Downy feathers and purple fruit of Texas

The drought affect upon a person’s mood in Texas can quickly decline into prurient prose and photographs to the neglect of new abundances, new vacuums, curious presences in the arid lands. The drought’s vignettes multiple in west-central Texas:  Boer goats standing tall, eating mesquite and live oak leaves, dropping on all fours to dead grass; auction sales in Dublin, Eastland, and Coleman, Texas, that go on through the night and into the next day selling cattle that will, in the main, be quickly transported to packinghouses; cow tanks and water caches that were never dry in my lifetime are now barren, their empty beds cracking like dregs of buttermilk on clear glass; and reflective heat exploding my Boston Scientific Weather Station thermometer to 122 degrees.

No need to get angry at the weather; that’s crazy, wrote Nietzsche.  And after going over the daily picture rituals of dry, semi-arid, landscapes, I prefer not to reside in some smutty alcove of bereavement, rocking back and forth, counting beads, hoping for a drastic change in the jet stream.  I am in a droughty weather cycle, yes, but so?  Start designing interior plazas, stucco walls and arbors with water mists — all replete with scented juniper shade.  And, in the cool morning, begin construction.

Then, in the field, observe all things, including downy dove feathers on mesquite and the purple tulip fruit of the ubiquitous Desert prickly pear.  These are trusty images to dwell upon during the heat of the day.

Desert prickly pear, New Mexico prickly pear, bearing tulip fruits that are edible (north Erath County, Texas, 2011).


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15 Comments

Filed under Life in Balance

15 responses to “Downy feathers and purple fruit of Texas

  1. I definitely agree Jack. No sense moping about something you have no control over. Best to look to it for what it has to offer. Drought has a way of taking things down to a bare minimum, culling out the weak in all living things; humans, animals and plants. Species adapt or perish. Its about change a word most humans really don’t like. Thanks for your beautiful words and pictures. I think the prickly pear photo would make a lovely watercolor.

    • Change, yes, we do need to make those breaks, strike the tent, move up the mountain (at least that’s direction I would go, looking for juniper or spruce shade). I am going to append a couple of more photos of the “tulips.”

  2. A good lesson for all of us, in all weather conditions: see beyond the difficult to the beautiful. It’s always there. We just have to see it. Thank you for writing about it.

    It also applies to all areas of life, not just the weather. Again, thank you.

  3. Evolution. Those who are, in the long term, successful are those who adapt. Yet another lesson learned from the natural world. You seem to be heeding these lessons well, Jack!

    • I sure hope so, Bill. I had rather wear out than rust out, cussing at misfortune. There’ll be time enough to sleep later.

      • I sometimes think about Darwin’s comment about evolution. It wasn’t about survival of the fittest, it was about who/what adapts to change most readily. It seems we are all having to do some evolving and it’s not easy, but it is necessary.

        I have sometimes used the adage, “You can sleep when you’re dead.” 🙂 I mean that humorously, albeit darkly.

      • That’s right, Teresa, change most readily is the answer. It is not easy. Habit patterns, however, can be quickly formed — and, then, on to the next change! In the great scheme of things, ’tis never ending.

  4. The west Texas drought was mentioned in a lecture of global climate change in the ecology class I just finished. I thought of you. Your attitude is refreshing, and one that many will need to learn to emulate if we’re to endure what the climate may have in store for us in the coming decades with our sanity intact.

    • I think we are in store for major changes. If I stay here, I am already looking at desert dwellings and how to build for shade — looks like thick walls is part of the answer. Then, again, I know people that favor lots of color and I may trek out with them to greener, cooler areas.

  5. One has to admire the prickly pear and those desert creatures who feed on it: they have seen it all before. What a strong message this proclaims to everyone everywhere to be kind to and gentle on our planet!

    • Montucky: They have seen it all — how true. I’ve noticed that the burrowing animals are all coming closer to the water cache in the creek. More burrows that pockmark the creek bank signals movement to wetter areas. It it is so refreshing to go to your blog and see the mountains, fen and glade with deer.

  6. Good stuff. Yes, we’re all dry as a bone and bemoaning our predicament and where the rain fell last night (not here!). . .but you’re right. Adjust, adapt and make life a little more interesting if you can.

    • Thank you, Bunny. Coming from you that’s a compliment I treasure. I always think of your blog and location when I see the weather map of eastern New Mexico. You have done some great changes to your blog and they are all good. I have especially enjoyed your food articles.

  7. Pingback: University New Mexico Tulip

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