Cotton candy clouds on azure canopy
Cede sky realms to golden veils ablaze.
Farewell daylight on wings of fantasy,
Prevail on moonbeam dances to amaze.
Daylight finds Cooper and me afoot in morning mists. Remnants of thunderstorms form a gray facade across the eastern horizon. They delay the fury of the mid-summer sun. Her pearly disk makes fleeting appearances in the brume amid dark wisps of vapor racing across her feeble countenance.
We advance into the damp prairie. Where days ago the curled and blistered surfaces of ephemeral mud flows crunched underfoot akin to cornflakes, reflecting pools of water affirm the saving graces of summer rains. Where days ago the sweet scent of fresh cut hay on the wind invited escapades of youthful tomfoolery, aromas of sage and soil sway heart and soul to introspection.
Here and there along our trail stray rain showers breach their ethereal confinement. They long for the earth’s embrace. They long to tap dance on my straw hat, form rivulets, and ooze off the cocked brim. I long for the exhilarating sensation of summer rain on my skin. The brief downpours saturate my clothing and Cooper’s coat. Invigorated we make leisurely headway.
Moments wax minutes, then an hour. The sun slips her vaporous fetters and reclaims her celestial dominion above the field of dreams stretched before us. In the aftermath of the amazing grace rains bestow upon the parched prairie, wildlife resumes pursuits of survival and vegetation rejuvenates. Ribbons of water on red dirt ranch roads become reflecting pools and the single, delicate blossom on a Puncturevine becomes a rose.
I pause and allow the lessons of the Llano Estacado environs to reach into my heart. Days passed and those ahead touch in a flash of enlightenment. I conclude another chapter in the never ending saga of understanding the wild. As Cooper and I head homeward, we tread lightly and leave only the footprints of our shadows upon the face of the fragile prairie ecosystem.
© Ilija Lukić 2012
© Ilija Lukić 2012
|Field Of Dreams (monarda pectinata, aka Pony Beebalm|
|Divine Proportions (1.61803399 the Golden Ratio, aka helianthus annuus)|
|Broadleaf Milkweed (asclepias latifolia)|
|Passion In Blue (commelina erecta)|
|A Rose By Any Other Name (tribulus terrestris, aka Goat Head, Puncturevine)|
|Sporobolus Heterolepis (aka Prairie Dropseed)|
|Sawtooth Daisy Loop Patrol (Cooper)|
|Twin Cronies (yucca campestris)|
|Sister To The Sun (helianthus annuus, aka Common Sunflower)|
|Don't Tread On Me (Bullsnake)|
|Yellow Hymenopappus Feast|
|Broad Leaf Sun Shelter (asclepias latifolia)|
|Stealth Mode (pituphis catenifer sayi)|
|Pollen Collector (Bush Morning Glory)|
|Serpent In Eden (Bullsnake)|
|High Wire Act (Metallic Green Sweat Bee)|
|Artful Wanderer (pituophis catenifer sayi, aka Bullsnake)|
|Bottlebrush Squirreltail (elymus elymoides)|
|Tread Lightly (Cooper and El Llanero)|
|Yellow Sweet Clover|
|Stranglehold (Desert Kingsnake)|
|Texas Horned Lizard (phrynosoma cornutum)|
|Mexican Hat Dance (ratibida columnifera, aka Long-head Coneflower)|
|Sisters (monarda pectinata)|
|Redroot Pigweed Invader|
|Ironplant Goldenweed (haplopappus spinulosa, aka Cutleaf Ironplant)|