With the increased amount of rainfall the previous winter, the desert was more than ever in full bloom when I arrived. Purple Santa Rita prickly pear cactus dotted with bright yellow corsages looked as if they’d been photoshop’d. Barrel cactus had sent up shoots that blossomed in pale pink glory. The normally nasty-looking cholla now sported flowers red and radiant, something you might see a native wearing in a beautiful Gauguin. Even my favorite, the sparse and always enchanting ocotillo, was now topped by a lush vermillion flourish. I’d never seen it look so beautiful. A fence I’d noticed in years past, made of dried-up old ocotillo stalks, had sprung back to life with the abundant rains, surrounding a yard on University Blvd. with sudden mythic beauty and an unexpected touch of magic. All this against the primary blue Southern Arizona sky, unmarred by a single cloud. Magic, indeed.