It’s been so bloomin’ wonderful here by the Rio Grande Gorge that we’ve extended our stay. Since Monday of this week it’s been only us and the host, and the great, big wide all-of-it-ours wilderness. We love that kind of peace and isolation, but recently we’ve had some new visitors and it’s all thanks to a few drops of water.
The whole thing started a few days before our arrival. As you may know Texas and New Mexico have had a drier-than usual spring and that’s affected much of the usual cycle of crops and desert blooms.
Over the past two months we’ve passed through hundreds of miles of parched earth and it’s easy to think it’s all dead. The drought is having severe impacts on the area not least of which have been the wildfires, but underneath it all there lies the secret of a thriving life simply waiting for the right moment to rise.
Here in the great Southwest everything is uniquely adapted to the harsh and extreme environment of the dry and moody desert. Animals evolve ingenious methods of preserving and extracting moisture, while plants exchange leaves for thorns and wait for the perfect moment to propagate. It’s this latter process which produces one of the most spectacular displays in the Southwest, the spring cactus blooms.
This year because of the drought blooms have been poor, but right here in the deep loneliness of the Rio Grande Gorge we’ve been blessed with a private show. Just a few days before we arrived the area received a few drops of rain and a chill. That meager drink of water was all it took. Within a week cacti that had been holding back all year burst forth in colorful display, and it just so happens we’re here to see it.
We’ve been watching the show for the past four days in total awe of the color that’s exploding over the landscape. What was merely a beautiful but dry valley only a few days ago is now dotted with pinks, yellows and brilliant reds. This is the show that everyone was waiting for and it’s finally arrived. Oh yeah it’s right-out-to-the-limit, bloomin’ wonderful and we’re very, very lucky to be here!
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