what happens in the desert . . .   6 comments

Posted at 9:04 am in Arizona,desert,plants,Uncategorized

Several years ago, Don returned from a trip to Arizona wearing a t-shirt that said, “what happens in the desert, stays in the desert”. That’s more or less true. For the fifth consecutive year, I’ve returned to the north with part of my soul remaining behind. However, this year, with it being so dry in southeast Arizona, part of the desert tried to come home with me. My van is probably carrying a couple of pounds of red dust. It’s on and inside of everything, including the guitar, banjo and fiddle cases.

As most of you will know, this blog has been very quiet over the winter. In part, it was a case of me not feeling much like writing, but also due to preoccupation with some decisions about whether to return to the same place next winter. After five years of renting a house in town, It seemed time to move on. The rental house has been a good thing in my life — sort of like a big life raft floating serenely on the Sea of Chaos. However, now, with the old place at Round Hill gradually taking shape, it felt like the right time to leave the raft and swim off into a new adventure.

And so it was that I relocated to an off-grid cabin in the Sulphur Springs valley east of Bisbee.

It is a place where I would be surrounded by nature. It’s Chihuahuan desert, dominated by mesquite, whitethorn acacia, creosote bush, devil’s claw, yucca, and other arid land plants.

In places, ant hills scatter the sand like craters on a moonscape.

Footprints of javelina, fox, coyote, roadrunner, kangaroo rat, lizards, and other creatures form a network of trails. Kestrel, ravens, vultures, harriers, redtail hawks, and in winter, sandhill cranes, glide and soar overrhead.

Every foray presents me with some new plant, creature, fascinating rock, or old relic from the past. There is a 360 view of the sky. Sunrises, sunsets and clouds take on a greater significance. At night, the moon and stars take center stage.

The dogs love the freedom of racing down washes and around hummocks of mesquite – as do I.

Before leaving for the season, I made a circle of stones on a little rise above one of the more pronounced washes. Inside the circle, I arranged findings of the last few days’ walks before leaving. Compass-like, an odd rusty piece of metal points northeast. This summer in the north, I shall make another pointing southwest. It is good to have markers pointing the way home.

Written by bev wigney on April 17th, 2014

6 Responses to 'what happens in the desert . . .'

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  1. will this let me comment? Hmm.

    I love this so much, for so many reasons. Thoughts of the future, life rafts, finding home(s). So, so much inside all those words. *

    And – have been thinking lots about mothing lately.


    17 Apr 14 at 12:26 pm

  2. I have always wanted a retreat….an island or a cabin on top of a mountain etc…. away from everyone and everything. Pure silence. Never thought of the desert. It looks very intriguing. We hope to pick up an RV in the future and take off for a few months at the time. Perhaps we will be able to cross paths.


    17 Apr 14 at 1:14 pm

  3. Thanks, both of you! Yes, it is a very special place – one that not everyone can appreciate, but I know that you do!

    bev wigney

    17 Apr 14 at 2:51 pm

  4. How wonderful that you have a full 360 view out there. That has become my new dream. I want earth and sky everywhere I look. What a fantastic place to spend some time. Love that it is fully solar.

    robin andrea

    18 Apr 14 at 10:27 am

  5. Round Hill

    We’ve read all about the desert now that you’re no longer there
    But frustration drives me now from disappointment to despair
    You have been in Nova Scotia since April of this year
    And I’m wondering if nothing about Round Hill will appear
    Till you’re back in Arizona. You can see where I’m confused
    Though I love it well, the current post is leaving me bemused.

    Hey! How about a pic or two or three or maybe four
    Of the garden, house, or maybe some more paintings on the floor
    Of the place where you are living now plus news of what you’re doing.
    How are the dogs and are there any plans that you have brewing?
    Cause no matter how much you may love the desert and it’s view
    I am thinking Nova Scotia has amazing vistas too.


    16 Jul 14 at 10:26 pm

  6. Glad you are well, Bev. Winters there have to be better than winters are here, especially last winter in the Ottawa valley. How are things going in Round Hill?


    24 Jul 14 at 7:13 pm

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