Hallowmas, Dias de los Muertos. No matter the Winter trickling over this waning year, new flowers are come into bloom, vivid in color, huge in size: abundant plastic, freshly cleaned flowers suddenly burst from the roadside, where the families of the two lost vaqueros of this querencia have come to freshen and brighten the memorial to the deaths of their loved ones. A tall crucifix marks where their men were swept from a hay-hauling rig after they made a move that couldn’t be retracted, of entering the Hot Springs Canyon, on that day a Crossing Too Far, when Monsoon growled a warning unheeded. The vaqueros didn’t make the other bank and safety and home and senoras. They crossed to Eternity, instead.
Many many tracks that look like ancient pictographs of human hands are in the mud of the roads through Mason’s Pastures this morning. I follow along where the raccoons must’ve been playing through the night, and scare into flight just as many Red-winged Grasshoppers from the sides of the tire ruts.
The day itself wings gently up to 81 degrees, and in the late light it is so warm that I sweat in my shirt, without vest or jacket on. Gossamer catches that light and shimmers high over the grass, and a new hatch of bugs fills the air–glowing Sprites, with partners in the dance the Sulphur Butterflies in rich orange, or plain bright yellow. Meadowlarks must rejoice in this Winter-long abundance of food for them. Tall Conyza weeds are also glowing, the high, rock-strewn hills behind us lit golden, too, overarched by sky palest blue with half of it cobbled in little round, evenly spaced clouds.