Desert Hot And Cold As Ice

Not much life in the vast Chilean desert, but it always seems to reveal a few surprises.
This morning it was ice. Ice in the desert? A solid, crystal clear sheet of ice had overtaken the water fountain at the company where I teach English to mining executives in the Atacama Desert. Sure, it was no large body of water, but it was still impressive to see that in the driest place on Earth – that would be the Atacama – ice can still form overnight.
At night in the Atacama, it gets pretty cold. We’re talking below freezing winter temperatures, so obviously cold enough to freeze water.
In the month plus I’ve been in the Atacama, I had not seen it, especially since rainfall is virtually nonexistent.
The Chileans arriving at work must have thought, “what is that crazy gringo looking at now?” They all walked by the ice as if it was a nonevent. And it probably was – to them.
Except for a couple of weeks several years ago in the Mojave Desert in the United States, I’ve never spent much time in any desert. So what’s normal or abnormal is all the same to me – new. Snow on the mountains in the desert? New. A freak thunderstorm? New. Ice? New.
And it’s all fantastic to my eyes. Wish I could have captured last night what a nearly full moon rising and sun setting simultaneously looks like over desert mountains.  The sky was a neon rainbow. Spectacular!

From what I’m told, I can expect a few more surprises out of this magical land in the coming days. They’re out there, just waiting for their grand reveal to eyes hardly used to them. I say bring them on!

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