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Desert Survival

By Gina Putnam

(Note from My-West:  The following is a comment sent to us through Facebook in response to one of our posts about the desert. Ms. Putnam’s descriptions were so striking and poetic, we asked her if we could post them in our poetry section. She graciously agreed.)

I have lived in the desert for thirty years. I started out thinking it was dry, hot, desolate and a place God didn't forget ... He never even knew it was here, with good reason.

Credit: ©

It took me awhile to discover that even the most desolate of deserts is vibrant with life and strength. I have seen a quiet creek explode into a 500 year event flood rampaging past my home. I have heard boulders bouncing through the water and watched trees float like barges through the chaos with a calm serenity.

Credit: Gina Putnam

The desert changes its shape but never its form. 

Credit: ©

I've watched brush fires and timber fires thunder all around and envelope the desert in burning heat; Pinion pines exploding into towers of red flame leaving all the desert blackened and dead.  

Credit: Arbyreed

And then, a flash of color! A shout of hope! A prickly pear blossoms in neon defiance.

Credit: Fool-On-The-Hill

Credit: Gina Putnam

[Finally: video of a flash flood in Southern Utah by David Rankin – listen to the sound of the boulders crashing together.]

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Reader Comments (3)

Gina, You got it just right. The deserts are alive as anything can be....., the rocks, the sky, the lizards, everything is alive. I have also watched the floods come, like warm molasses, pushing up a cloud of dust and the smell of fire.

November 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBob Poulton

Gina, Beautiful writing! You really captured the essense. Bravo and love, Barb

November 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGina Putnam

The desert gives a wide range of sound, from the soft whapp of the hummingbird wing to the echoing thunder of a low lying thunderstorm. Gina always shows that she loves and enjoys them all.

December 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFran Watt

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