The Stockpond is perfectly still, and perfectly reflected in its dawn-pink mirror is the pair of Mexican Mallard … in the bright green mesquites all around the chats are doing what they do best, chatting. The air has a comfortable coolness to it but by afternoon will reach nearly to 100 degrees.
At lunchtime a Pine Siskin alights in the branches of one of The Stockpond mesquites, just above Tom O., Nancy F., and me, while we eat lunch on the bank.
A first cicada for this place (they were active on range a week ago already) splits that afternoon heat with a long wailing rattle, this sound the faultline where spring ends and a summer begins that seems never will end. Blossoms on the spikes of Copper Globemallow (Sphaeralcea angustifolia) are beginning to open, now the plants finally have recovered from those two deep freezes that had killed most of them to the ground, if not altogether. (In other, milder years there can usually be found a flower or two on the plants in every month of winter.) This much-favored browse of our herd and the deer who also live with us is nutritious for four-leggeds. It and other members of the genus Sphaeralcea are important to livestock from here down through the Mayo lands of Sonora and far into Mexico and they respond in a positive way to the animals’ pruning.
Small Azure butterflies, showing copper on wings above, and below a sheen of silver-lavender laid over black zebra striping, are coming to the yellow Sweet-clover flowers.
Western Tanagers are becoming much more noticeable, and in patterns of black, white, yellow and orange-red they flash down The Lane in front of the truck.