I have experienced so much beauty in the past week I could never explain it all sufficiently. I feel like the luckiest person in the world. These days have been so rich, so full and saturated with life and marvel. Scott’s oriole and rufous-winged sparrow hanging from flowering ocotillo. Rufous hummingbird zipping before a field of blooming honeysuckle. Hutton’s vireo perching 2ft away from my face. Elegant freaking trogon nearly flying into my head. Elf owl silhouette in the tree no bigger than a robin. Yellow freaking prickly pear flowers on the roadside. Owl perched on a sign at dawn. Magnificent hummingbird flashing it’s neon green throat in the midday sun. Deep, deep fuchsia flowers on the hedgehog cactus. 4 little calves occupying my campsite. Waking up to the breath of a mother cow grazing 30 meters away. Arizona woodpecker upside-down on a branch, with her puffy little head pointing down. Moon so bright I have to cover my eyes at night. Windy night outside Joshua Tree. Prancing on seemingly another planet among those whacky figures and funny rocks with tiny dots of yellow and purple below. Creosote, creosote and more creosote. The oldest living stand of creosote in existence. Rings of creosote out in the desert barrens, under a hot, hot soothing sun. The landscape turning from brown to green in the blink of an eye. Being in the desert when the sun goes down and lying among giant sequoias in the Sierras when it comes back up. The most massive slabs of rock I have ever seen in the Yosemite Valley. Water. Green. Rushing water, crashing waterfalls. Green exploding from mountainsides and moist meadows. Gigantic ponderosas with that beautiful cinnamon bark. Gigantic cedars with those deep green scale leaves. Giant sugar pines with giant pinecones. Rocky meadows purple with lupine. The smell of lupine rushing through the car windows on a windy mountainside road. White-headed woodpecker hopping up a tree trunk. Brown creeper sneaking up a pine. Morels pushing through a blanket of pine needles. A view of pine tree silhouettes before Lake Eleanor from a steep ridgeside. A silhouette of a spotted owl perched on a limb and his eyes blazing like the near-full moon beside him. (That right there is one of the more majestic, storybook-esque sights I have ever witnessed. We briefly lost our own when he took off, and I found him there.) Falling asleep beside a roaring creek on a beautiful flat rock with that moon lighting up the beautiful souls surrounding you…

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