“'The desert is beautiful,' the little prince added.
And that was true. I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune,
sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs,
'What makes the desert beautiful,' said the little prince, 'is that somewhere it hides a well...'"
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Because of this, it's easy to take the desert for granted. The first year I lived here, I didn't even notice the subtle changes that take place throughout the year. It's easy to overlook the transformations that are constantly unfolding in the desert, which are actually quite dramatic. During our second year here in the Valley, I became more interested in our strange desert surroundings. I started to notice things that I hadn't seen before---the way that a desert mountain changes from a darker shade of brown in the winter to a mellow green in the spring, or the wildflowers that emerge along the highway in the spring and fall. The delicate yellow flowers of a palo verde, the green pods of a mesquite.