I think barren is not too strong a word to describe the landscape. There's not a lot of green and the flowering cactus have died off--this would have been the season for that.
You see right when Chicago was having its blizzard, this part of the southwest experienced historic record-breaking low temperatures. For 4 days the thermometer stayed BELOW ZERO. Bobbie told me last night that the century cactus growing in her yard succombed. The century plant flowers every ten years (I know it sounds crazy) and it was just about to blossom. Then came the cold. All the pipes burst and the ice cactus, yet another variety, ironically froze. Now they look like a nest of yellow worms full of puss. It will take months for the pipes all to be repaired and years for the cactuses to come back. How long for the century plant--I'm not sure.
All this to say that today the expected high is supposed to be 70 and tonights low 39. Lots and lots of sunshine.