The wholeness of water in the desert

desert oasis

I was fortunate to come across this open water near Tavasci Marsh at sunset, just when the world was golden.

It reminded me how beautiful our planet is, in all its changing moods.

Water and light, combining to bring joy in the moment.

A photograph is a secret about a secret.
The more it tells you, the less you know.

~Diana Arbus~

Drawn by a giant

Drawn by a giant

The constantly changing perspective of Alice in Wonderland delights me. First she is tiny and the world is huge. All of a sudden she grows immense and everything around her has shrunk.

Her image has stuck with me as I take pictures, and it sometimes creates dizzying shifts of perspective. As I viewed this desert cliff side, I thought of her possible Southwestern counterpart.

Imagine, if you will, a gigantic artist, coloring this desert scene. He settles carefully into a cross-legged position in the arroyo, trying to fit in amongst the cottonwoods and alder trees.

Out of an immense pencil box he picks up a piece of charcoal and carefully smudges the vermilion cliffs with desert varnish. Then he selects a white pen and limns the outlines of the Octotillo, as it waits for the summer rains…

Imagination must be visited constantly,

or else it begins to become restless and

emits strange bellows at embarrassing moments. Ignoring it only makes it grow larger and noisier.
~Patricia McKillip~

What if time is fluid?

ancient ollas

Even with parts missing where the light shines through, the inherent beauty and grace of these ancient ollas, or water jars, is unforgettable. They are a reminder of our past as a human species. Our yesterday.

But they could be part of our future as well. A new physics theory asserts that time may be fluid, allowing the past, present, and future to exist simultaneously.

If that is true, somewhere, a thousand years from now, an archaeologist is fitting together broken teacups and barbecue platters, wondering what our civilization must have been like! Our tomorrow.

A people without history is like
wind through buffalo grass.

~Teton Sioux proverb~

A matter of perspective

Two clouds

One afternoon I looked up to see two very different clouds. One was brilliant in the sunshine, each layer clearly marked with almost luminous attention. I reveled in its beauty. The second, almost directly overhead was dark, threatening, ominous.

And then I stopped for a moment to reconsider. If I were under that bright cloud, perhaps it would be the threatening one, while the one I’m standing under now would be the bright one.

What view we take of life depends on our perspective!

It is not what you look at that matters.
It’s what you see.

~Henry David Thoreau~

 

Enter the resourceful agave

Spider web in agave plant

The sharp tips of the giant agave are there for a purpose–to fend off predators such as javelina and hungry cattle intent on a juicy meal.

Too bad somebody didn’t tell the spiders, who found the spines to be perfect tent poles for their webs. Or the wind, who discovered the web to be a perfect receptacle for some spare leaves just blowing around.

It is nice to find something that can be put to more than one useful purpose. Nature is resourceful that way.

The first rule of intelligent tinkering
is to save all the parts.

~Paul Ehrlich~

Tenacity of the vine

The vine in the rockThis was such a cool discovery! It is both a model of design, with all those zigzagging textures, and the actual event, a wisteria vine too stubborn to quit.

When the plant found itself blocked, it changed direction not once but several times. And it isn’t a young whippersnapper of a vine. Take a look at the thickness of girth–this plant has been here for years, patiently finding a path through difficult situations and creating beauty in the process.

As I grow older, things that were once easy for me are sometimes harder to accomplish. But I have grown in wisdom through my experiences. I have become the guru of “work arounds.”

My parents of pioneer stock would be proud.

You are never too old to set another goal
or to dream a new dream.

~Aristotle~

The magic of being still

Bow tie for the pond

Every now and then, nature presents us with a joke, if we are only receptive enough to catch it. Here, I found a perfect bow tie in the middle of the Dead Horse Park lagoon. Just waiting for someone to turn it around and paste it onto a beautiful package.

Or perhaps, it already was the ideal present, just waiting to be untied!

The universe is full of magic things patiently waiting for our senses to go sharper.
~Eden Phillpotts~

Sometimes what you see is not there

Not a dead owl

At first glance, this appeared to be a tragedy: soft downy fuzz, longer tail feathers. Had an owl met its match with a bobcat? Oh, no!

And then I took a second look. Not tail feathers at all, but rather, Eucalyptus leaves. Not down but cottonwood tree cotton. Whew!

I like owls. And I like bobcats. I’m glad they didn’t meet here.

Silence is the absolute balance
of body, mind and spirit.
Silence is the cornerstone of character
and its fruits are
self-control, true courage, endurance, patience, dignity and reverence.

~Ohiyesa, Santee Sioux

Stories in tombstones

Cemetery markers

When I visit in the eastern part of the country, I love to visit old cemeteries. So many old stories are contained in the family plots!

This one interested me, in that all of the gravestones seemed to be tightly contained behind a walled barrier, as though saying, this is our plot, all ours, and don’t you intrude.

It reminded me of some Southern civil war cemeteries where the Southerners were buried in one section of the park, and the Northern “intruders” were buried in another.

It seems that even in death, it is difficult for some folks to acknowledge that we are more alike than different.

The only difference between a rut and a grave
are the dimensions.

~Ellen Glasgow~

 

 

Luminous reflections

Liquid shadows

Who says shadows need to be hum-drum. Or even dark, for that matter. I discovered these reflections in an old building, where glass tiles threw a shifting pattern of light reflections on a dark brick wall. Their shimmering pattern of light delighted me!

When we get locked into looking at an object in one way, for example, grass is green or the sun is yellow, we really don’t see what is in front of us, all the time.

If at a child’s birth, a mother could ask a fairy godmother
to endow it with the most useful gift,
that gift would be curiosity.

~Eleanor Roosevelt~