I took the youngest kiddo out to the Salt River today to see the result of the water releases from Granite Reef Dam. We saw hummingbirds, bees, cormorants, and burrowing owls. And water, lots of water.
You don’t have to taste the water to know why this river is called Salt. You can feel the soft film of it on your skin. You can smell it in the soil as it beats against the shore. I always leave this place dirty, but never dissatisfied.
The greatest portion of my free time since August 2013 has been spent working on my Master’s program in Liberal Studies at Arizona State. The very nature of the program means I can focus on something that interests me and submit a final applied project on it. Of course, I chose the Salt River (see “Solstice Memories”), because, well… I’m fanatical! I will graduate in December, so the entire program has been one long crunch time! Challenges make us more rounded individuals, right? Right? I sure hope so, because I’m driving my poor husband nuts with me.
Welcome to the holidays in the desert, where the trees change color in December, the ground is as dry as a cow skull against a cactus, and the temperature doesn’t get much lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit on any given night. This is my favorite time of year. I am from a colder climate, and even though I’ve lived in Arizona most of my life, there’s just something about stepping out into cooler weather that lifts my soul. I live for communion with nature! It is a part of my spirit that I cannot deny. So, on the winter solstice this year, I found myself with a few extra hours alone, and decided that instead of doing laundry and sitting in front of the television, I was going to make good use of it.