April showers bring spring sights

Lynn Moncus

Not long ago, we visited about the beauty of Quay Valley and the plains after the rain fell, leaving the roaring creek and filled water holes. Now is the perfect time to tour those areas again in order to see the changes.

Aggie and I took a most pleasant drive last Sunday afternoon and almost suffered from eye strain after viewing the brilliant spring green of the mesquites, grass, and wheat. That first green of the season certainly captures our attention because it is such a refreshing sight following the duller hues of winter. It just seems to be at its brightest and best these days. The water that had been standing in low places in the pastures just a short time ago has been replaced by bright yellow patches of wild flowers surrounded by new grass, and other wild flowers of various colors are popping into bloom throughout the area. Numerous stops are necessary in order to appreciate all that beauty because too much is missed by driving by at top speed. Although photographs can’t really do justice to all those colors, they can preserve the idea to be enjoyed when such colors are no longer present. The whole valley is now one gigantic spring bouquet.

The change in the wheat fields is also breath taking and causes more stops to walk for a few paces in order to hear the rustle of the wheat and to touch it to appreciate it even more. We can imagine the pride the farmers are feeling at the moment and the hopes they are building one more time as harvest seems possible. By looking closely at the fields, we can see the care the planters take in planting their crops and can imagine the dreams they have as they watch it ripen.

We saw a few more cattle than usual in some of the pastures and noticed that many of them were resting after having a good fill of new grass instead of resting after having walked long distances in order to find a few blades to munch. They were so relaxed that they didn’t bother to move when we paused to watch them for a few minutes. Chewing their cuds was more important than getting up to see who was interrupting their quiet time. Many of them were resting near the dirt tanks, knowing they could drink their fill without having to move more than a few feet.
We came across a pair of killdeer and heard them begin to give their pitiful calls while falling over and pretending to be mortally injured. They were more hysterical than usual, and I knew we must be near a nest. Fortunately, I was watching for it, else we might have scrambled the eggs because such nests have limited if any protection.

Those little creatures seem to spend more time distracting attention from these nests than in building them in secure places. They went in separate directions in order to confuse us and would fall over with one wing flapping in the air. Of course, Aggie was sure she could catch one, only to have it fly as she got close. We’ll be checking on that nest and can but hope predators don’t rob it before the eggs have a chance to hatch. At least, we captured a picture of the eggs but needed a better lens in order to capture the action at a distance. As a result, I am the only one who knows which speck is a killdeer.

To add another special gift for your mother on Mother’s Day, you might take her on a drive around the county so she could appreciate the beauty of nature on her special day. Happy Mother’s Day!