While in T. or C. just after my Mom's death the grief, and trying to be strong for others, occasionally became too much for us to bear collectively so each of us would wander off and lose ourselves in high desert plants that were just on the verge of magnificence. The Ocatilla plants were in full bloom. The various prickly pear and cholla were slowly opening the myriad blooms that topped each each plant. I so wanted to see them all in full bloom but the timing was just a week too early. Still there was wonder enough to calm and distract me . The Joshua trees and Century plants were sending new growth high into the sky. Here and there a bit of incongruity surfaced as daisies and roses bloomed among the various cacti. I love a desert in bloom and this year there was enough water to encourage prolific production. Elephant Butte Reservoir is the highest I've seen it in years. It has gained about 40 feet since we were there in January. The Rio Grande River was nearly overflowing its banks, kept in check only by Elephant Butte Dam. The prickly pear below was in full bloom two days later as we drove out of town on our way home. I can remember how I demeaned the desert before I actually spent some time in one. I have personal acquaintance now with several deserts: the high desert of southern New Mexico, the Sonora desert in Arizona and Mexico (though I haven't yet been to the Mexico part), the desert canyon lands in Utah, Colorado and New Mexico and the Atacama desert in Chile. Each of them possesses its own special dry-land beauty and is a testament to the persistence of nature. I love deserts.