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Sunday, March 7, 2021

The Plants Think It's Spring

The cactus are beginning to bud out, so I think in the desert, Spring is here. Early spring, yes. The mesquite and the pecans probably won't leaf out for six more weeks. They are very cautious trees. But everything else will be decked in new leaves and flowers by then.

prickly pear cactus in spring desert

I never wanted to live in the desert, yet I have spent the majority of my life in them, first the Sonoran desert, and now the Chihuahuan desert. Two different husbands, and both insisting on the desert! For the past 39 years, only 6 years have not been somewhere in a desert, and each husband was miserable away from it.

terra cotta horse from gardening pots at lowe's home improvement center


But we are to bloom where planted, and I love many aspects of the desert now. I love the tiny pink and white spotted geckos who live behind my outdoor front lantern, venturing out at night to grab the bugs the light attracts and hanging around on my ceilings inside to cool off during the summer days. I love the big "blue belly" lizards who zip around the yard and like to go to the birdbath for water. I love the roadrunners who stop by, as big as chickens but as fast as cheetahs. Too fast for me to get any good photos. And I love the many hummingbirds who nest in one of my mulberry trees, and have racuous "disputes" all summer long. Tiny birds, BIG voices! I love all the agriculture along the river, and our hundreds of little "ditches" you can walk along that carry the water to farms and homes in the valley. Most of all, I love the brightness of the desert. 

pretty deep blue sky above las cruces new mexico with flowering branch white flowers


I also love the age of the desert cities. There is much old architecture here. Until COVID entered the picture, I was working in an 1847 adobe building -- with no interior bathroom. Yes, it has an outhouse! Can't find my pictures, so I might go by and take a snap later.

A narrow street running though the old part of town is called the Camino Real of the interior lands - "the Royal Road." Spaniards traveled this road from Mexico City to Santa Fe 500 years ago. 

One of my favorite places to view the Adoration is San Albino Basilica, in nearby Mesilla. At night, the interior is lighted up incredibly, and the extremely intricate tall altar is "just heavenly."

san albino church mesilla new mexico at dusk
 

spring weeping willows in las cruces new mexico


Autumn is my favorite season, but I think spring is when the desert is at its best! So I'm enjoying the stirrings of spring. We don't have the gorgeous bulbs and beloved flowers like peonies here, but we do have our own type of beauty. 

Kind regards,

The Merry Olde Dame, Holly 


32 comments :

  1. Oh my gosh, I was smiling when you mentioned the geckos and lizards because the lizards are creepy to me haha, and they come around here usually in the hot Summer months. They're fast and a bit scary to me. I hope now that I'm in the mountains, I don't see any, but we'll see. Jess has had a gecko named Miles for many years, and it is a fun pet for her. I didn't know you lived in the desert, that must be interesting. How special to see the hummingbirds fluttering about often. You know, they are my beloved bird, and they have the most unique bird call. I always know when they are around. The roadrunners must be entertaining to watch. It sounds like you live in a lovely area. Autumn is my favorite season too, and I look forward to seeing Fall around your area, Holly.

    ~Sheri

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    1. Hummingbirds do have such distict voices! Sheri, look back a couple posts, you won the spring giveaway!

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  2. Such a lovely post and nice to learn of others living places. I live on the South Coast of England in a small place called Hove. Nothing like a desert but with sea within a 10 minute walk. I love the way you describe the little lizards.
    Briony
    x

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    1. One of the non-desert places I lived was Whidbey Island, Washington. I think the coast there looks a lot like your coast. It is very chilly there all year long. The sea is very, very cold.

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  3. I'm coming back to read more about your life in a very different desert from mine. I live in the mountains, about 1,000 feet above the high desert town of Mojave. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

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    1. Your view must be wonderful! Here, not too many have built on the foothills yet, and the Federal Government declared the Organ Mountains a federal area, so I don't think they can build higher. We are about 4,100 feet in elevation and the Organs go up to almost 9,000 feet. But their views are stupendous.

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  4. You Are Wise!!!!

    To seek out and find, all the beauty, which surrounds you. We would all do well, to do the same. -smile-

    And as you have pointed out, there are lovely aspects of desert life. And I would not have thought of these, unless you had told me. !!!! Thank you!

    ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŽ€๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŽ€๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŽ€๐ŸŒธ

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    1. Thank you for your kind comment! I just wish I could have had this mindset decades ago...maybe it came with age - everything in God's time.

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  5. Autumn is also my favorite season. Your descriptions of your home are colorful. You seem to be flourishing in your transplanted home.

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    1. There's just something so exhilarating yet cozy about autumn!

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  6. You're bringing back so many good memories of Las Cruces with this post!

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    1. Jan, I didn't know you had been here! It is very changed from when I first lived here three decades ago -- for the better! Despite COVID...

