It's no secret that deserts are arid, and its no secret that the desert southwest is in a years-long drought. For the past four years, we've been struck by how many fewer cactus flowers present, by how clearly distressed and progressively more distressed are the yuccas, the Joshua trees, the scrub and creosote. Then comes a year like 2005, when there was so much rain some of the topography in the Mojave Preserve was forever reshaped. One wishes for balance, but the climate in a desert is one thing consistently. It is extreme.
Tuesday night's pounding rain made for a beautiful Wednesday morning! When I pulled out of the driveway, I saw the most wondrous scene. Red Rock, the Spring Mountains and the Sheep Range - all seeming close enough for me to reach out and touch - had a light dusting of snow against the scorching red, orange and caramel rock formations. Although most of the valley was crystal clear, there were some insignificant wispy clouds over Red Rock. The sun came blazing up over Sunrise Mountain and painted those wispies peach, right before my eyes. It was damned glorious!
As I drove into the sunrise, my car dashboard screamed "ICY". Yes, I'd say so. A full 10 degrees colder than the last few mornings. As I descended eastward, I could see a thick blanket of fog along the Strip hanging lower than the tops of the casino buildings. When I stepped out in the parking lot, the air was cold. It was quiet (for a wonder, at the busy intersection where my office is located) and I thought of the word "crisp" as I pulled frosty air into my lungs.
I heard on the news this morning that the Las Vegas Valley got 1 1/2 inches of rain in 2009. That seems about right to me, based on my own observation. In the first three weeks of 2010, we've received .80 inches, with more storms promised this week and next. We hope for balance and we hope for flowers. Meteorologist Sherry said we are "in the black" for rainfall right now. I might say we are in the black for these three weeks, but that does nothing to offset the years and years and years of drought.
And this post is not meant to be all about the weather.
Some conversations have occurred between various bloggers in person, in e-mail, and on some of the blogs. These conversations are about meaning and etiquette and rules of blogging. The conversations were generated by observations of how various bloggers group up on certain blogs for one purpose, then split up into different groupings to go to a different blog for a different purpose. We perform our dances with an ever-changing cast of characters, all for everyone (who's interested) to see. And what are the messages we send with the songs we sing in our writing?
I'd be interested to hear what any followers or readers think about such things, and I started the conversation, so I'll toss out a few of my head-scratchers.
A few of my followers meet in one of their blogs to thoroughly chew on a particular subject. I like, follow and enjoy each of these bloggers, so I go to that blog and read it, too. These people are perfectly brilliant in their discussions. I'd like to join in, but I have nothing to add. I am profoundly stupid regarding the topic about which they are profoundly knowledgeable. Here comes the twisty part. I go, I read, I say nothing because I am intimidated. I want to shout, "Right on, 'tend friends, you're remarkable!" Mind you, I could go off and learn about what they're discussing, but I'm not sufficiently interested or motivated to go do that. And all of this makes me feel a bit like a stalker and rather inadequate. [Disclaimer: If some of this is just my own dumb shit, then commenters will either say nothing or will say, "Leslie, that's your own dumb shit."]
A favored follower said something to me yesterday that nearly made me fall off of the chair. This person is intelligent, funny, feeling and gregarious. Take this blogger to a cocktail party and sparkling conversations will ensue. When the blogger found my pink bus, she wanted to join in, but she felt there was a bit of a closed club atmosphere between me and several followers. Ironically, at the time, I was wishing more voices would jump on so my bus wouldn't seem like a closed club. She said she worked at putting her comments on and I was immediately welcoming, so she quickly felt at ease. But I ponder on her hesitation and I wonder why my blog sent out a "closed" vibe. And, yes, I've also hesitated to jump in sometimes because I'm unsure whether I will be welcomed.
A blogger felt a little unsettled because a follower who previously commented often had gone silent. The follower hadn't stopped following the blog, but no longer had anything to say in comments. The blogger was considering whether he had been offensive in some way or failed to be gracious, thereby silencing the follower. "Well, do you ever go look at her blog?" He does. "Have you ever posted a comment?" He never had. "Maybe she'd like you to add your thoughts and ideas about her posts, as she does for you." The question here is how much do bloggers want to give-and-take? Is it a courtesy or a favor to give as well as one receives?
Here's one I do know how to handle. Occasionally a blogger posts something that's not up to usual standards. Sometimes a great follower will post a comment that makes one think, "Did he even read what I wrote? Did he even get the point of the post?" One moves on and checks out the blog at the next posting. We all blog as a form of expression. We're human. Every post isn't going to be wonderful.
Those are the things that pull my brain cells today, dear readers. I'd thoroughly enjoy learning what you think about such things.
In my ears right now: Something fun!
Something that charmed me: Eleanor and Harry charm me. Eleanor strikes me as a chiquita who could dress out a deer while wearing that charming gypsy blouse and peep-toe pumps. And then go put up some peach preserves before cooking chow for 47 ranch hands, never disturbing one hair in that pincurl 'do. Harry's pencil-thin mustache draws my eye almost as much as the mismatched shirt and tie. I wonder how he ranches with those long fingernails, and the best part of his presentation is the three inch foldup at the bottom of his jeans. Well . . . . . the 52-inch belt is pretty remarkable, too. See you at Buck Lake Ranch!
Some photo credits: J. D. Morehouse