On my first western trip, I visited Moab in July. We went hiking in 105 degree heat, the sun pounding the ground and anything above it. We learned to respect the desert, because the desert will win.
I always stop and admire the brave stalwarts of the desert—that scraggly tree growing from a forbidding rock face or that little flower, full of color if only briefly. They can never move. They survive or die.
In an ancient landscape shaped by wind and water on continents that no longer exist, the desert plants are ephemeral. Like the ruins of the southwest and our cities, the landscape will outlast them. But they, like us, can be beautiful for their time.