Subtle beauty and simple pleasures

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Postcard-perfect days are the rule here in the desert even as we round the corner into the winter holidays. It’s sunny and warm nearly every day. I can’t help but miss the traditional trappings of fall just a little bit.

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With nary a scarf nor fallen leaf in sight, I find myself grateful for brisk mornings and chilly evenings. After the punishing heat of summer, it’s easy to delight in the little things, small acts I once might have taken for granted, like throwing on a cozy sweatshirt for a 7 a.m. hike or warming my hands around a hot cup of coffee. And just last night, it felt downright luxurious to curl up under the flannel sheets I brought with me from the city but could never imagine needing until now.

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As lovely as it is here, the truth is, it’s a subtle kind of beauty. Spectacular, dramatic sunrises and sunsets aside, the color palette is a bit limited in these parts. The mountains and rocky terrain that define this valley; the velvety, emerald of the golf courses; and, of course, the cacti and palm trees, are all mostly shades of green and brown.

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But the light, the light is the thing. It casts a spell of sorts, the exquisitely delicate, golden wash of desert light, enhancing and enchanting as it illuminates.

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