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

Friday, August 23, 2013

Bullsnake Territory

Baby blue skies as far as the eye can see invite Cooper and me for a sojourn on the Llano Estacado. I savor the cool sixty-degree airs and hints of sage on light southerly winds. The pale countenance of the setting Moon above the western horizon proffers a brief howdy to daylight and then disappears in pursuit of the comforting veils of night.

Soon I slosh through seas of damp knee and thigh-high grasses. I have not seen the Eastern New Mexico tablelands this green in late August for many years. Wildflowers abound and their festive color splashes ebb and flow among the windswept ripples of the grasslands. I pause and invite the prairie to fill my senses.

Cooper has other motives. He wants to roust birds and four-legged prairie denizens. His frolics and telltale vigorous tail wag bespeak dog paradise. While he plays, a lively entourage of swallows satisfies their morning hunt with insect prey his spirited romps send skyward.

On my homeward saunter down overgrown trails disquiet wells up in primal recesses of intuition. I am in snake habitat. I walk heavy-footed and probe dense vegetation with my walking stick. Sure enough I catch sight of a coiled plains colubrid. I cannot resist taking a photograph. Sooner than expected the snake’s menacing hiss and glottal rattling sounds suffice to break off musings of paradise and spur my swift departure.

- © Ilija Lukić 2013 -

Bullsnake Stare Down
(pituophis catenifer sayi)

Olly Olly Oxen Free
(Cooper in Prairie Dropseed)

Linda Tarde
(gaura coccinea, aka Scarlet Gaura)

Sunshine Troubadour
(Golden Aster)

Umbrella Plant Pom-Poms
(eriogonum annuum, aka Annual Eriogonum)

Open Sesame
(helianthus annuus, Annual Sunflower)

(portulaca oleracea, aka Common Purslane)

Los Tres Amigos

Copper Passage

Woolly Locoweed
(astralagus mollisimus)


Ribbons And Curls
(verbena bracteata, aka Prostrate Vervain, Carpet Vervain)

Purple Speedsters
(aristida purpurea, aka Purple Threeawn)

Pollen Motherlode
(Beefly On Wax Goldenweed)

Shady Rest
(solanum elaeagnifolium, aka Silverleaf Nightshade)

Wax Goldenweed Fireworks
(haplopappus ciliatus)

Prairie Debutant
(haplopappus ciliatus, aka Wax Goldenweed)

Spiny Yellow Aster Tribe

Compass Plant
(lactuca serriola, aka Milk Thistle, Prickly Lettuce)

Fading Glory
(machaeranthera pinnatifida, aka Spiny Yellow Aster)

Plains Bristlegrass
(setaria leucopila)

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