The night was warm enough to have slept without a blanket. Ruby-crowned Kinglets are in the nearby giant of an Afghan Pine, giving out their oriole-like chatters and beautiful motets scaled down to miniature as befits the size of these friendly green sprites.
The oats and barley of Sam’s yet ungrazed winter pasture is already shooting out sprays of flowers, before February has ended. This day will come to feel roasting in the 80 degrees of heat, which must signal to the cool season, “small grain” grass crops that they must produce seed before Winter skips right into Summer. There’s been no rain, neither in this month nor last, none since Christmas, which demands of these grasses they bolt and drop seed before they’re turned into hay by drought and the bake of sun.
As I sit in the pickup and scan The Stockpond, the first fly of the year big enough to buzz annoyingly around my face and ears circles round and round inside the cab. Venus the heifer sticks her head through the window, drops out a tongue that would alarm the rock band KISS, she thinks I’m her adoring head banger and wants to lick me as much as I’ll allow. It’s hard to hold binoculars still enough to study a duck’s speculum while a cow’s tongue is wrapped around one’s wrist, and tugging. Neither Cinnamon Teal is present today, but the pair of Mexican Mallards are, and the female Vermillion Flycatcher who is not wanting much to be in the treetop with the male in what he thinks should be a fetching scarlet hussar’s tunic. “How can she resist me in this uniform??” She’ll have none of it. “I’m not that kind of a girl!” Or, is she the coquette? Black Swallowtail Butterflies and Sulphurs are underneath, dancing, having a mud party.
Storm clouds! … high, blue and cream-colored, with layer cake tops reflecting as a circle in the pond late in the day, the Mexican Mallards’ dabbling making ripples go out from this brightly lit center to the edges, the water pale blue though Sun is gone. Silver sky in the North, with throw-pillows of white clouds darkly, ominously edged on their sides, their bottoms thick, even blacker.
Anticipation and a joy that it is hoped is not misguided rises in Cascabel. Under the Mae West Peaks, it’s going to rain!