Land of the pokey plants

To be fair, so far I have seen not very much of the desert. Just the cacti by the Starbucks next to my hotel and a rapid march through the Desert Botanical Garden to the meeting room where I spent the day today. (Good meeting so far.)

But I can say without a doubt that the friend who told me (in the course of describing the challenge of spending time outdoors with children in the Phoenix area) “you know, it’s really pokey everywhere”– was right.

Surrealistically tall saguaros, multi-appendaged organ pipe cacti, round ones like sadistic beachballs, graceful curving branches with wicked spikes up and down their sides. Rocky cliffs that appear to be bare red rock.

I don’t even know how to look at this landscape; I don’t know the names of almost anything I’m seeing. I saw quail today. Bazillions of them. Silly little bobbling tassels hanging down in front of their head– why??

When I talked to Alden tonight, he only wanted to know if I had seen any scorpions or rattlesnakes. No, and no.

But I saw this big feller:

I’m really looking forward to exploring this weird and pokey world together when the boys join me.

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