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  7. What a fascinating place the desert must be. I can only try to imagine how lovely it is when the Cactus start to bloom!
    I looked up the Basilica in San Albino and the pictures of the interior are wonderful.

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    1. Granny, at night, inside it is incredible. I feel like I am literally floating off the floor. There is a pink light, like a hot pink, at the very top of the altar, behind San Albino's statue. Otherwordly. The picture I took was in the pitch black of night, yet the Basilica is lighted up.

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  8. The cacti sprouting their new buds are so beautiful....and that basilica is positively breathtaking! How I would love to step inside to feel its coolness and listen to its echoes. I do miss the desert. My father-in-law has a beautiful home in Scottsdale at the foothills of the mountains and we would go each spring to visit him. The first time we went to see him I remember thinking I wished he had chosen a home by the ocean....but I came to love the desert. I have not been back since he passed (Las Vegas doesn't count LOL!) and I do miss it. Although I do NOT miss not being able to go about barefoot as I am accustomed to here (in warmer weather). Too many "nasties" like snakes, scorpions, spiders, etc. I'd rather not encounter with my toes. ~Robin~

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  9. I have never been to the dessert but you make it sounds just lovely
    Cathy

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  10. I've only visited the desert, not lived there, but it is so clear and beautiful.

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  11. I love your visit and even though I don't live in the desert southwest, it has my heart. I love your pictures. My daughter and grandchildren live in Tucson so I love going there to visit. I think I could live there someday. I do love how good I feel and how wonderful the air is and well just everything about it. Such pretty blue skies. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. I lived in Tucson! So beautiful, but HOT even as desert cities go!

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  12. Thank you for a visit to your desert. Much I did not know.
    The Basilica stole my heart!

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  13. I love traveling through the desert heading to CA in spring around my birthday because the cacti are truly in gorgeous bloom about that time each year.

    For some reason, I thought the Camino Real followed Hwy 101 in CA. It was the road I took one year while I visited 17 of the 21 Missions that are along that highway. Imagine my surprise when I did an internet search and realized I have taken that very road from I-40 west from KS to Albuquerque, then south to Las Cruces to I-10. That means I have been on BOTH King's Highways. Thanks for allowing me to learn something new tonight, dear.

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    1. There are several Camino Reals, but the myth of a single one persists. I think the most well-known one is the section you mention in California! Next time you are on the Camino Real, DROP IN!

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  14. I only went in the desert in Dubai. But I am afraid of lรฉzards and their friends...it was very interesting to know how you live in the desert.
    It must be hot in summer!
    Have a nice week.

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    1. It's so hot I would cry, if I could cry in that sizzling heat! You can't even sweat in the summer. Too hot. Evaporates right off your skin! But it's great! Now Dubai, it is truly a desert with the best of both worlds, desert and OCEAN!

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  15. Even though I have never been to the deserts, I am intrigued by them. I have read and reread both Mary Austin’s The Land of Little Rain and Willa Cather’s Death Comes for the Archbishop. The oh-so-lovely old Basilica surely must be breathtaking when darkness falls.

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    1. The desert is intriguing. It is a special world with its own ways. The Basilica (it's really just a minor Basilica put it's kind of tacky to remind my fellow citizens of that, since they are so exceedingly proud of the designation) is just beautiful, indescriably so inside.

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  16. Love seeing your pictures. I'm an ocean person myself, but have enjoyed my desert trips, especially Arizona and Jordan. Seeing baby camels in the wild is my favorite memory.

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  17. Darling Holly,

    We have been so interested in what you have written here. This experience of desert living is so alien to any of ours. As outsiders, we tend to think of a desert as simply that....nothingness and certainly not a place that can support a thriving natural world. And, yet, clearly there is much to delight in the desert and the strength of plants and animals to live in these inhospitable conditions is awe inspiring.

    We are not sure that we would be keen to welcome quite so much insect and reptile life close to home, but you are clearly absolutely at home with it all. And, in the end, how wonderful is that.

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    1. It is a daunting place in a way. The dogs must have special vaccines because of the rattlesnake danger. My small cat has killed two baby rattlers so far. I feel bad for the baby snakes but I do not want rattlers in the yard.

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  18. I love to hear about your desert! I've never been to one, but I think I would love to live in a little adobe house. Sunshine is a necessity and something we don't always get a lot of here in northern Minnesota! I didn't realize there were pecan trees in the desert. I'm originally from southeast Texas, near Houston. We had lots of pecan trees there. Roadrunners are so cool and your lizards sound entertaining. Thanks for visiting my blog! I'll put you on my list so I can come back and check up on you! :)

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    1. Thank you for your visit! We have the world's largest pecan orchard here in Las Cruces. Amazing, isn't it? They are irrigated by the Rio Grande.

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