I have only been here since September, but from the start I noticed things about the desert that impacted my day-to-day life that I didn't expect.
Hydration...you have to drink A LOT of fluids. I am drinking way more water, herbal tea, etc than I ever have in my life! Even in winter. Even the animals chug down loads of water. You HAVE to have water accessible to people and animals 24/7 here!
My hair and skin...I have to moisturize morning and night. Skin and hair, other wise you don't just see the results of this arid desert air, you feel it! Hair gets crinkly dry, skin feels parched and scratchy. I also have pale skin and burn easily, so SPF sunscreen lotions are an important part of my daily life now...even in winter, the sun can burn you here.
Sore Throats...I got a lot of them at first. Because of the dryness of the air, your throat can dry out at night, along with your nasal passages. Humidifiers and vaporizers can help A LOT, especially in winter when running a heater can make the air even drier. I have gotten in the habit of sucking on a throat lozenge to help combat this before I go to bed. Something herbal and soothing, like a slippery elm lozenge or a Riccola *cue guy with big horn*
Local wildlife....I expected snakes, scorpions, spiders and coyotes. What I DIDN'T expect was BIRDS. Lots and lots of birds! Mourning doves, hawks, hummingbirds (spring/summer visitors), sparrows, little owls, you name it, we have seen it here! Now, while the birds are a bonus, they also impact on gardening, raising chickens, etc.
We also have loads of rabbits...uhmmm..actually, I have been told those are *technically* hares. Which-ever, the little buggers are all over the yard in the mornings.While fun to watch, they ALSO impact gardening efforts and can carry disease to livestock.
The coyotes wander the streets at night here. They are not just carnivores, they are omnivores. They will tear through a garden in no time flat! Tomatoes, corn, beans...they will eat it all.
So, you have to plan ahead of the myriad animals here in the desert, too!
Desert living does have it's bonuses...the sunsets and sunrises here are INCREDIBLE! The stars are so much brighter out here, too! We are in the *high desert*, so I guess the clearer air up here (and because we are not *in town*) means less *light pollution*.
My hair, which is curly, had a tendency to frizz like crazy when I lived in the high humidity climes of the gulf coast. Here, no frizz! YAY!
A lot of the insects that plague gardeners across the country never make it into the desert.
The low humidity also means that heat doesn't feel as nasty as it does in a high humidity climate (I may have a different opinion come July!). All I know is that when I flew here in September, the temperature was about the same as it was in the gulf coast area...but it didn't feel over-bearing dear-lord-I need-a-cold-shower HOT like it did in Beaumont! The cold doesn't feel as *cold* here, either!
All in all, I like it here. I do miss the green palette of the landscape of the gulf coast, but here, green is a delightful *pop* that surprises you. I find myself looking forward to Spring more here, too, knowing that the hummingbirds will be back and the brown landscapes will soon have the first shadings and pops of green sprouting up.
I have always heard "Bloom where you are planted"
This year, I am blooming in the desert!