Let your heart be a portal for the songs of the universe.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lions, Storks, And Wildfires

Yesterday the troposhere of the Southern Great Plains exhibits limited to indiscernible movement of its gases, water vapor, and particulate matter. We enjoy a wind calm day. A welcome anomaly on the northern Llano Estacado in Clovis, Nw Mexico .  
Hopefully West Texas firefighters will get the break needed to control or extinguish the wildfires which have charred hundreds of square miles. The menacing smoke columns veil the midday sun in orange hues. Like storm clouds with a silver lining, the fires are terrifying and beautiful. They are destructive yet life giving. The latter speaks to the paradoxical nature of fire disasters in the wild. Among other benefits, their ravages release seeds and return nutrients locked in vegetation for decades back to the soil for the long term benefit of the ecosystem. Bio-diversity depends on such disturbances.  
The human toll can be tragic losses of lives, livestock or insurmountable destruction of homes and property. But humans are a very resilient and adaptable species and will endure.
During our outing on the Eastern New Mexico prairie I focus on the resilience of the semi-arid Southern Great Plains ecosystem. Cooper enjoys investigating scent trails and dashes across the terrain. He flushes two pheasants. My heart skips two beats. There’s nothing like an injection of adrenaline to increase muscle tone, blood flow and brighten the complexion. Barn Swallows are familiar companions on our forays. The absence of rain continues to retard the growth of spring greenery and wildflowers. Occasional pockets of flora become monumental discoveries.  At one point I come across a bed of straw formed by last summer’s chest-deep Prairie Dropseed grasses. To Cooper’s amazement I cannot resist a dive and wallow like a buffalo. He pounces and we ruffle the prairie in a fun wrestling match.

© Ilija Lukić 201

Ruffled Prairie

Filaree Carpet

Lion In Spring

Common Stork's Bill Cantata

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