Written Monday September 22, 2008
I'm writing this from beautiful, downtown Terlingua. I've been here, and I do mean in THIS very room before. When the Dearly Beloved and I were here in 2005, we had this same cabin we're in this week.
It's a lovely cabin; Apple green in color, with a matching picnic table by the front door. There's also a small bar-b-q grill outside. Inside there are 2 double beds and a single. There's ALSO a small, but still FULL sized fridge; apartment sized gas stove, microwave, coffeemaker, double sink and cabinets full of dishes and cookware.
The bathroom, while it doesn't have a jacuzzi, has a clean tub and shower, w/ massaging head. It also has a LOT better water pressure than some big city hotels in which I've stayed. The towels may not be fluffy, but the are soft and plentiful and the management gives you the option of keeping them for a day to save water out here in the desert or getting fresh ones everyday.
What totally knocks me out, though, is the scenery. I fell in love with Terlingua when the Dearly Beloved brought me here for part of our honeymoon. I saw it then wearing its stark, sere, Winter wardrobe. Since then all our trips have been in the Summer months. I loved the dry heat, so different after my years in semi-tropical Houston. I even appreciated the hardiness of the months dry desert vegetation cloaked in dust.
NOW...this area got rain at the same time Ike was hammering the coastal and near coastal regions of Texas. Big Bend and the Upper Sonora desert of Mexico got a LOT of rain. In the next few days, I'll try to post some pics from between here and Lajitas where you can see the remains of water, silt, sand and gravel washing across the roads in several places.
The pics of the swollen beyond belief Rio Grande will be posted on the Dearly Beloved's blog. That's HIS story. It's his river, and he's been coming out here a lot longer than I have, so he gets to tell that part of the story.
But the plants? The Plants are MINE! The desert isn't in bloom, that would be a mis-statement. SOME plants are blooming, but they are Fall bloomers anyway. Some years they don't bloom because there's not enough rain.
But other plants, the GREEN ones, the ones I've only seen in their dormant stage or in the dirty, dry state of Summer heat distress, they are GLORYING in this blessed rain. I never knew Ocotillo could have pretty, plump, verdantly green leaves. I had been thinkin' they were these wafer-thin, grayish brown, dry, crumbly leaves.
The grease wood Dearly Beloved loves so much? It's another case of a plant looking vastly different after it's gotten a walloping' dose of moisture. All the trees and succulents and cacti just look so vastly different.
I have been saying for a about 3 years I want to build a cacti and rose garden on the South side of the house. NOW, I really have the bug. Seeing what a difference rain makes to desert vegetation makes me realize I could have several completely different looks from ONE garden.
Imagine the prickly pear patch where it is, under that window. I want to put the Ocotillo behind it. Ben, the Dearly Beloved's big yeller dog, has a nasty habit of jumping out that window when it's open and he sees something he wants to chase. I'm thinkin' the Ocotillo would discourage Mr. Ben the first time he hit those thorns.
Next to the prickly pear, I'm thinking a dwarf white rose bush, with a couple of short cacti in front of it to camouflage the stems as it grows. Then some grease wood. Then, a lady offered me a small variety of tree today. I will probably see her Wednesday and take her up on her kind offer, then. Put that next to the grease wood. Then the agave I have now and another white rose bush with another agave on the other side of the rosebush. I think that will fill the space...if I leave room for growth AND for the brick path I want to put in, too.
So, can any of y'all visualize this along with me? And if so...what do you think?