Swimming on the Edge of the Desert

I have written previously of my love for seacoasts, but somehow I ended up living in the Chihuahua Desert of southern New Mexico. With annual pilgrimages back east to recharge, I am better able to appreciate the sere landscape of my adopted home. My house is located on the east side of town, on the edge of the desert, not far from the Organ Mountains.


Another benefit of my neighborhood is the large standard lot (1.2 acres minimum), which means we see a lot of local flora and fauna. We’re surrounded by mesquite trees, creosote bushes, agaves, and a wide variety of cacti.


The natural landscaping, not to mention my tiny backyard pool, attract many birds. I regularly see finches, sparrows, woodpeckers, doves, thrashers, roadrunners, kingbirds, hawks wheeling overhead, and the shy silver Pyrrholoxia, a cousin of the cardinal.


We also have skunks, coyotes (more often heard than seen), foxes, bull- and rattlesnakes, scorpions, centipedes, cottontail rabbits, jackrabbits, and the actually rather cute pack rats.


So yeah, there’s no ocean here, but there’s a world of beauty, and I can always pour myself a margarita, step into my pool, and dream.


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