A “false dawn” brightens the eastern sky, long before the real dawn is due–the wide swath of celestial light rises from the horizon against midnight blue and far up into the stars at a 45 degree angle, leaning towards the south; it is much brighter if not looked at directly but noticeable no matter how it is approached by the eye. Stars reach down to the horizon on every point, and no clouds show but the flashes of lightning fortell another Monsoon storm is collecting itself, and which we may hope does arrive. How many more rains can there be? “How many more almost utterly dark nights will there be to enjoy like this?” I wonder as I hear an announcement of the success of solar “ranches” and wind “farms” on regional-grid scale, wonder if those things might end our Southwest, as they come to this desert that once forbid all who couldn’t live with Her as she presented Herself before air conditioning, pinata subdivisions and the opiate of video games.
A first year Gray Hawk in brown immature plumage perches tamely in a low mesquite branch in The Lane, while another Monsoon storm builds but will be smaller than the one last week–both bird and the rains will abandon us soon, move off south, evaporate. Perched on a wheel line is an early arrival of the next shift, a Say’s Phoebe, none of which were to be seen over the hot summer at least on this bottomland, and there is a Loggerhead Shrike returned to Mason’s, too. Above, the September sky: the most beautiful of the year now the world dries out longer between the temporales, and the clouds take a few days to gather and build their individual mass against the blue. I don’t have to be so keen to have three weeks’ supplies in the cupboards if the road going afuera is less likely to be mangled or destroyed on most any afternoon. In the evenings the clouds are piled so high that their bases are steel blue in earth shadow, their crests sun-dazzling in white or rose, patterned this way like tourmaline crystals, or look like some fine old cameo carved from a helmet shell. Below, the Galiuros and the Mae West Peaks are cabernet and rose themselves.