Monday, January 25, 2010

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers 01/25/2010

After a few days of rainy, cold weather which is a rare occurrence in our desert, Sunday bloomed scrumptiously. It seemed like it was the pot of gold and the end of the rainbow. It was brilliant with blue skies, crisp clean air, and yes, flowing water in our usually dry river bed—the Salt River is running! It sounds like a river; it smells like a river; it flows like a river.

For those nearly natives, like me, there is something so very special about a desert river, a ribbon of life that resident critters locate quickly and take advantage of while they can. The ducks were paddling wildly, cormorants were making slow, low flights over the brown rippling waters, and the clumps of trees seemed to be sucking up for storage the life giving moisture—all right before our eyes. To the east of our valley Four Peaks pops out of the desert floor draped in a temporary snow cape making me pinch myself to remember that this is the desert, and it does get to be 115 in the summer…capture this moment for the future inferno.

In my own local habitat, my little acre, two red tailed hawks escorted a third interloper out of their ‘hood to move on to other unoccupied places, while they unashamedly continued their courtship before me. Flight displays and longing calls filled the air. There they were in MY yard in MY presence, and it was thrilling. Moving their display on to other skies must have left a vacuum to fill, as a male cardinal popped around in the large tree outside my window and my resident mockingbird serenaded the ethers in search of the perfect Ms. Mockingbird. He is quite good, and I am sure a mate will succumb to his melodious mimes and operatic offerings to set up housekeeping, hopefully in my backyard. Can babies be far behind?

How is it that the dead of winter can be such a harbinger of spring…all full of hope and abundance? Yes, thankfully, the cycle eternally moves on.

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