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

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Kiss Summer Goodbye

Summer surrenders her verdant robes
To cool Autumn days and morning mists.
Winged guests depart for balmy climes,
Ere Winter looses her savage beasts.

Sunspots (helianthus annuus, aka Annual Sunflower)

Coral Reef (cirsium ochrocentrum, aka Yellowspine Thistle)

Grassland Buddies (Plains Yucca and Broadleaf Milkweed)

Kiss Summer Goodbye (cirsium ochrocentrum)

Let There Be Light

Russian Thistle (salsoa tragus, aka Tumbleweed)

High Plains Rover (Cooper)

Amber Seas Of Grain

Sawtooth Daisy (grindelia papposa, aka Wax Goldenweed)

Silver Bluestem Straw (bothriochloa saccharoides)

Tumbleweed (salsoa tragus)

Family Ties (Yellowspine Thistle)

Blue Grama Gold (bouteloua gracilis)

Buffalobur Nightshade (solanum  rostratum)

Wind Witch (salsoa tragus, aka Tumbleweed)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tenacious Beauty

I cock my head and lower my cowboy sombrero into the brisk northeasterly winds. The brim flutters nervously with every gust. This wind carries a telltale smattering of autumn on its lively breath. I welcome its cool strokes across my face, for it signals the end of endless, blistering heat upon the Llano Estacado prairie. It’s midmorning. Temperatures struggle to breach 70°F under a milky, baby-blue canopy of New Mexico sky.

Cooper and I amble across the late-summer prairie. The aroma of sage amuses my nostrils. Nearby, a committee of Turkey Vultures eyeballs our intrusion from their lofty roosts in a grouping of tree skeletons. On edge, they laboriously launch into the stiff breezes and drift away. While Cooper  forges ahead with several exuberant escapades across the prairie wilds, I ponder the recurrent seasonal drama afoot.

Just weeks ago summer thunderstorms rejuvenated vegetation and wildlife. For a brief moment in time green carpets of flora bridged the endless horizons of the Llano. Today, prairie winds roughhouse across the early autumn regalia of these resplendent vistas. Rust, amber, and white-gold seas of grass dominate. Green domes of broomweed, yucca rosettes with woody stalks topped by arrays of crusty seed pods, purple prickly pear cactus fruit, and tenacious wildflowers punctuate the abundance of ripe grass grains. Another chapter in a never ending story nears completion.

© Ilija Lukić 2012

Tenacious Beauty (machaearanthera tanacetifolia, aka Tansy Aster)

Indian Figs (opuntia engelmannia)

Weathered Wood On Spurge

Sun Dancers (gaillardia pulchella, aka Fire Wheel)

Rose Heath Aster (chaetopappa ericoides, aka Baby-White Aster)

Field Bind Weed Runners

Sunbaked Serenity (Texas Blueweed)

Red Aphid Frenzy (Yellowspine Thistle)

Little Bluestem Panicle (schyzachyrium scoparium)

Greeneyed Lyreleaf (aka Chocolate Daisy)

Wind Dancer (Yellowspine Thistle down)

Prairie Berry Surprise (solanum eleagnifolium, aka Silverleaf Nightshade)

White Sweet Clover (melilotus alba)

Purple Siblings (Texas Large Pad Prickly Pear Cactus)

Pink Kisses (erigeron modestus, aka Plains Fleabane)

Survivor (ratibida columnifera, aka Prairie Coneflower)

Elder Statesman (machaeranthera tanacetifolia, aka Prairie Aster)


Sun Wheel (Golden Aster)

Chammaesyce Serpyllifolia ssp. hirtula (aka Hairy Thyme-Leafed Spurge, Thymeleaf Sandmat)

Purple Sextuplets (psoralea tenuiflora, aka Scurfy Pea, Wild Alfalfa)

Cactus Candles

Yucca Daggers (yucca campestris, aka Plains Yucca)

Wax Goldenweed Bract (grindelia papposa, aka Sawtooth Daisy)

Chocolate Daisy (berlandiera lyrata, aka Chocolate Daisy)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Benevolent Tempest

Picradeniopsis oppositifolia is an unremarkable forb within the prairie wild flower realm. Nonetheless, this tenacious perennial is responsible for launching my journey to inspire appreciation of our natural world through prose, poetry, and photographic art.

Picture if you will, my canine pal Cooper and I trekking across the Llano Estacado tablelands of Eastern New Mexico. I leave a heavy foot print and unwittingly disturb the delicate balance of the shortgrass prairie biome. I trample an inconspicuous, yellow wild flower--an Opposite Leaf Bahia. My actions unleash chaos, albeit infinitesimal in the grand scheme of the universe. My single crushing step produces irreversible changes, as does a single flap of a butterfly’s wings and even a single image of natural beauty rendered by this humble light catcher. Duly, our world and human spirit diverge from what would have been.
The tiny amount of chaos generated by my errant steps has since grown into a fire within my belly. I gladly ride the benevolent tempest on what has become an enduring quest for wisdom and knowledge. My teacher is patient and the well of enlightenment fathomless.

© Ilija Lukić 2012

Scarlet Gaura

Picradeniopsis Oppositifolia (Opposite Leaf Bahia)

Oldtimer (Yellowspine Thistle)

Opposite Leaf Bahia

Wild Alfalfa (aka Scurfy Pea)

Lean To Your Left (haplopappus spinulosus, aka Spiny Ironplant)

Waiting For Rain

Thirsty Redroot Pigweed

Loaded With Prairie Gold

Blue Grama Panicle

Yellow Dwarf

Flower Moth (schinia mortua)

Try To Catch The Wind