Spring Equinox in the Desert – March 2020

March 19 & 20, 2020 – While it snows in Montana where family and friends live, it is a season of blossoms and more blossoms here in the desert at LaPosa South where Clifford and I are camped, south of Quartzsite, Arizona.

Desert sunrise

Walking in the desert at sunrise is such a delight and later I get Clifford to walk with me to the largest of the ocotillo, which is beginning to bloom. I also show him my the red bush that the hummers love, but it has mostly finished its job. However, more little flowers hugging the ground join the parade of flowers in the desert.

Cairns mark the way
A favorite spot

Our usual activities continue: ham radio and dulcimer for Clifford; editing, blog writing, journaling for me. Since my brother Rollie has moved down the road, the viola is getting neglected somewhat, as playing tunes by myself is not as much fun as playing with him.

Our very nice little kitchen

One of my daughters has closed her business and taken her kids out of school, even though school is technically still open. One of my sisters is now working from home. And so it goes…..

Flowers in the Desert – March 2020

March 8-10, 2020: Clifford and I continue to enjoy our camping spot here at LaPosa South (south of Quartzsite, Arizona) and our days are full with our projects and activities.

Camp tree

One day I don’t go for my morning walk because jet trails mar the sky and the wind is a bit much, neither of which work for me as photographer. I spend extra time editing photos instead, sending greetings to family and friends as well as posting on Facebook. Other mornings, the desert walks are especially rewarding as I find more and more flowers blooming.

A rainy morning adds a special ambiance to the walk.

When the sun breaks through the clouds….

One day my brother Rollie, who has been at a bluegrass festival north of Quartzsite, comes back to camp but only to pick up his stuff, as he is moving down the road a couple miles. It has been great having him as a camping buddy here, but he is forming important friendships with others.

Rollie moves down the road, so we have the place to ourselves

Another day we make a trip to town to the laundromat and run a few errands. We hear of more and more businesses, parks, and schools closing around the country, and that has even begun to affect Quartzsite, but the essential errands are still able to be taken care of.

Past life and new life

There is growing awareness and concern due to the virus Covid19, and talk runs the gamut of lethal bio-weapon to mere inconvenience that kids can’t go to school…. and everything in between. For Clifford and me, our natural state here in the desert is one of self-isolation, so we are not impacted as far as our day-to-day activities are concerned. However, there is no doubt that what is going on will have a lasting global ramifications, at least some of which will affect us. In the meantime, we continue doing what we feel called to do, whether that be playing music or walking in the desert, working to improve ham radio contacts, editing books or sending photos to friends & family.

Windy Days in the Desert – March 2020

March 4-7, 2020 – Even on these windy mornings, I walk in the desert here at LaPosa South (south of Quartzsite, Arizona), drawn to the colorful desert marigolds and Apache plume. In the cool of the mornings, globe mallows looking like tiny rose buds are quite irresistible. I saunter about, taking photos here and there, catching the first rays of sunlight when I can, soaking up the serenity along with the fresh air and ambiance of the desert.

Apache plume and desert marigold make splash of color at dawn
Playing with PhotoImpactPro
Playing with Snapseed, but I didn’t change the tree color. It just looks like that at sunrise.

Our activities are much as they have been: ham radio and dulcimer for Clifford. We have a great spot with a natural windbreak nearby where he goes to play music protected from the wind. After my morning walks, I edit photos and prepare some for posting on FB or for blogs. Afternoons are spent editing and blog writing. Music for me is usually with my brother Rollie, although he is gone now to a bluegrass festival.

Trees and shrubs in a natural windbreak

Most days I am in contact with at least one of my kids, often by text, but sometimes a phone call. This is the way it is most of the year, so that is not something new, but now the topic of conversation tends to be about the virus and how it is impacting lives. Although Clifford and I live in a bit of secluded normalcy here in the desert, there is definitely an awareness that things are shifting, and in a way that one might not expect.

Flowers are often sheltered at the feet of great old trees

March Comes Marching In – Arizona – March 2020

March comes marching in with high winds, but in spite of that, I go for morning walks in the desert here at LaPosa South (south of Quartzsite, Arizona) where Clifford and I are camped.

