Our Sunday drives into the country are most necessary for mental health and also provide great opportunities to appreciate nature. Because of the drought, we have seen very little wildlife and limited numbers of colorful wild flowers. As a result, we tend to appreciate any of the animals and plants we see more than ever.
Recently I was able to watch a deer as she grazed on some elm leaves. She remained calm for several minutes, allowing me to take a few pictures and to admire her beauty She then threw her head back, took a flying leap, and was across the fence and into the pasture before I could believe what I was seeing. Her beauty and grace were outstanding and reminded me of the many times I had admired such in those canyons of home.
Although the wildflowers were sparse this year, those that bloomed surely stood out in the landscape. Of course, we had a few sunflowers, a number of wild asters, and several others I couldn't identify. Suddenly, the snow flowers appeared and are announcing that we should have at least three feet of snow this year. Well, they have made several such announcements during the last few years, but we have had very little snow. Just maybe, they will be right this year. At least, their dainty, flake-like appearance is something else for us to admire.
This is the first time, I have seen mesquite bushes bloom twice during the year, but that may not be as uncommon as I think. I was amazed to see the blooms alongside the beans last week. Who knows? We may have two crops of mesquite beans this year. I'll surely keep watching and hoping to see that happen.
We see many crows throughout our area, but rarely do we see turkey vultures any more. As I was driving along, I saw one having lunch in the middle of the road, and stopped to watch him for a minute. He finally decided to spread those broad wings and to raise that red head. As he flew into the distance, he was graceful and beautiful in his own way.
We used to take much of our wild life for granted, but now we even notice the single rabbit we may see on our trips. We tend to pause to admire almost any animal we can see. Even the wily coyote captures our attention because we just don't see any of his family very often.
Those of us who like to drive around in our county are very fortunate to be able to find so much surrounding beauty, no matter what the season. Of course, we can but hope that next summer will be a green one so we can admire a different kind of beauty and feel the peace of nature at her best. Let's just keep admiring!
Lynn Moncus is a Tucumcari resident and can be contacted through the Quay County Sun by calling 461-1952.