April 17, 2013

The male Mallard still alone at the Stockpond, and in the outmost mesquital beyond and nearer the River, a fine Bullock’s Oriole, a much later than usual arrival of this “neotropical”. Many Yellow-rumped Warblers in splendid and bright marriage garb, coming down to the pond edge for a drink, or hunting through the pasture grass pipit-like. This is too beautiful a bird to be tossed off with an, “Oh, just Butter-butts”, by the Life List Set that comes to Arizona to seek out our famous avian rarities. Normally that warbler’s numbers are larger earlier, and smaller by now, but this is turned on its head; they are everywhere.

Out in the deep winter pastures, another warbler: Yellowthroats are rising, flying off, and dropping into the grass, much like the Marsh Wrens who are not to be seen today.

Our little mixed herd of a couple dear old cows, steers and heifers for grassfed beef, and heifers we’ll keep, race out and kick up their heels in joy over coming into new grass that will be grazed for the first time, in this late afternoon of air that whispers change. The temperature twenty degrees lower than yesterday’s, the day cool but lively, and this beautiful sunset all is very quiet, so quiet the contented munching of the herd carries far and I bask in an all-is-well bucolic sweetness. The air all around and over them is electric, beryl-green, shot through with gold, Barn Swallows swirl and chitter through that air, and snap at the insects the cows as they move stir into flight. A moment of great contentment for those golondrinas, the cows, and me.