Always present
| | | | | |

Always present

They crisscross the sky like a gigantic tic-tac-toe game, the contrails of the jets that are too high to see, but there just the same. Because the Verde Valley is right on the fly way, we get traffic from Phoenix’s Sky Harbor to points west such as Los Angeles and points east such as Chicago….

The power of gentleness
| | | | | | |

The power of gentleness

I took this photo at a remote Inn near Abiquiu because I loved the rich golden hues of the peeled cottonwood posts in the saturated New Mexican sunshine. But then the flowers drew my attention. Appearing fragile, they stretch out, holding the posts apart. I am reminded that life, in its very gentleness, can be…

Alive and Well in the Desert
| | | | | | | |

Alive and Well in the Desert

I have a fascination with lichen, perhaps because it is so tenacious and tough. It thrives where there are few nutrients, and in the desert, where there is little moisture as well. For example, notice this desert lichen, a little crackly about the edges, but still hanging in there. It is hard to predict where…

Half and half
| | | | | | |

Half and half

Wouldn’t it be nice if nature presented us seasons like the calendar does: On this day Fall begins. On this day, Winter arrives. But it doesn’t happen that way, of course. Some days she feels like warm weather and zephyr breezes. On others, she pouts behind fog and rain. And on some days she refuses…

Book review: Seeking Enlightenment, Hat by Hat by Nevada Barr
| | | |

Book review: Seeking Enlightenment, Hat by Hat by Nevada Barr

Book Review: Seeking Enlightenment Hat by Hat by Nevada Barr Because I like both mysteries and nature writing, I’ve always been drawn to the books by Nevada Barr. Her work features┬ástrong women who go against the odds, and win. Her heroine, Anna Pidgeon, a park ranger, has been trapped in a desert sinkhole, underwater in…

Storing the precious
| | |

Storing the precious

Can you tell what this is? A walk-in safe. In a used book store! When I asked the owner about it, she explained the old building the bookstore now inhabited had originally been a bank. When the bank relocated, it had been too expensive to move the safe, so it had just been left behind….

Still standing
| | | | | | |

Still standing

I love old doors! When I found these two in an ancient house, I was hooked. They have weathered time and hardship and still are standing with a special beauty all their own. They remind me of family. My sister and I have had our differences over the years, and our moments of joy together….

Doesn’t take much to keep me happy
| | | |

Doesn’t take much to keep me happy

Abiquiu, New Mexico is north of Albuquerque, north of Santa Fe, even north of Taos. Georgia O’Keeffe discovered it and spent years there creating her own artistic way of seeing flowers, and nature, and blue sky. When I visited her Ghost Ranch, the isolation and peace of the country allowed me to slow down and…

Using what lies in front of you
| | | | |

Using what lies in front of you

My parents and their parents were children of the Depression. They saved string, wore hand-me-down clothes, and ate left-overs–ALL of them! A favorite expression was “Making Do.” Native American families before the age of supermarkets and department stores did the same thing. In this picture you’ll see, on the right, a healthy agave cactus. Vivid…

Equilibrium for a planet of paradox
| | | | | |

Equilibrium for a planet of paradox

I’m a Weather Channel junkie, and this week I’ve been glued to the screen watching rivers overflow, highways flood, people rescued from rooftops and attics. Water at its most destructive. Yet I am reminded that it isn’t always this way. In the Arizona desert, water is precious, every single drop. On the trail around Courthouse…