First light of dawn at the double gates at our north entry from The Road into Mason’s, where in all the trees up and down sing Lucy’s Warblers. Theirs are wind chime notes scored for a spring orchestra, in a symphony coming to my human ears alone, Live from the Concertgebosque.
Later with the temperature perfect in the 80s, Pat and I saddle Nimby and Loompy and climb up to the ranges to search out the main herd where it has spent the winter and spring, see what kind of flesh they’re keeping in, what calves might’ve been born since last we rode that circle. The saguaros there are some of the most beautiful on the Arizona desert, and they are among the most densely-growing and grandly-sized ones anywhere. Just one of them showed off a first flower of the year, a single huge blossom, the only one to be seen: a green sport coat, and a white carnation. A gorgeous fruit salad of colors of prickly pears in bloom in their several species is flung across the flats, down the slopes and in the canyon bottoms … Chinese yellow and lime glowing chalices, peach, apricot, orange, lemon ones, lime-tinted ones, the startling cerise of cholla flowers thrown in because, well, what’s fruit cocktail without maraschinos? One prickly pear looks like a Peace Rose. I’ve never seen pads so laden with flower buds, the outcome of rains that fell here–but not at Mason’s. A cicada goes off suddenly, and we know that summer is truly on us, with all the glory and all the difficulty that comes with that.