Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Catching the Midsummer Light

The green on the hills and off the highway is dulling bit. The land shines in the sun more like a peridot and less like an emerald. The rain has stopped, for the most part. There is still the occasional 10-minute afternoon thunderstorm/rainstorm. The ground is dusty and dry, there is a crackling in the grass when it sways in the summer breeze.

This is the summer I grew up with; these are the warm months that filled me with nostalgia when I lived in DC. Here there is a distinct smell of dust in the air when it rains. I don't know how to explain it. The rain here is almost dry. The air does not become humid with the rain. You can literally smell the dust being displaced by the raindrops, swirling up in the air. It is very, very different from the rich, thick smell of rain on the East Coast. When it does rain here, if you get caught in it you are dry in 10 minutes. The rain just evaporates off bodies and clothes.  I was so surprised the first time I got caught in the rain back East. First, it kept raining -- it wasn't just a small afternoon storm. I understood the phrase "pouring rain" for the first time.  Second, I couldn't get over how I would never dry off. It didn't matter if I'd been soaked in the rain or just misted. The rain had nowhere to evaporate. The air was saturated and couldn't accept another molecule of water. I never did get used to staying wet and miserable if I got caught in the rain in DC. 


Often the land I live on gets described as "empty," "desolate," or "a wasteland." I vehemently disagree with assessments like these.The land all around is constantly transitioning. It is never static.  Right now, all along the highway to the house scores of delicate, lavendar flowers are exploding in bloom. Antelope are dropping babies -- tiny, tiny antelope babies!! Every time I am on the highway I find myself swerving all over the lanes, craning my neck to see the little ones wobbling around in the tall grass. The other day I saw itty-bitty twins run up to their mama.

My heart soared.


  1. I have to agree with you... Wyoming is one of the most wonderful places on earth (the nostalgia I feel about it puts it at the very top for me) and I have visited 6 continents... and I don't know how many countries.. so I have seen a lot of different landscapes. I love the variety of Wyoming.

  2. hrm. your comment thingy is fighting with me.

    what i was trying to say, though, is that this post is fantastically beautiful. and i want to see a baby antelope now :-)

  3. Fantastic post. So beautiful. I could practically smell summer while reading it.

    I would love to have dry rains around here. Ugh. Humidity is gross.

  4. I always love to read your descriptions -- I can see the flowers blooming and hear the grass crackling and smell the dusty rain. Also: twin, baby antelope?...LOVE.

  5. I would crash my car trying to see baby antelopes. I WOULD. And I wouldn't even be very sorry.

  6. Muchos sighs from this part of Wyoming. I'm one of those "wasteland" people...LOL...I love your description of Wyoming, and grant that you live in a much prettier area of the state, but I will never get used to this dryness, the general brownness...No, I am just not a lover of Wyoming. Y'know, I think people love where they're from and that's just it. But I'd move to your area of WY in a heartbeat!

    BUT--baby antelope are probably some of the cutest things in existence! Those little cottonball butts!!!


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