heard Museum
climbing up South Mountain trying to get there before dusk and my husband freaked out about the steep drop, avoiding heatstroke, sad histories, dry desert shifting colors at sunset...
Looking North, Phoenix is spread out at our feet. People of all cultures and ages, families and young people, come to South Mountain to enjoy the view and the warm evening breezes, a welcome respite from the relentless heat of the day. At dusk, the temperatures are dropping below 100F for the night.
It's hard to leave Arizona. Can't live there. Can't forget it.