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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Spring in the Desert

I love this time of year. The weather is typically warm during the day, yet cool enough to leave a window open. Nighttime temperatures are perfect for sleeping. Spring in the desert offers a few short weeks when neither the air conditioner nor the furnace is needed. Even on windy days, early morning is often calm. The dead-looking browns of the desert are brightened by newly emerging, soft green leaves on the trees. Desert plants such as cactus erupt with colorful flowers.

The sun rises early, so my dogs get restless around 5:30 a.m. I usually get up and feed them, let them outside, and then we all go back to bed. Usually they fall back asleep, while I enjoy just lying in bed, listening to the quiet, enjoying the cool of morning and just being still.

I have an absolutely fabulous mattress and very soft sheets, so my bed is a place of comfort. Sometimes in the very early morning I can hear donkeys braying just over the hill, or the howling of coyotes. Very often, I hear nothing at all -- no traffic sounds, no airplanes overhead, not even any birds. The high desert where I live has few song birds, although later in the day I will hear quail and sometimes a road runner. The quiet is wonderful. Once in a while, I will listen to a new smooth jazz radio station.

The sunrises over the Sandia Mountains can be spectacular if there are clouds nearby. The sky ranges from pink to orange to fiery red and yellow. Now that my back yard has been transformed into a xeriscaped paradise and I have washed the winter dust off my patio furniture, it is time to resume my practice of sitting outside in the early morning with a cup of hot tea as I read the morning newspaper. My dogs love the cool weather, rolling in the grass and exploring the property.

New Mexico's crisp, azure sky continues to amaze me with its brilliance. Aside from pollution from dust storms or wild fires, the air is very clean. That, combined with the altitude, makes for glorious days. The only thing I wish for to make this time of year even better is rain. We are in the third year of a terrible drought, so rain is most welcome in any amount.

Knowing that the desert heat isn't far off makes this time of year even more special, so I will savor this wonderful season as long as possible.