Quite often here we have bright, white puffy clouds drifting beneath a deep blue sky. Sometimes you notice what looks like a thunderhead developing within them and you think it's going to rain but it does not. Even when dark, grey clouds fill the sky, you figure the rain is here at last, but it isn't. Sometimes we get a few drops but it's just a tease. Then, on very rare occasions, when the rain does come, it never lasts very long. Guess that is why this place is a desert and remains so.

If we were to have rain resembling anything like they get along the Northern Pacific Coast, then this place would turn into a tropical jungle. Don't bet on it or expect any time soon.

Some people have strange feelings about the desert. Some feel very uneasy about the quiet and stillness and want to rush back to the hustle and bustle of the big city they are familiar with. Others can't stand all the "wasted space." They have the idea that every square foot should be mapped, sectioned off, developed, sold and resold. They figure it should all be handled by developers, bankers and realtors. They probably think "all of that useless desert could be turned into productive strip malls, asphalt streets and condos."

I don't know if ants have thoughts anything like we humans have. If they do and if they were anything similar to ours, I bet they would want this whole planet to be one gigantic ant hill! For thousands of years the desert was. It still is today and will go on being so off into the future. It's a slow, steady, stubborn creature. Does mean it is alive, you may ask? In a way it is of course. The rocks and sand are inanimate objects, but little green heads of life pop through the soil every chance they get. Life is on a continued crusade to maintain and advance its foothold in the desert. Each year a new crop of volunteers comes along to join the battle such as lizard, rabbit, deer, etc.

There are people who believe that our planet is a living organism. They are devoted to "Mother Earth" as a goddess. However, when you look closer it's just a huge rock made out of minerals and chemicals. Yet somehow the "virus" of life has infected it and is animating it. In a miracle of miracles the forces of life have transformed a dead, barren rock into a playground of vegetation, oxygen and all kinds of life forms. Where better to view it but the desert?

These are some of the thoughts I get while wondering the desert, (like Moses). One of the life forms that is not very prevalent multiplying and surviving in the desert is mankind. Even though he figures he rules the roost, he is hesitant about this place. He feels more secure encamped in cities, towns and habitable land.

So I guess you could look at the desert as a place of refuge from the swarming human ant hills of the cities. Freedom, space and stillness bring a quality of life to this place. I can readily see why residents would not welcome an infestation of humans in a little oasis such as this. Should we keep it all secret I wonder? Should we start rumors that this place is haunted? I've got it. We could tell them that in this vast, unknown, scary desert there are aliens waiting to abduct them. That should keep them out. What do you think?

Dan O'Connor is a resident of Lovelock and can be reached at danhughoconnor@gmail.com.