Every day for the first two weeks in Ridgecrest I would wake up early, put on my glasses, wrap a blanket around me and go sit outside for awhile. Gayle and Euva’s place faces east, and I would sit just outside the front door facing the morning sky. There are no buildings for miles in that direction, just desert scrub brush.
I understand, now, why photographers and painters love to work in the early morning light. It’s fresh and new and beautiful. The miles of desert stretching out before me, the clear, crisp desert sky, and the mountains circling the desert . . . the morning light. . . all are refreshment to my soul.
It is silent and blessedly quiet, allowing me to hear what is going on. There are doves cooing. There is a rooster in the neighborhood who never quite finishes crowing. Every day I wait for him to finish, but he never does. There are cotton tail rabbits who haven’t yet left the yard. There are crows and sparrows and many other varieties of birds. Who knows how many? They are all so busy in the morning! There are peacocks across the road and down aways, who make such a strange noise. One day I heard a turkey! (Whose presence in the neighborhood has since been corroborated.) There are desert chipmunks who are the exact color of the sandy ground. (I think they are called ground squirrels, but desert chipmunks is much more picturesque). They like to hang out in the tangle of old, dried out cactus and leaves near the fence, and occasionally they’ll run across to the pistachio orchard across the road to the south.
It is amazing what you can hear in the silence.