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

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Beautiful Apparitions

Seasonably cool weather persists over the Northern Llano Estacado. Occasional light sprinkles of rain sustain struggling flora. Glorious spires of yucca blooms dominate the short-grass prairie. They rise knee to chest high into the morning mists. The beautiful apparitions stir my imagination and awaken images of conquistadores, native peoples of the Southern Great Plains, and early white settlers trekking towards distant horizons across endless seas of grass. For a few moments time travel is possible.

Scattered amongst the towering yucca, the allure of flowering Plains Prickly Pear Cacti competes for my favor. It’s hard to resist their seductive arrays of yellow and pink cactus roses. To my right a salsify releases an armada of wispy parachutes onto a gust of wind. To the left, bright clusters of Pale Evening Primrose blossoms shake off last remnants of moon dust and clamor for visits from Painted Ladies. But the latter prefers to sip nectar at the Horsemint establishment next door. Here and there Broadleaf Milkweed readies for visits from Monarchs, butterflies, that is. I amble along filling my senses with all the prairie offers.

Moments later I meander into a brief standoff with a Bullsnake. The encounter serves to heighten my senses. Sure enough, I spot a Texas Horned Lizard hiding in plain sight. Its camouflage is remarkable. I marvel how the racing stripe down its back resembles dried pieces of vegetation in its environment.

© Ilija Lukić 2012

Wishie Glamor (tragopogon dubious, aka Western Salsify)

Apariciones Hermosas

Spiny Allure

Dreaming Of Moonlight (oenothera albicaulis, aka Pale Evening Primrose)

Standoff (pituophis catenifer sayi, aka Bullsnake)

Cactus Roses (opuntia macrorhiza)

Lizard Stalker (Cooper)

Hiding In Plain Sight (phrynosoma cornutum, aka Texas Horned Lizard) 

Racing Stripe (Texas Horned Lizard)

Enchanting Array (opuntia macrorhiza)

Blue-Margined Ground Beetle (pasimachus elongatus)

Comanche Maidens 

Rosas Amarillas (Prickly Pear cactus)

Ready For Monarchs (Broadleaf Milkweed)

Cutleaf Ironplant (haplopappus spinulous)

Tender Seduction

Prairie Spires 

Fascinating Yellow

Painted Lady In Hiding (vanessa cardui)

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