Monday, July 18, 2011

The Dust Devil

One of my favorite desert birds - the cactus wren.
 I was in the studio yesterday, painting, when all of a sudden I heard a loud sound outside.  It was loud enough that I put my brush down to go see what was the matter.  I went to the dining room window, and there I saw nearly the entire contents of my recycle bin, along with a great quantity of dust and other desert debris blowing around and around in the backyard.  It was such a strong wind that I was glued to the window in amazement.  A large piece of cardboard had been picked up, and I watched it swirl upwards.  It rose higher than the nearby power lines before coming to rest near my neighbor's house.  (There are two empty 1.25 acre lots between her house and ours.)  This was by far the largest dust devil I have witnessed since moving to the desert.  I was so mesmerized by the swirling dust and debris that it did not occur to me to take a photo or video.   There are some pretty impressive photos of dust devils on the internet, if you do a simple google search.  You can also read more about dust devils here.  (a fascinating wikipedia article, where I discovered that Mars also has dust devils.  The reason I mention this is because when we first moved to the desert from Colorado, there were times when I felt like we had moved to Mars.  And so you see?  There are some similarities!)

I waited until the dust had (literally) settled before going outside to assess the damage.  The devil had taken out both the trash can and the recycle bin, and there was recycling EVERYWHERE.  While walking around the desert, picking up my scattered recycling, I accidentally turned my flip-flop encased foot sideways, right into a prickly cholla.   Ow.  This isn't the first time I have gotten a cholla spine embedded in my foot, but this time it had gone into my foot far enough that I actually had to limp inside, get a pair of pliers, shut my eyes and grit my teeth in order to pull it out.  Okay.  So I did have one little tear slip down my cheek from the pain, but I am fine now.  Just another ordinary day in the desert.
Cholla cactus.  I am sure you can see how this would hurt a bit.

I have been busy working on a brand new series of abstract paintings that is so new and different that I don't feel comfortable sharing the photos yet.  I know that seems unfair of me, but I haven't quite figured out what these paintings are about, nor have they begun to form a cohesive group.  So until I find the thread that ties them together, I need to keep them to myself.  Please don't be upset.

I will make it up to you by sharing some new jackrabbit photos.   I promise you will get to see photos of the new paintings as soon as I figure them out.
Another week begins!

1 comment:

Cynthia Schelzig said...

What a story had me on the edge of seat here....I thought you were going to say Pono blew away or he had a bird:)...I remember those dust devils ..they are awesome to watch but this one sounded like a small tornado!!! I look forward to seeing your newest projects,,,your jacky fotos suffice for they are soooooooooo ear-resistable.
HAve a fun ,,,dust devil free,,,day in the studio!!!