I took my friend to a wild place
in Sonoita, Arizona, nestled between mountain ranges,
we followed the road in to a desert savannah
as the morning sun sailed higher into a sea of blue
with mountains rising around us
and flaxen grasses waving in the wind,
in the cool dawn Celeste surveys the terrain,
when out of the golden grass a trio of antelope emerges,
Buff and white, they watch us warily
with large liquid eyes…
in the same waving savannah grass a Northern Harrier hunts,
and the antelopes start to run on winged feet!
It is a wild thing in a wild place,
where meadowlarks sing a morning song,
a daytime song, a springtime song!
We drive to the old Empire Ranch,
The adobe buildings hold ghosts from the past,
baking in the sun of time
they grow thinner and more elusive
until they are bleached and fade away.
We follow the trail down through history
wiping the gossamer cobwebs from our minds
and walk into the cottonwoods clear-headed and alert
with the clarion call of Gray Hawks overhead,
and warblers singing from the trees,
and sparrows flushing from the grasses,
and butterflies filling the air
with fluctuating color and light.
And then we are in the shade.
It is a solemn place,
a cool retreat from the warming sunlight,
filled with the fluttering of birds!
A Wilson’s Warbler hides in the shadows…
then becomes feathered sunlight in a green tree…
turning his head to show his black cap to me!
With chipping sparrows chipping all over the place!
Like the birds, we are mesmerized by the trees
and we spend hours here!
Finally we walk up past the tall cottonwood giants,
and return to the ranch;
it is noon and time for tea.
We spread our simple feast upon an ancient stone
and lean back into the cool shadows
taking in the view and watching Gray Hawks circle and call
over the green canopy of Empire Gulch.
This is our view, this is our noontime song.
It was time to move one, so we drove away,
down the dirt roads through Las Cienegas,
Surveyed by a Red-tailed Hawk,
we are watched even as we are watching.
We found a place where killdeer run
water in the desert.
And we know we are just two wild things ourselves,
wild things in the grass…
stopping for tea!
Note: Celeste and I visited Las Cienegas on March 25, 2013, only 2 days after my adventures in Sierra Vista with Chris Rohrer. Those adventures encompassed the last 3 posts, so you can see why it has taken me so long to get to all of these stories. It seems that March and April were very busy and adventurous months for me. I had such a good time and took so many photos. Thus, there is still more to come!