Spiky Beauty

The seasons have clearly changed here, going from the lush greenness of late spring/early summer to the more brown and sparse landscape of hot and dry midsummer.  With that, I’ve noticed a change in the plant life.  Green leaves and blossoms are morphing to drying grasses and the spiky plants, with their protective armor seem ascendant.  Poppies, thistles, yucca, cactus are now in the forefront. That I live in a semi-arid climate is evident.

Just as I now need more protection from the sun when I’m out training, and am challenged to drink enough water to stay hydrated, the plants are showing their own adaptations. My bike rides are different now, with these plants in view, more rustle from the drying grasses, and the soundscape includes more the whirring of grasshoppers and less birdsong. The redwing blackbirds do sing as I ride by, and I watch the hawks soaring on the air currents.

The plants can’t seek shelter, but I can.  I get out as early in the day as I can manage, I choose running courses with some shady spots, and I’m grateful for the sun visor on my bike helmet. I don’t particularly enjoy wearing hats, and I’m beginning to realize that a lightweight hat or visor when I run is going to be useful. I still really enjoy being outdoors, noticing the air and light as well as plants and animals on my travels. And when I am done with my outdoor exercise, I now am so appreciative of being able to retreat inside to a cooler space, and the fabulous luxury of a shower!  Ahh!



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