Sad sweet notes of White-crowned Sparrows come on the 26 degree morning air. A pudding skin of ice covers The Stockpond and the bermudagrass is a filaree of white crystals of frost with Red-shafted Flickers looking bright against the tall white weeds.
A lot of the herd from the Mason Pastures will be moved downriver on the road over the next couple of days, to be settled then on the upper grazing ranges for the Winter; surely we’ve just brought them down from there only last week in that great heat and dust of June! The first waterer for them must be topped up, there fairly high up above the dry Hot Springs Canyon. Lesser Goldfinches drink eagerly, boldly, at the cracked hose filling that metal stocktank: on the desert, those who delight in having a garden or patio be visited by the variety of birds here that is the marvel of these Sky Islands and bajadas need only fill a pan with water, sit back, sip a bacanora, and enjoy.
Back at Mason’s at the end of day, the tiniest of midges dance on the surface of a now-thawed puddle in the native grass planting, each minute form catching the late sun before the very cold and long night comes down.