Red bush and palo verde

In the washes protected from the wind, I take photos of the wonderfully blooming vegetation – desert marigold, globe mallow, and the red flowering bush that the hummingbirds like. As I’m out walking, I feel like the flowers and trees are inviting me to sit a spell and just be with them, so that is what I do.

Desert marigold in the wash
Grandmother Saguaro and her companions

We continue with our projects – ham radio and dulcimer for Clifford, while I edit books, write blogs, play viola with my brother Rollie and Clifford, edit photos for my Higher Vibration Series (learning new editing techniques along the way), and the usual domestic chores.

Playing with editing – PhotoImpactPro

One of these first days of March, we run errands in Quartzsite and invite Rollie and his friend Tata to join us for pizza after the errands are done. What fun it is to play pool and share a big pizza with family and friends.

Kites for sale in Quartzsite

More and more news is coming out about the coronavirus. Fear and hoarding of supplies is on the rise, while in China, my son takes his 2-year-old daughter out to play at the beach, having fun and letting her experience that life is good.

February Last Days – Arizona – February 2020

February 27 to 29: Morning walks in the desert here at LaPosa South, south of Quartzsite, Arizona, are a wonderful way to start the mornings for me. The desert marigold bushes are blooming like crazy and a little sunflower type flower is starting to bloom. Another shrub is loaded with red trumpet-shaped blossoms, and the hummingbirds love it. Tiny tiny flowers in pink, purple, and white hug the ground.

Sunrise at LaPosa South
The bush that the hummingbirds love
Composite

One day I stay at camp and have a campfire instead of walking. Since the campfire ring is on a sandbar in the wash, it still feels like I have left civilization. It is a good place to sit and write in the journal.

Journal writing at a campfire

Along with our usual projects, we make a trip to Quartzsite one day and have a big overhaul of my laptop another day after it froze up while working on a blog. Sure is a good thing that Clifford was a computer consultant and gets along well with these devices.

Iconic desert view – painterly

It is a time of peace and relative ease for us, in spite of the increasing bad news about the virus, which is now being called Covid-19. I am happy to hear from my son Fin, who lives China with his wife and daughter, that he and his family are well and making the effort to have the greatest sense of normalcy that is possible under the circumstances.

Serenity in the Desert – Arizona – February 2020

As we near the end of February, more and more blossoms appear in the desert here at LaPosa South, south of Quartzsite, Arizona, where Clifford and I are camped in this BLM long-term area. I find great pleasure in walking in the desert in the morning, taking photos, just being present to the ambiance of the area, the colors, the sounds, the feel of it. I have found a few spots where I can sit on old dead and downed tree trunks, soaking up the morning sun with my eyes closed. I have named the desert Serenity, for that’s what she is to me.

Along with the desert experience, life goes on with trips to Quartzsite for errands, Clifford is recovering from a bout of bladder infection, blogs are written, photos are edited, books are edited, music is played with my brother Rollie who is camped next to us, meals are prepared and eaten, domestic chores are taken care of. No two days are exactly alike, depending on the weather and the needs of the day.

FB posts, Clifford’s ham nets, and the Canadian Broadcast news that we listen to draw more and more attention to the corona virus, some of it factual information, but sensational alarmist headlines take center-stage. Our life changes very little, but we have concern for those who will be facing hardships.

More Desert Days – Arizona – February 2020

February 20 to 24: Every morning I walk in the desert at LaPosa South, south of Quartzsite, Arizona, where Clifford and I are camped.

Sunrise reflected off Shale Mountain

It is the time to center myself and I always find flowers or trees to take photos of, often posting one for my Higher Vibration Series. It is important to find that calm peaceful joyful center of my being, as the externals may not always be so calm and peaceful.

Great gnarly old trees live here
Desert shrubs in bloom

One day, clouds move in and there is a bit of a rainstorm followed by a rainbow. Rain in the desert is such a treat, so life-giving. Everything looks fresh and bright after a rain.

Rain-bearing clouds move in
A rainbow after the rain
Clouds begin to dissipate

We make a couple of trips to Quartzsite for errands and music, but other than that, we are quite content with our spot in the desert with its huge wild “front yard.”

