Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Yellow Desert

In many parts of the world, you can't even see the soil. Grass and trees and fallen leaves are so thick that it takes some digging to see the dirt. Not so West Texas. This is desert land. Every time I've driven the I-10 route from my home in the Hill Country near Austin to El Paso and its gateway to the west, I've seen the same hills and mesas, many of which are only sparsely populated with low sage and scraggly bushes. Often even these look dry and dead.

So today was a breathtaking change. Due to the rains of the past couple of years, the desert lands are literally in bloom. You look off to the mesa, and marvel at the bands of yellow, acres of solid flowers. You crest any of the hills in the land between Sonora and Van Horn and there is color everywhere. Dominant is yellow, but there are large patches of purple (Mary Ann, what's the name of that purple plant?) verbina. White prickly poppies and other flowers of pale green add to the spectacle.

Mary Ann was taking a nap back back in the rear of the RV when I encountered a particularly lush patch. I yelled back for her to wake up, but the acoustics in the RV are far from idea. She couldn't hear me. Finally, I pulled off onto the shoulder and made sure she was awake. This was a sight that could not be missed.

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