When I was here last summer, a trio of rabbits would often race around the outside of the whole house. I watched them pass by and by and by, sometimes faster, sometimes slower. Until one of them saw through my window out the glass door behind me and ran right up to it, thinking he could go straight through the house, as birds often do with the windows upstairs. I sat still as he got closer to the window, close enough to see me, or his own reflection but whatever he saw startled him. And he just stopped and stared. Eventually one of the rabbits behind him caught up, ran up, and the circling game began again. There were so many rabbits here last year, you couldn’t leave the house without waking one from sleep, sprawled out in the cool gravel under the truck, beneath the oversized Douglas Fir or raspberry brambles. I’ve only seen one rabbit running around here this year. She made a nest between two bales of hay for her brand new, nearly hairless, family of three. After one cold night (in early summer, it can drop into the mid 40s and 50s after the sun goes down), she left the nest and one baby behind in its too thin coat.
Cool evenings aside, this year’s dearth of rabbits is most likely related to the large bullsnake sliding around: below the deck, in the gutters on the barn, behind the lilacs. I think I hear it everywhere. Maybe it is a banner year for bullsnakes.
I saw one last week, stretching about four feet across the trail I was running. As I leaped back, retracting my knees and ankles so high into the air, it lay unflinching, blocking my path. Adrenaline had kicked in to aid my elevation because bullsnakes closely resemble rattlesnakes, which also live here; the difference in their colors and diamond patterns is slight. This one did not recoil or rattle upon my abrupt arrival so I calmed and looked closer to know what it was. It was, of course, harmless but I still tossed rocks to move it along. The snake, however, remained unmoved. Forced to walk a wide arc around it, I realized when you spend your days slithering along cliffs of crumbling sandstone, grit and stone flying your way are not to be feared, they are your life.
A goo hiker.
A hundred barn swallows bobbed through the cut grass, sifting and lifting up again.
Lightning silently highlighting clouds across the dark night sky.
Standing under the day's hottest sun, side by side and tail to nose, swatting flies.
(Colorful) Colorado was the Buffalo Plains State, the Lead State, the Columbine State, the Rocky Mountain State, and Mother of Rivers.
A chorus of crickets has sprung up, protesting sudden heat and humidity, as thick and soporific as the air itself.
Puppies at 19 days old, quite lovingly fantastic.
Pilots are celebrating. Socked in for days, the horizon is translucent again, like butter left out.
It is not even dark. The moon is not out. The sky is still full of periwinkle. But a coyote is howling.