"He'd always had a quickening of the heart when he crossed into Arizona and beheld the cactus country. This was as the desert should be, this was the desert of the picture books, with the land unrolled to the farthest distant horizon hills, with saguaro standing sentinel in their strange chessboard pattern, towering supinely above the fans of ocotillo and brushy mesquite." - Dorothy B. Huges (The Expendable Man)
“It’s strange how deserts turn us into believers. I believe in walking in a landscape of mirages, because you learn humility. I believe in living in a land of little water because life is drawn together. And I believe in the gathering of bones as a testament to spirits that have moved on. If the desert is holy, it is because it is a forgotten place that allows us to remember the sacred. Perhaps that is why every pilgrimage to the desert is a pilgrimage to the self." - Terry Tempest Williams (Refuge)
"I pray to the birds because they remind me of what I love rather than what I fear. And at the end of my prayers, they teach me how to listen." - Terry Tempest Williams (Refuge)
It's lovely to be waking up to the sound of Sonoran desert birds again. Hello, birds. Hello, saguaro. Hello, mountains and coyotes. Oh, it's good to be back. I've missed you.
Photographs above: sonoran desert pathway, saquaro cacti, Gambel's quail, curved-bill thrasher, road runner perched on a cholla cactus spine,hummingbird, cactus wren, and a cactus-dwelling elf owl. (Photographs draw from Audubon and Sonoran information sites, photograhers unknown.)