This morning little brother of the Llano Estacado Street Sweeper enters our town from a westerly direction. His breath moans in gables, rattles windows, and aimlessly moves anything loose into the open prairie east of town. Just wait, he whispers as he rushes through tree tops, big brother is due tomorrow.
Out on the open prairie the dry gusty winds signal a routine Llano Estacado Spring day. A committee of Turkey Vultures circles high above and drifts to the east. At ground level, a Northern Harrier flaunts its speed on hunting runs into prairie dog town. Flights of Barn Swallows shimmer steel blue in the morning light. These chatty, social birds repeatedly pause above us to investigate our presence and then are gone lickety-split.
With the exception of Siberian Elms the Northern Llano Estacado prairie flora remains on a growth pause, waiting for rain. The Siberian Elm thickets are emerald oases, green prairie mansions, a refuge for fauna and my yearning for aesthetically pleasing images in the bleak, arid landscape.
© Ilija Lukić 2011