Sunday, March 12, 2006

A closeup of the skin on Nancy's arm...or...what used to be a puddle on the ground in Iraq? Thirsty, anyone?

The weather here in Baghdad has been getting more and more beautiful every day. I told Dave, who is in San Diego, that we are having perfect SoCal weather here now. The day I told him that, he was heading out to the field for a week of SERE school, and his "perfect California weather" was cold and rainy. So, I corrected myself and said we were having perfect SUNNY California summer weather. It is wonderful now, but, oh, how I fear the impending heat from hell that we are certain to experience very soon.

The weather makes walking from place to place outside or running in the mornings and evenings very enjoyable. The cool air and the sunshine are energizing.

Here are some photos I took on my way from the Palace to the tents the other day.

The palace is situated in the middle of this lake, and this is the view to the west, just before I head out of the gates.

There are many obstacles along my path as I make my way to my tent, the first and most dangerous of which is this trio of guard geese. They let me by, this time.

As I continue my walk toward the tents, I have to be aware of giant, unannounced holes in the ground that could swallow me up and conceal my remains for decades.

I've discovered a new hazard along my route that has me a little bit concerned: the tree snatchers. There used to be three more palms here, but a gaggle of men in blue jumpsuits and reflective vests inexplicably removed those lovely palms the other day. I mean, who needs trees, anyway, right? Who needs shade? Who needs dates? Who needs the asthetics of a few green, bird-filled trees in this bleak, monotone desert environment?

Just before I arrive at the tent area, I have to cross a stretch that used to be flooded. The dried ground here is an indicator of things to come. It can be 140 degrees here in the summertime...but it's a dry heat...

Here, again, is an area that used to be under water. Remember the "lake" I showed you in an earlier blog? It is gone now...and all that's left is dusty rocks.


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