Friday, November 9, 2012

Desert - Fall - Sky - Small Town Life

Fall is here in the desert. The temperatures are wonderful in the day and the sun doesn't feel as hot. The nights have a chill and its time to break out the wood stoves in the evenings. The sunrises and sunsets look different, and of course the days are growing shorter. It feels so odd to see the darkness coming so quickly after 5 pm when we've just spent months hanging outside in the evenings until 7, 8, 9 pm.

The best part is the changing temperatures. Over the summer if you wanted to be outside, hiking for example, you needed to get out and be done by 9 am. The rest of the day and into the evening was just too hot. Now the whole day carries pleasant temperatures, and the sun feels less intense. Perfect for hiking, which I've been trying to do more of (I recommend Pipe's Canyon and Big Morongo Canyon Preserves - minutes away from our house and just as beautiful as Joshua Tree, but with less people.)

I didn't think I would get to experience changing Fall color here in the desert, but there are some desert bushes that are flowering and changing color. Downtown in Yucca Valley, where folks have planted non-native deciduous trees around houses and buildings, there are changing colors. In certain areas out here that have natural water springs (the preserves I noted above for example) and thus different plant life, those landscapes are changing color too. Check out some photos.

Yesterday we had a lot of cloud cover and a tiny bit of rain. It was so strange to have that kind of cloud cover after so many days of clear sky. The rain, even though only a brief, light shower, did its beautiful thing of releasing all the smells of the desert. Its been awhile since we had any rain so that was a nice surprise. Later in the day we had a rain shower - the sun pouring down bright and strong with a light rain in the middle of it. If I would have gotten up away from my computer (work!) and walked outside and around the side of the house I would have seen a double rainbow up over where our new house is. I heard about this later. I am so disappointed I missed that. Lesson learned - when its raining out here STOP and get up and go outside and take it in for a few minutes. The work can wait.

It is cloudy again this morning - which makes for amazing skies. This is a big sky world out here and I never get tired of looking at the sky. Included here are a couple of shots I took driving up the road to visit some friends for dinner last night.

Speaking of friends...there are so many beautiful people that we count as friends who have all found their way out here to this desert oasis. It is another amazing thing about life out here. I sometimes joke I have a better social life here than I did back in Washington, DC. A different kind of social life of course, but one that is richer. Because it is slower and smaller, and thus more manageable. When you live in a small place, you get to know your neighbors more. There is a smaller pool of people and you cross paths more often. I see people I know all the time in the grocery store and I love that. There isn't much of a night life in the nearby town, so social life here is about meeting up for a hike or a book club or going to people's houses for dinners or a house party or meeting up for a beer and some free music at Pappy & Harriets.With so many musicians and artists around there are always small shows one can attend if that is your thing.

Fall here has been a very Scenic moment on the Byway. Hiking and hanging with friends, watching the world around us change and get ready for winter. Desert - Fall - Sky - Small Town Life...all beautiful.


  1. Hey Wendy. You might like this. Apparently, this person has made works like this all over the planet. Very close to your house. :)

  2. 34°11'10.84" N 116°26'14.52" W