In the fall the ancient burly pines release the pine nuts they have been harboring. The sappy pine cones open up to reveal the dark brown nuts encased in the cone flower. I try to be there when this happens. In these old forests the wind moves the thin garnished air, still fragrant from the scent of sun baked wildflowers that live in the high places. The breeze mixes with the aroma of scoured sage and desert dust. This is the essence of the high desert; the smell of pitch mixed with the perfume of the mountains. It is intoxicating and welcomes me home.