A few hours later, mid-morning, walking that same path, the gold is long gone, and a hint of day’s warmth touches the air. Yet the green of the pricky pear paddles and segmented cholla seems deeper, somehow, as if that gold is still there, somewhere beneath the surface, continuing to lend the desert its magic.

And the air is still, and in the sky a last few white scraps of monsoon clouds are breaking up, and everything seems a little more sharp and clear than before.

And I think autumn might, at last, be moving in.

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