Thomas: Rain brings life back to town

The rain we received this last month has made such a difference in how our county looks. In fact, in some areas you’ll even find standing bodies of water and that green stuff in the fields is grass.

We all know we are in dire need of rainfall, not just in our region but also in many parts across the Southwest. The effects of this prolonged drought can be seen just about everywhere we look — the declining cattle herds, area lake levels dropping to all time lows. Just the other day I was standing on the old boat dock down by the dam at Ute Lake.

The moisture was such a welcome change; a lot of people didn’t mind that hail and some flooding accompanied it. I sure I’m not the only one welcomes some flooding rather then battling the gusting winds and routine sand-blasting.

The rain brought some life back into to our town. I’ve noticed flowers have started popping up and even the weeds are looking better. You know it is pretty sad when you start rooting for the weeds to make it through the summer.

It has also brought out many of my lizard friends that I see when I go home for lunch. Some of the lizards are good sized. In fact, Peaches, the stray cat who’s adventures I write about in my columns, has been in scaly heaven.

Peaches has developed a taste for lizard and has a blast trying to catch the speedy little things. It’s a great turn around for Peaches since his ego and nerves were shot from his most recent incident that involved a piece of pizza, an alley, trash dumpster and a very large crow.

Someone had thrown away a leftover pizza and a slice fell on the ground. This caught the eyes of a hungry crow. Now, I didn’t see what happened exactly, though from what I did see, Peaches was walking along the alley on one of his routine patrols when he came across the crow.

I was inside and heard a loud “hiss” and a crow’s “caw” several times in a row that prompted me to look out my front door to see what was happening. Peaches was all fluffed up, a bright orange furball backed against the fence and hissing up a storm. The crow that probably outweighed poor Peaches by 10 pounds had it wings spread and beak open.

Their gazes locked on one another, much like a showdown scene in an old western and by old I mean classics like “A Man called Horse,’ “Pale Rider,” “Lonesome Dove,” “True Grit,” “Tombstone” and “Young Guns I and II.”

Of course, as we all know when there is a showdown in a Western someone doesn’t fare so good and alas Peaches would bear the brunt of this encounter. The crow hopped towards Peaches and let out a loud series of caws. This forced Peaches to flinch and revert to a defensive posture we so affectionately call the “fetal position.”

The crow took flight with the remains of the pizza clutched in its talons and as it gained altitude I could here it cawing and it almost sounded like laughter. Peaches was staring at the sky and stayed in the same spot for a few minutes until he continued on his original course down the alley.

I know Peaches will find a way to make me pay for making light of this near-death experience. For all he knew that crow had cat on the menu.

I can relate to Peaches’ situation, though. I think most everybody has found themselves in one of those situations when you’re caught off guard with your back against the wall. It’s a very unsettling feeling being backed in to a corner. But you’d like to think you know exactly how you’d react in that kind of situation.

The crow was simply enjoying some pizza, until it felt the stare of a would-be attacker looking to make him the evening’s main course. Peaches maybe saw the crow as a winged assassin sent from above to avenge the deaths of the birds that have fallen prey to his appetite.

Both may share their stories with others, much like we do when we go fishing or hunting and comeback empty-handed. Peaches would boast about his nerves of steel while facing certain death from the ravenous bird of prey. The crow would gloat in arrogance conveying to his winged brethren his lack of fear when laughing in the face of the devilish feral cat.

Thomas Garcia is a senior writer at the Quay County Sun. He can be reached at

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