August 13, 2013

The Devil’s Claws continue to grow and spread their branches, there are even more flowers now than a couple weeks ago. As I noticed before, only some individuals have the Paulownia-like fragrance and that only slight–one plant’s flowers are nearly raspberry red in color, look like Pansy (Miltonia) Orchids. Wild Tomatillo are at the height of bloom, rather a weedy plant but rather showy, too. After a night of 80% humidity, the dew is drenching everything and as I walk I am wet through from the top of the so-called knee boots to well above the knees. (Knee boots only come now up to about half way between the calf and the knee, which is reminiscent of what happened with two-by-four lumber. They seem no longer to be built to fit well, too, and are too floppy and open to keep out raspy grass seeds, sharp and impaling foxtail awns that can find their way all the way to the toes before becoming a splinter in your hide, or the marbles of White Horsenettle fruits. The “rubber” lasts all of about two months before its seams fracture. What do I want for $30? something that lasts??) More and more grasshoppers are flushed on such a walk through the deep pasture, today there’s a new straw-colored one with a black stripe, and large emerald katydids with a white stripe, trailing legs far behind them when they take off and buzz on ahead of me. A small black wasp is now very active, has a brightly contrasting red abdomen, connected to its forward parts by a thorax as thin as a hair.

I get back to the truck after closing down the riser valves just after lunch, slip off the rubber boots and shake them upside down before putting on regular cowboy boots, and out of them onto the ground falls a spider of astonishing color and shape: apple green, striped with a lighter fluorescent green, and the legs are feathered and ornate like those of deep sea crabs. How this Green Lynx Spider didn’t get crushed as it was jostled around in my boot is a question–it must be very nimble. I read that they can give a venomous bite, but that they have to be harassed into doing that. I should think that a ride with my foot far from home would constitute harassment. I do empty other critters out of those boots from time to time after I have finished crossing those pastures, and have always been happy not to know what alarming thing I was carrying around with me at the time.

Clear sky, temperature 104 degrees in the afternoon … the convection oven of the land bouncing back great heat into the air is setting up all for a big blow, it feels–but not today.