Look me in the eye, an iridescent-bellied lizard that Jim caught October 17, in the Rio Grande Valley, New Mexico, photo © 2008 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.
The days are beautiful in the Rio Grande Valley. The other morning we woke to a thick fog hovering just above the field. Sun rose, and the warmth slowly burned off the mist.
I wonder if we’d get sick of our favorites seasons if we could magically make them last twice as long as they do normally. If we collapsed summer and fall into a new season, Extra-long Fall, I’d be perfectly happy. Although, we’d miss out on swimming and eating popsicles in the scorching sun. And weekend getaways spent at 9,000 feet.
Eh, scratch that idea.
This is Jim’s favorite time of year. He’s been outdoors every day, raking and cleaning up the yard. He’s working on a project to take out overgrown juniper bushes, rotted railroad ties, and an old leaning fence from the back courtyard. He disappears for hours out there, calling me now and then to come look at the critters he finds.
There are Black Widows galore, although Jim usually leaves those alone. He caught one, a huge girl with a big red hourglass on her belly. The shots I snapped are obscured by the plastic tub we put her in. We’ll release her soon—it’s just a matter of finding a spot far enough away that she won’t be a menace. I know, she’s more afraid of us than we are of her, but she’s the biggest black widow I’ve seen and I don’t want our paths to cross ever again.
Speaking of big spiders, Jim also found a most extraordinary Orb Weaver. Its web filled the entire corner, floor to ceiling, of a shed that came with the place when we moved here. Motivated to put the rarely used space to use, Jim was clearing out a set of old screen doors when he stumbled upon what appeared to be a large walking mushroom.
He coaxed the spongy yellow-white mottled spider onto a walking stick and brought the whole contraption to the back porch for me to see. After I took a few shots, Jim carried the dear back to her home in the clean shed.
It’s a gentle time. Except for last Saturday, when a wicked wind whipped through the valley, turning the sky a gray-white and lashing sheets of rain and hail onto the world. We were drawn to the windows but at the same time fearful that a branch might break from a tree and in through the glass. The storm lasted about 20 minutes, then settled into a steady rain.
Today it’s about 72, on the way to a high of near 80 degrees. Trees are in different stages of becoming yellow, and the Virginia Creeper has suddenly bloomed a ruddy red.
At Sunflower Market, where I just went to restock the pantry, folks sat at tables and chairs set up in the parking lot and ate hot dogs and hamburgers bought off the grill for a dollar. I bought three hamburgers and brought them home with the groceries.
fall morning (four), a misty morning looking out at the pond in our field in the Rio Grande Valley, New Mexico, photos © 2008 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.