Monday, May 7, 2012

Home Again!

Yep, we're back in NM
Saturday night -- after two great weeks in Japan, three evenings entertaining wonderful friends from out-of-state, and a very long day shooting video of chalk artists at the Las Cruces Farmers' Market -- we are alone with the sunset, the cactus, and the coyotes.  Finally home!

As always, no matter how much we enjoy our travels, it's a delight to be home, too.   The bright colors of the bird-of-paradise, the ocotillo, and several cacti welcome us home, and the pensive doves and nervous quail serenade us.

We wander around checking everything out.   Last year, the bird-of-paradise had mostly died back to the ground, and spent the spring gaining size again before they blossomed.  This winter, spared them any such killer freeze, and they're already waving their showy flowers at us.

Not to be outdone, the ocotillo offer their bright red homage to the sun.

This morning we learned that they not only bloom sometimes after big rains, which we knew, but time their first flowering each year for precisely the time when hummingbirds are making their way North from Mexico.   (And every year from 1985 until last year, the hummingbirds arrived in Derry on April 1; last yearthey were a few days late.)

Experimentally, ocotillo have been removed to other latitudes, but the plants doggedly flower at their appointed time.

I don't even know exactly what these are. 

I just like the way they look in the late afternoon light, and photograph them. 

Of course I try various ways of photographing the ocotillo in context.

Mostly we just wander around our little patch of desert, seeing who's doing what, luxuriating in the sky and silence, grateful yet again to be here.

Immediately after the sun disappears, this strange ghostly cloud peers over the horizon, catching the bright rays of the now invisible sun:

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