Overnight temperatures in the teens consort with morning mists, frost-covered roofs, and columns of smoke from chimneys. Feeble rays of the early morning sun do little to encourage outdoor activity. Cooper and I delay our daily prairie jaunt until midday.
Can cabin fever develop in the span of one winter morning? By noon the temperatures moderate. Partly cloudy skies and sunshine signal a mid-winter reprieve and heighten Cooper’s and my desire to roam. The aftereffects of forty miles per hour winds and frigid temperatures await. We slip into the Llano Estacado wilds with high expectations of an exhilarating adventure.
We find sublime chaos and endless galleries of sun catchers. The Llano Estacado showboats her winter splendor well. The winter glow, el resplandor de invierno, is breathtaking. Soft amber innards of husky yucca shells, bone dry copper hues of Fetid Marigolds, and bristly seed heads of Annual Sunflowers are particularly impressive. Windblown grasses and freeze-dried Broom Snakeweed complete the tapestry of indomitable life forces and ageless beauty.
A brisk walk is out of the question. I meander, sip the elixir of tranquility, and immerse my spirit in the divine artistry of prairie and light. Cooper stalks every scent and rustle in the straw. He defies cactus spikes and shoulder high seas of grass, until he coaxes a playmate out of cover. Let the games begin. Poetry in motion--he and a Jack Rabbit disappear in the wind-ruffled, tawny garb of the winter prairie.
© Ilija Lukić 2012
(helianthus annuus, aka Common Sunflower)
|Resplandor De Invierno|
|Yucca Seed Cash|
(yuicca campestris aka Plains Yucca)
|New Mexico State Flower In Winter|
|Stalking The Yucca Beast|
("extinguished lamps" Plains Yucca)