About this time each year, long strings of cold cloudy days can start to make the locals a tad cranky. We desert dwellers like our sunshine, so the last couple of days have been more than welcome – bright, clear days with highs around 80. I’m writing this while sitting on my porch and staring out across the desert at the sun drenched Chisos Mountains. This is the time of year I love best in the Big Bend – when the days get warmer and the wildflowers start to pop. When I was guiding river and hiking trips, guests would sometimes want me to identify every single flower or plant that we saw. I, and most guides at the time, could do a pretty good job of it, but the yellow composites are so numerous that it’s almost impossible to keep them all straight. So if a tourist asked about one, we’d say it was an “LYF.” Today on my way home, I saw a lot of LYF’s and pulled off the road to take a close up look. No one else was anywhere around, and it felt like I was in my own private garden. In a few more weeks, families on Spring Break will descend on the area, and things will become pretty crowded, and possibly a little chaotic, but for the next few weeks, it’s still possible to stop and smell the flowers.