The weekend is FINALLY here and I can FINALLY take a nice, long, leisurely walk this morning! Phew! For those of you who visit this blog and don't know, I'm a third grade teacher. That means, during the week, if I get up and get ready soon enough, I have time for a quick 20 minute walk in the morning before heading out to school and 20 nine-year-olds! I'm finding that I NEED my morning walks for a couple of reasons: first, walking helps my legs and my back. I was injured (permanently) in a horse fall back in August of 2008 while riding a friend's horse. Walking helps my back and leg muscles so that the muscles don't cramp up at night. It is especially helpful to walk through the soft sand and really get my legs moving! If I don't walk for a week, I FEEL IT in my legs! Second, I LOVE the sights and sounds and smells of the desert in the mornings. As I walk, I go through pockets of cool air. I see and hear quail. Sometimes I spook a cottontail or jackrabbit. I see cactus wrens go in and out of their nests. I enjoy the quiet and openness of the desert in the very early morning. Once in a while I run into another human on my walk and this disturbs the tranquility of my morning since most mornings, I am alone. I love to stop and take photos of the morning's reflections on the tinted windows of the visitor center. Weekend Reflections for May 15, 2010.