Obviously, this deluded individual had never lived out west. However, I knew better, even then.
Without a doubt, there is the long view …
But if we just pause a moment and investigate more closely, it is amazing what we might notice, particularly on a sunny spring morning walkabout…
These fragile prickly pear cactus blossoms shimmer like blown glass in the sunshine.
Sego lily, Utah’s state wildflower, displays a delicate blossom that can be easily trampled underfoot by the careless hiker.
Clusters of desert marigold edge the trail in a burst of brilliance and create an explosion of yellow on a brown, rocky hillside.
Spindly orange globemallow tiers skyward, sputtering in the gentle wind like just-lit candles.
Bladderwort weaves its threads through the dry desert air.
Walking slowly allows you to see creatures that dash in the flash of a footstep.
We live today with the decisions made by those who came before us. What we endure in the southwestern United States as a consequence of these decisions is cheatgrass.
Cheatgrass probably originated in southwestern Asia. It made its way to the western states via contaminated grain from Europe in the late 1890's, filling a void that appeared as a result of the decline of native herbaceous vegetation as a consequence of historic livestock grazing, particularly in the Great Basin. Bromus tectorum infests open areas and has the grave potential to radically alter whatever ecosystem it invades. If it weren’t for this nasty invasive plant, I expect my hillsides would be draped in native wildflowers instead of merely dotted with them. Plus, I would not have to spend hours picking the spiny seeds out of my boots and socks at the end of a hike.