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Friday, March 25, 2005

The Dry, Green Land, And The Trip Out

Last year, Arizona went straight into summer, bypassing any semblance of spring for our spring training adventures; every day game we went to was mid-90's to mid-100's. Not that we minded so much, but for the players, the heat must have been unbearable, especially the Padres with their navy blue jerseys. This year, not so much, and the sky managed only low 70's and diffident clouds.

So now we wait for the games. Yesterday, the trip in: the desert has seen rains as it hasn't seen rains in ages. Death Valley, normally remarkable mainly for its spectacular if alien geology, now erupts into wildflower displays unseen in fifty years. So with the desert ouside: the Sonoran is among the wettest deserts in the world, and we saw sprays of yellow and purple flora all along the drive in.

And with the flowers, the bugs. Of course, the car got pockmarked with bug splatter, but our friends coming from San Diego had it worse: they drove through a migrating swarm of Monarch butterflies, little orangey-red bodies squished in the hundreds on their windshield. At one gas station, they told me of a flat-faced RV just pasted with the bugs, top to bottom. Baseball demands sacrifice, but demolishing beauty of this kind so systematically seems criminal and tragic.

Our friends, Padres fans, are coming to spring training for the first time this year. They've had Pads season tickets for years, and this time, trumped me in the camera department: they've got a very snazzy new Canon, something I've started getting an itch for. So maybe this year I'll actually get some shots worth posting.


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