I have been in a hurry for as long as I can remember — at least in regard to the adult years of my life. I have lived my life in fast forward for so long that I am actually a bit fearful of slowing down. Don’t ask me why because I can’t explain it. On the bright side, however, I am convicted by the thought that God did not design us to live life dazed and out of breath because of incessant hustling.
That said, I do try to intentionally build periods of adventure into my schedule. Opting outside has proven to be very good medicine for me. There is something unmistakably therapeutic about the outdoors. Fresh air, beautiful vistas, and even muscles aching from strenuous activity somehow trigger my internal reset button. Perhaps that is why I can’t seem to get enough of the outdoors.
This past week, my wife Cheryl and I have been hard at work outdoors. Earlier this year we purchased a few acres of land in one of our favorite places in Texas — Big Bend. For the first time since signing on the dotted line, Cheryl had the opportunity to return with me to Dos Arbolitos, our little slice of heaven on earth. With our property officially surveyed, we couldn’t wait to start piddling around on our place — or at least piddling with a purpose.
We drove across the state with a list of things we wanted to accomplish. Until we decide on what kind of tiny house we will build we have plenty of other things that need attention. Our first order of business was to identify all of the trees on the property that have the potential to accentuate our place with their own natural beauty. We marked more than forty trees we would like to nurture.
We started with the mesquite trees located on or near our turnaround. When it comes to mesquites, folks either love them or hate them. As for me, I love mesquites. The mesquite is the tree of my youth. They are rugged, defiant, grow in whatever way suits them, and are hard to kill. Every mesquite is unique because of the way it grows in response to the challenges of its environment. I love that about mesquites.
Because the annual rainfall in the Chihuahuan Desert is only a few inches per year, we wanted to give our trees a little advantage. So, we pruned all of the sucker branches and scooped out the ground around the perimeter drip line of each tree. This way, when it does rain, each tree will have its respective water catchment basin. This should give these trees a little growth advantage in their tough desert home.
Cheryl and I worked from early morning to sunset. We set up our canopy, camp chairs, and ice chest packed with electrolyte drinks and food and then worked like Trojans. The absolutely best part of the day was watching the sun go down and then waiting for the first stars to grace the expansive night sky. The colors at sunset in the desert are beyond amazing. There is no way to describe the magnificent colors painted on the canvas above layers of rugged mountains in the distance. Each sunset in the Big Bend is indeed a masterpiece.
Sunset at Dos Arbolitos was everything we imagined it would be and more. Getting to watch a magnificent thunderstorm move across the Big Bend Valley one afternoon was an added bonus. We can’t wait to come back later this year to continue our labor of love and to just slow down and unwind in what is truly the great outdoors — the Big Bend of Texas. We are beyond refreshed, unquestionably blessed, and excited to watch our Dos Arbolitos adventure continue to unfold.
Omar, your love of mesquite trees resonates with me. Growing up in and around San Antonio, meant growing up with mesquite trees, and I love them too. Wild, stubborn, determined, and they respond to mistreatment with redoubled growth. Lots of lessons in a mesquite tree….
Absolutely and amen, Lanni.
Bravo…..So happy for you and Cheryl
Thanks so much, Marti 🙂
Nice pictures. I have been all over Texas, and the Big Bend region is one place I haven’t been to yet. Midland/Odessa has been as far west as I have explored, although as a pilot I have stopped to refuel in Lamesa, part of Dawson County.
You must venture to Big Bend, Eric. You will be amazed at the spectacular beauty of this wide part of Texas. And be sure to visit Big Bend National Park and its natural treasures like the Chisos Mountains and Santa Elena Canyon. Hope you can make it there soon 🙂
LikeLiked by 1 person
Yes, I must since I am on a quest to see every county in the state! BBNP is a great starting point I’m sure.
Very cool and Texas-sized goal. Will follow your adventure on your blog.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Crazy Gringos out there digging around scraggly trees in the July heat of Big Bend!! Híjole!
That’s my favorite place in the whole world (actually up in the Chisos), and I’m so glad that God has led you and Cheryl to the Chihuahuan Desert for your own very special place. I love mesquites, and am happy to have a big one in my back yard (near Boerne). I’ll very much enjoy watching y’all bring Dos Arbolitos together, and will pray for your safety on those many long drives yet to come! My love to you both.
Thanks, Susan. It was super hot, indeed, but so much fun. Always good to learn of other mesquite lovers. We are enjoying the journey. Thanks for following our Chihuahuan adventure. Love from me and Cheryl.