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.