Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A dusty slice of the west

Today Marty and I drove out of town specifically for the purpose of my taking some pictures for possible use in Just Add Light and Stir. Some of them are no good, and there were two dust devils (miniature whirlwinds) that I didn't even try to photograph. But because I was snap-snappety-snap-snap while I was in the UK, I thought I would try to take pictures of things I might have taken pictures of if I was a tourist here. I don't think it works quite the same way, but some of these are fun, and as a group they might be interesting for people who don't live in desert places.

There's a road I hadn't seen, off of Coors Road, and I took a photo for Ravi, Hema, and anyone else who might appreciate it:

That's Marty sitting in the jeep in the shade waiting for me to cross the road again.

There were some little tumbleweeds in the median there. They don't have time to get very big before it's too cold for them. So they will end up stunted and ratty like the one below that (leftover from last year, and miles from there). That's okay. Really, it's better than fat, healthy tumbleweeds that plant a thousand babies.

None of those were any good for Just Add Light. And pretty much there was PLENTY of light, and 95 degrees or so. Marty's jeep has excellent air conditioning.

There's one place where a car had been doing donuts, and some close-ups of junk, but the worst ugly thing is something Georgia O'Keefe would NOT have wanted to paint, that would NOT be put into a western movie. It's a cow skeleton, some of one, but cut with a bandsaw, or something, down the spine, so maybe was in a butcher's shop, and then... I don't know. It's by the side of old Rt. 66 now, with yucky tendons and all. So that's nasty. Welcome to the west on a normal day. Maybe it was the by-product of a beef ribs bar-be-cue. DOH! Sorry, Hema and Ravi. Namaste.

Maybe some of the photos will show up in Just Add Light and Stir sometime. Or not. :-)

Chris in Iowa send me a note, and because it has a photo, I'm just going to add it in here (with her permission):

Your blogpost with photos of the desert reminded me of something Holly said when she was visiting us two summers ago. We had picked her up from the airport and we were driving home. We exited our freeway and in Iowa we have pretty long exit ramps. As we approached the end of the exit ramp, on the right side of the road was a grassy corner with trees. Holly looked at it and asked, "Is that a park?" It struck me as funny because to my eyes it was just a small area of grass and trees which are plentiful on hundreds of corners around here, but to her it looked like a park. I told her, "No, it's just a corner."

The photo below is the area that she thought looked like a park. It's not a very good photo (google maps) and it was definitely greener the day Holly saw it. The pavement you can see on the other side of the trees is a road leading back to a residential neighborhood.

Seeing it through a desert-dweller's eyes, I could definitely see why she might've thought it was a park. It is a fond memory I have of Holly's visit. -- Chris


Hema A Bharadwaj said...

ah the use of namaste out there seems strange. but nice. i love those blowing tumbleweeds.

Sandra Dodd said...

I told Holly about what Chris sent. She said that it might've been the same day she asked, "What's the name of that river?" and Chris said, "That's a ditch."

We visited a family near Minneapolis once. Right at the bottom of their back yard was a lake, and they had a canoe! You could go out of sight of the house, around where the lake turned. It wasn't huge, but it was real, and deep, and in the winter it froze into a skating rink. We asked what it was called, and were told it didn't have a name; it was too little.

zamozo said...

I remember that too -- the river/ditch comment. I think it had been raining quite a bit before Holly arrived, thus the greener grass and the ditch full of water.

alison said...

I love this series of desert photos and love the idea of seeing your own home through new eyes. Having witnessed your snap-snappety-snap-snap while in the UK, I now notice all manner of things afresh - I can't tell you how many times I now spot plants growing on walls, gutters, trees etc :-)

Sandra Dodd said...

When I got home, it hadn't rained for some large number of days. 90? Maybe more. (I forget numbers.) Long-established plants in my yard were dying. Trees looked precariously weak. In the past couple of weeks, it's been raining quite a bit and things are perking up. :-)

In England, truly, real plants grow in the amount of dirt and water that collect behind a pipe, or in a joint of masonry--a plant will grow, flower, seed, and survive. It's stunning.