Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Not Yet Darkened Sky

The pink flowers finally came out.
I have no idea what they are, we did not have them in the yard for the first two summers we were here, and then last summer they mysteriously and spontaneously made their appearance...................
Until about a week ago this was an old metal fireplace turned planter, that was filled with purple pansies.
One morning about a week ago I walked out into the back yard and realized that the beautiful flowers had fallen victim to the deer.
A purple buffet.
Now there's an old metal fireplace turned planter filled with leaves.  
Maybe the flowers will come back.
Maybe they won't.
Truthfully it doesn't really matter.
We have rabbits all over the yard and deer that find their way into the yard and I made the conscience decision a couple of years ago that whatever made it that we were trying to grow, made it.  Whatever didn't, didn't.
It was all good................

I have had a few creature sightings recently and not one of those times did I have my camera with me.
I was standing by the back door a few days ago and in the middle of the day when a deer suddenly appeared from around the back side of the house.
She was alone and immediately froze when she saw me.
I did not move.  Did not make a sound.
She walked over to Korys big wading pool, leaned down and drank from the pool for a long time.
A very thirsty girl.
And she watched me carefully the entire time.
Eventually she was hydrated enough and this beautiful and healthy animal turned away from both me and the pool, grazed on the grass for a few minutes and then walked over to lilac bushes (that are finally beginning to recover from years of unrestrained-deer-feasting before we moved into this house) and happily began to chew on the leaves off one of the bushes.
With a clap of my hands and an abrupt yell, she effortlessly jumped the back fence, trotted along the grassy back alley and disappeared behind the trees.
An unexpected and welcome visitor.
A day or so later I was standing in almost the same place right outside the back door when movement caught my eye.
I looked down and to my left and was startled to see a snake slithering out from underneath one of the palettes we are using as a temporary deck until we can find the time and money to come up with something better.
Startled, I instinctively moved to my right and then watched and waited.
Waiting to see how big this thing was and (most importantly) whether or not it contained a rattle.
It did not.
I watched it slither completely out from underneath the palette and watched as it non-chalantly slid across the dirt until reaching one more palette.
LC and I realized that Sammy the Snake (we seem to be fond of alliteration when it comes to naming critters) could help with our battle against the voles (who continue to be busy digging holes in our yard for the second summer in a row).
We saw Sammy just that one time but have not seen him again.
Last night just before dark I walked with Kory in town.
Not far from our trailer-trash city hall I saw something unusual at the edge of  a grassy, empty lot.
As my dog and I got closer I realized that it was a fawn.
A tiny, spotted, beautiful little deer, curled up and sleeping soundly in the grass close to the road.
Pulling Kory closer to me I looked around to see if momma was close.
She was not, and as I looked back at baby I realized that he was only a few days old.
Quickly we turned back to the house.
I wanted my camera and I wanted to head back to take a picture of this beautiful little thing.
By the time we got back to the empty lot, baby deer was gone.
And just yesterday Kory and I were again walking in town when we saw a lone antelope walking down the middle of the road.
It was the first time I had seen antelope in town.
I need to carry my camera with me wherever I go.  Most of the time it is with me, but boy have I missed some great pictures recently...............
A few evenings ago LC, Kory and I drove out onto BLM land in back of town.
After snapping some quick pictures overlooking the desert and the mountains in the distance we headed back through the desert in search of............quiet adventure and a place for Kory and Karin to roam.
Because that's what Kory and Karin do...............
In the middle of tens of thousands of empty BLM acres there sits this place.
At some point in the past it was a working............something.
Something to do with crop growing or something to do with animal raising?
Truthfully I have no idea and the items that sit forgotten in the desert give me only mixed messages.
Maybe it was both.
A huge water tank, power poles, some fencing, a corral, seed containers and farming equipment.
How long has all of this sat here, abandoned and forgotten?
I don't know.  Certainly for the three years (next week) that we have been here.
As soon as LC parked the Suburban in the middle of the dirt trail, and as soon as I opened the back door of the vehicle, I smiled as I watched Kory spring from the vehicle and then sprint over to the empty water tank.
She remembers.
She remembers chasing a rabbit around the tank.
She remembers chasing it down the hill and then on a straight away for only a minute before catching it and killing it.
She remembers nudging it with her nose as if to say "Come some more!!"
But the game was over.
She remembers chasing and killing a bunny in this place.
Last summer....................
Daylight was starting to close in on us, and I wandered along the fence line, knowing that Kory was having a great time exploring the small field and that LC was watching over both of us.
Always watching in that cop-spidy-sense way that he has and which he will never lose, no matter how long ago he retired.
The bright blue sky was slowly turning purple.
The light was beautiful.
And it was no longer hot.
My favorite time of day in summer..................
By the time I had walked the perimeter it was time to go.
Time to continue driving through the desert until we reached the outskirts of town.
Time to go home.....................

The pale stars were sliding into their places. The whispering of the leaves was almost hushed. All about them it was still and shadowy and sweet. It was that wonderful moment when, for lack of a visible horizon, the not yet darkened world seems infinitely greater—a moment when anything can happen, anything be believed in.................Olivia Howard Dunbar

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