My favourite time of day, any time of year, is just before sunrise.
Monsoon season in the Chihuahuan desert, however, adds a special luminosity and brief, fiery brilliance to the dawn skies.
The air is cool and fragrant. Most mornings, the neighborhood still sleeps while I wander, coinciding only with cats and the occasional skunk, done with their nocturnal grubbing in my garden and heading for wherever skunks spend the daylight hours.
The sunflowers are past their prime, but still standing, still offering pollen and seeds.
Last week’s rainstorm has brought out the blooms on the Texas and northern Mexico native Leucophyllum frutescens (often called Purple Sage, though it is not a salvia, or Texas Ranger though it’s not law enforcement) out front. This grey leafed shrub is very hardy, surviving with almost no supplemental water, rewarding rain with masses of purple flowers. I very seldom give the sidewalk plants any form of irrigation and think it is worth introducing more Leucophyllum into a landscape plan, as I transition the garden to be less needy in terms of water.
After the heat and then relief of rain, a second season of blooming happens. I feel the season changing. Autumn is on the horizon. I notice that the cottonwood outback has dropped a first golden yellow leaf. It is 14 August: the Last Emperor’s birthday. Eat cake!
Or pie, as the case may be.
Apple pie to be exact.