August 7, 2013

Through air cleaned and freshened by yesterday’s wide storms a Yellow-billed Cuckoo hoots out a chuckle from the cottonwood bosque at El Potrero. Pat and I saddle up, fit our horses with bits and reins, mount and ride out on the morning to see how waterings have changed life on the mesas and low canyons on our range. If Summer isn’t ending, and Autumn not really beginning, then this must be one of our three Springs that come in the year. A green glow is over everything, from deepest river channel across the valley pastures it spreads up the foothills, over buttes and canyon rims and flows around the knuckle ridges, and up, and up, to ponderosa and high Rincon timberline. We ride through cholla in bloom, Manzanilla del Coyote (or “Chinchweed” in less musical, harsh-sounded Teutonic, er, I mean, English) in their endless golden carpets that let up spice into the air as horse hooves crush their leaves and flowers, white Desert Zinnia, and barrel cactus with their coronets of large brilliant flowers golden, orange, yellow, red, garnet, all with satin shine petals, or rather, “tepals”. (I am reminded of the Wiliwili trees on wild Hawaiian slopes and in the canyons of those islands, individual trees holding flowers that closely match this same range of hues.) “I’ve always thought Easter should be in July in Arizona!” Pat tells with joy in her voice.