Ah, well. Sometimes the dreaded Detail is an imperative.
But now a brief reflection on experiences recently past among the spirits of arid places...
|Earthstar Fungus (Geaster spp.)|
Peeking through the Indian Ricegrass (Oryzopsis hymenoides). What do we see?
The prettiest, most tenacious things around.
|Gambel Oak (Quercus gambelii) with a Cynipid wasp gall?|
|Red Harvester Ant (Pogonomyrmex barbatus) mound.|
|Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja scabrida).|
|Salvia, Artemesia spp.?|
|Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa).|
|In the distance, The Aquarius Plateau.|
So we packed the tent & a dinner destined for the engine block with the hopes of drinking in the rich Darkness of Night, the starry spill of the Milky Way & the haunting cries of the coyote. Dawn would bring a list a GPS coordinates to follow -- a Red Harvester Ant (Pogonomyrmex barbatus) scavenger hunt, without the scavenging.
But the Desert (or was it the Sky?) had other plans & after the splendor of the setting Sun,
|Sun setting behind the Aquarius Plateau.|
The Clouds began with their games.
Building pillared temples in the Sky,
And playing the trickster by pouring down uncharacteristically languid, Earth-soaking showers, blotting out the Night sky.
So much rain, that in the early hours of the morning, my father came to fetch us from our waterlogged shelter beneath a copse of Pinyon Pines...
The clay road would soon become impassable.
Wet gear flying into the bed of the truck, hot water on the stove to cut the chill. The eldest child shouts, "Moma, an EARTHSTAR!"
Ah, I get it now. You own me. You own us.
Wherever we go, you will be there.
And sometimes you will call us home, from one home to another -- when it it time for us to revel in your season.
I depart with a deep, aching sadness, but I recognize full in my marrow, the Hunt is on.