Thursday, March 19, 2009

Desert Escape

watching a cactus bloom over the week

saguaro and penstemon going around the mountain

a cow carcass that has been dried and preserved for over a year

only one day the sun took off to let a dark sky perform

some happy desert visitors ;-)

always get a foot in for perspective

a girls choice: flowers and I9

catching a breeze on a rock, high above cherry tank

prickly pear, a new friend/enemy to Patti, and penstemon, supplying nectar for butterflies and hummingbirds galore

cholla: they look cute, but don't even think about it.

burnt mesquite

Once again, Art and I returned to the desert in search of some much longed for sun and warmth that is missed over winter. On arrival, the sun greeted us with it's warm touch, and the desert was alive and beautiful in many ways. Out the gate of the property onto the trail each day, we found great riding that is so different than what we have in New Jersey. After the days ride, we could chill out at Way Out West B&B. The property is the closest place I can imagine to an oasis, alive with the gentle sounds of nature and the welcoming colors of spring, that rejuvenate a worn down winter soul.

The desert has a distinct harshness, that is home to some amazing cool stuff. Some of the cool stuff must be well respected, as was reminded to Patti after falling on a prickly pear and getting hundreds of tiny thorns in her bum .....ouch! It took a few shots of tequila and several of us an hour to tweeze them out of her. She certainly deserves a badge for good sportsmanship for her cheerful de-thorning.

During our visit: Nine butterflies were born, cactus bloomed, Cheech the rattlesnake emerged from his den, Chester the rat gorged on bananas, and the hawks were building a nest among all sorts of birds and quail going about their daily business. Spring was there, and it was nice to be a part of it .... a much appreciated vacation. I patiently wait for the arrival of spring in New Jersey.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

First Signs of Spring

goodbye snow....

hello flowers.

once this is gone, shoveling may become just a memory.

We have had two warm days, and I can not find the words to express how great it felt to be out riding my bike with arms and legs exposed to the sun, wind, water and wahtever. It is a re-birth I go through every spring, bringing sensations new, or so they feel new at that time. Two days, 100 miles, who knows how much climbing, my whole body was stuck in a smile. All of this more appreciated after spending a week on my butt due to falling on the ice and jamming my shoulder. The bruises healing and the few pains I had seemed to be lost in the sunshine. Hooray for spring!