Trees and blooming shrubs in our wild front yard
Rugged mountains to the south

We continue with our usual projects, ham radio and dulcimer for Clifford; photography, blogs, editing, and viola for me. Almost every day we get together with my brother Rollie and play bluegrass tunes. It is a good life here.

Last light of day on Shale Mountain

Living at LaPosa – February 2020

February 16 to 19: Our life here in the desert camping at LaPosa South, south of Quartzsite, Arizona, is somewhat like it would be if we were at homebase in Utah in that we would still have errands, still need to do laundry, still buy groceries. We would still work on our projects: ham radio and dulcimer and CI for Clifford; taking photos, editing, blog writing, and playing viola for me.

Rugged mountains to the south

What is different is that my brother Rollie is camped next to us, so we share meals, hike together, play music together, and Rollie and I play cribbage almost daily.

Rollie cooks up some burgers for us and friends

And the desert itself – that marvelous bit of land that stretches for miles is the greatest difference. I find peace and joy daily in meandering about, catching the rising of the sun as often as I can and finding the inspiration for my daily Higher Vibration Series. (Daily posts on FB and on my website.)

Shale Mountain at sunrise

I have named the desert Serenity, for that is what she is to me.

Desert Days – February 2020

February 11 to 15: My morning walks are like little retreats for me. A time just to be, not to think deep thoughts, not to work out problems, not to dwell on the meaning of life, just time to be aware of my surroundings: the light of sunrise, birds chirping, flowers becoming more abundant, the variety and texture of desert vegetation, the color and nature of rocks.

Palo verde at sunrise
Desert ambiance – a visit to the saguaro I call Grandmother

It is hard to not pick up pieces of quartz, some very white and often with crystals embedded, to take back to camp. More and more, I leave almost all of them in place, appreciating them, but not needed to keep them. I take lots of photos and a few of these will make it to posts and even fewer to my Higher Vibration Series.

The morning dance begins
The special moment of the rising of the sun
The beauty of gnarly old trees

Besides the morning saunter, my day is filled with meals (preparing, eating, cleaning up), blogs, editing for a couple of authors, sending texts with photos to family and friends, and playing bluegrass on viola with Clifford and my brother Rollie.

Clifford participates in ham nets daily, but also devotes hours to playing his dulcimer, learning new songs and making accompaniments.

Clifford playing his dulcimer

While much of the world is in turmoil over political differences and the spreading coronavirus, we are in a bit of a sanctuary of sorts, with the wind being our most troublesome issue.

Peace in the Arizona desert

My Desert Birthday – February 2020

Monday February 10. LaPosa South, Quartzsite, Arizona. Today is my birthday and I am happy to be alive and well. It is cool and windy when I go out for my morning walk, but it feels good to be outside. I am thinking I should have planned a hike for my birthday activity rather than going to town for pizza.

Morning desert view
Morning light on t he trees in the wash

When I get back from my walk, I mention this to Clifford and within minutes, we have decided to do both, starting with a hike to the mountain that is about 2 ½ miles away. We invite my brother Rollie to join us. A quick smoothie, hiking shoes, water, snacks, hat, hiking sticks, cell phone and charger – and we are on our way.

My brother Rollie and me

It is a great day for a hike with clouds keeping it from being too hot. We stop for photos now and then. Since it is my birthday, I am allowed to stop as often as I want.

Clifford and Rollie (looking at quartz) and Ninja
Looking back toward camp, a visual of where we are
Shale Mountain coming closer
More clouds as we approach Shale Mountain

Once we arrive at Shale Mountain, my name for the mountain since up close it appears to be made of nothing but shale, we have our snacks and relax until we see rain in the distance and rain clouds building behind us.

Ninja and Clifford relaxing at Shale Mountain
Shale
We see rain to the west and the north

We hustle on back, no stopping for photos, (well, not many), but the rain storm catches up to us and we are drenched by time we arrive back at camp.

Storm cloud over Shale Mountain catches up with us

After a change of clothes, we all head into Quartzsite and finish off the afternoon with the best pizza ever at Silly Al’s. As we leave, it is pouring rain again, which to me is another gift, making an extra special birthday.