Ramblings from the Desert

The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. ~Benjamin Franklin

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Location: New Mexico

Author of the urban fantasy novel, The Music of Chaos, and the paranormal romance, The Canvas Thief.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

A Sunday Morning In Fall

For the last three weeks, the Rio Grande Valley has been ablaze with color. The cottonwoods of the bosque were draped with buttery bright Fall leaves.

With the dropping night temperatures, the tree pictured and most of the others have faded to a brittle golden brown. It's twenty-five degrees when I finally get up at seven-thirty and stagger out to feed Nikster. Nikster, annoyed by the late meal, throws a tantrum, bucking up and down by the gate. When I get close enough he neighs, a blast of hay breath hits my face.

I feed the horse and head for the house. The air is noisy with the gobbling calls of sandhill cranes who have spent the night in nearby fields before heading south to Bosque Del Apache Refuge. Nice fall morning, but too cool for my taste. I return to bed and the J-man.

Propane, the only heating fuel for many rural residents and trailer trash, is also the most expensive, so J-man has decided that the thermostat will be set on "polar" this winter. Around nine, the dogs decide it must be warmer outside. The Rat Dog stomps on us, an intrepid little soldier marching over the bodies of the dead. The Greyhound whips his long tail against the bed. J-man wobbles out of bed and kicks them outside and the day begins.

After breakfast, he heads out to work on a gate commission. I wash dishes, all the while aware of the fidgeting, twitching dogs. Because there'll be no rest for this wicked writer, I take them for a walk.

We troop along the irrigation ditch bank. Another sure sign of the end of summer, the ditch is now dry. It has been transformed into a highway, the sandy, rippled bottom speckled with footprints--coyote and dog probably.

We pass a tree farm, the infant trees bare-limbed like their larger counterparts. Then there's a yard with two shaggy Icelandic horses. In the summer, those coats look miserable, but now they are enviable. The Nikster never gets very shaggy. (But since attempts to blanket him are met with a hunger strike, he must make due with what nature gave him.)

It's warmed up to the high forties and we see other dog walkers and bicyclists. A chain saw buzzes somewhere and a lazy dust devil tangles with a stand of cottonwoods. The dust devil grabs leaves and then sends them spiraling upward, bronze confetti against a crisp blue sky.

We return home and stop to watch the J-man polish a steel gate panel: the metal winks blue-silver in the bright sun. We go in the house. I take off the dogs' leads and they head for the water bowls. As I hang up the leads, the Greyhound hears the distinctive jingle.

He rushes over and whines: "A walk? Are we going for a walk? Oh boy, let's go for a walk."

Have a happy Sunday.


Graphics and Content Copyright © Patricia Kirby 2005