When Aggie and I take our Sunday walks in the country, we spend a lot of time checking out the surrounding beauty and enjoying the sounds of nature. At this season, we are particularly interested in seeing the wild flowers showing off and in listening to the bird song.
This year, we have suffered a bit from eye strain as we have searched for wild flowers. The lack of rain surely made the coming of the blossoms slow and sparse thus far. The first sighting of any life was that of the tiny white asters that were barely atop the ground because they had such limited height of leaves and stems. We then began to see a few other colors but have yet to see many of the ones we usually admire.
By comparing the pictures taken in May of this year to those taken at the same time last year, we can see the scarcity of any green as well as of other colors. The current pictures showed a lot of dry dirt; whereas, those of last year showed rather lush growth, especially along the ditches. Of course, we have also had the opportunity to eat a lot of that dry dirt as it has blown in our direction during our walks.
Yes, we have had more than our share of “True grit,” but then those of us who call this place home know that we need much grit to stay on the land and make some kind of living.
Last May, the pastures were sparkling with yucca blossoms as almost every bear grass in sight had a stalk of blooms. For a while, we were wondering if we were going to see any other than those tended in town, but we finally saw a few as Memorial Day approached. Now, we have seen a few more, but we are still seeing a lot of the stalks from last year and know that further blooming isn’t likely.
When the wind is blowing so hard that we can barely stand up, we rarely hear bird song as the little creatures stay hidden in the brush or trees and have sense enough to stay away from the wind.
As the breeze gentles, the hawks tend to come out to play in the air currents and seem to have great fun gliding from one altitude to another and swerving from direction to direction. For a while, we were a bit worried because we had neither seen nor heard any mocking birds, but that changed a few weeks ago when we sighted several. Also, I had been hearing a few in town as they began practicing their tunes about 3 a.m.
We just don’t see as many of them as we used to, but we can still enjoy listening to the ones we can find. Also, we have seen an oriole a couple of times. Those are fairly rare out in the country, but they are beautiful to watch.
Unfortunately, most of the feathered creatures won’t stop long enough to pose for pictures, but one of us keeps trying to capture a few shots. The soaring hawks are the easiest to capture, and some doves are calm enough to allow a person within camera shot, but most of the little creatures flit off into the distance the second they see a camera.
We have also been listening to the yelping of some coyote pups as we have wandered about on our walks. Aggie used to pause to listen but has decided she shouldn’t pay any attention to what they are saying as they might be telling some scary stories. She just likes to trot along checking out the news of the latest passersby and enjoying our outing.
Those times we spend in the country just naturally give us the strength to amble through the rest of the week in order to head back to the country again. The solitude is a major healer and a major friend to people of the land.