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

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Against All Odds

Cooper and I find ourselves on Llano Estacado trails at noon.  An overnight freeze and blustery northeasterly winds remind us winter has a few punches left. Overcast skies portend rain, perhaps snow. Will this be winter’s last cold embrace? In advance of the onslaught, motley skies clear briefly. I scramble to capture hearty prairie denizens at the cusp of their spring awakening.

Cane Cholla lead the way. Their chain links swell in preparation for spring blooms. Prickly Pear Cacti begin to raise their pads off the ground. The flat pads have numerous wrinkles and their purple tinge suggests stress due to drought and ravages of winter. Cooper and I wander haphazardly through the bleak landscape. I look for signs of renewal. He seems content to follow scent trails and chase birds.

In defiance of winter, pockets of delicate boneset tufts cling tenaciously to dry calices. Yucca leaves bristle boldly and form formidable, symmetrical arrays of bayonets to protect the flowers stalks ready to emerge. Yet wherever I cast my eyes, rough-hewn yucca skeletons still punctuate the skyline of the Llano Estacado tablelands. The rugged exteriors of their desiccated seed pods belie the aesthetic beauty of their inner sanctums. Against all odds, the amber-lined alcoves of the New Mexico State Flower insist on spreading hope and joy on this bleak first day of spring. They capture the fleeting sunlight and whisper, "look on the bright side, spring is just around the corner."

© Ilija Lukić 2012

Just A Link In The Chain (cylindropuntia imbricata)

Against All Odds (New Mexico State Flower)

Yucca Skyline

Formidable Symmetry (yucca campestris)

Life After Pappus (haplopappus ciliatus)

In Defiance Of Winter (False Boneset)

Last Cold Embrace

Opuntia Winter Facial (opuntia macrorhiza)

Is It Spring Yet? (Wax Goldenweed)

Bird Dog Genes (Cooper)

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