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

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)

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoy the great photos and the discriptions --- TexMatNat-BP