I walked outside a little after 6:00 trailing behind an overly eager dog. He insisted on starting the day. Myself, I could have slept a little longer. The air was still and oddly warm for this time of year. The stillness seemed to overtake the dog as he just stood and sniffed. I tried to follow his lead, but my nose picked up nothing. And then, as if by cue, a pack of coyotes, out of sight, over a hill to the southwest, started their chorus. Perhaps a celebratory song signifying their night's work was done. I have to admit, it was a welcome sound.
This spring has brought about a lot of rabbits. I mean, a lot of rabbits — cottontails, jackrabbits, all shapes and sizes. One morning I looked out the front window and counted eight. My wife was thrilled with all the bunnies, but I secretly thought this is not normal. Visions of rabbits introduced by the Europeans decimating parts of Australia came to mind. I know, a bit dramatic, right?
But seriously, what had caused this proliferation? Was the winter too mild? The spring too amorous? I am not certain. I do know the coyotes did not seem to be around much this past winter. Where did they go? Were way too many hunted last year? Again, I cannot say for certain, but things seem to be a bit out of balance. Is this waxing and waning of species a natural occurrence? Perhaps. I can't help but wonder though, what part we humans played in this particular ecological drama? We constantly hear of environmental impact, but it takes on a whole new meaning when you see it play out in your own front yard. Resources in the desert are few and probably nowhere is the interconnectedness more evident. Small changes have such a great impact. Am I being an alarmist? Have I been in the desert way too long? Again perhaps, but I saw the first snake of spring yesterday and he too, was a welcome sight.
This is a new feature that Weebly offers for scheduling Blog posts. Seems like it could be a handy thing. I must get better at scheduling social media posting and this could help. We'll see. I will set this to appear in the near future.
Spring winds have come to the desert. Strong gusts push and pull at everything, including one's attention. It's as if they herald change itself. The desert is "greening". Looking across the expanse, there is a subtle green replacing the winter yellows and browns. Drop to your knees, for a closer look, and the stunted grasses are definitely turning; while no-name weeds pop everywhere. Of course, the green is short-lived. By June, the heat and lack of moisture will have pushed everything into a yellow dormancy again, to wait and hope for the late summer monsoons.
So, perhaps it is the combination of wind and changing color, but I find myself longing for change, as well. The words, "road trip" suddenly sound exciting and I'm paying more attention to sunrises than sunsets. Is it the call of the East, or more specifically, the South and home? Perhaps, Spring awakens the "green" of my childhood.
Pat Greenwell is an artist. A painter and sometimes poet, he has been searching the New Mexico desert for a couple of years now, looking for lost possibilities and probable intentions.
"...mostly stream-of-consciousness stuff, you know...