When I arrived, I noticed a roadrunner on the broad open field which one encounters near the parking area. It walked in its long, loping strides, ornate and lovely, curious and cautious. I hid behind tall cedars in an effort to come close enough for camera work, but I could not get near enough before the bird walked further away. He was two feet tall, and carried himself with a tenacious and tentative grace.
The prolonged drought sent some leaves and grasses brown already, while only a huge stand of coreopsis made much flower show. The noonday insecta centered on grasshoppers rather than the gorgeous butterflies of June. I recorded birdsong in the trees, and watched little birds on nearby branches emit improbably full-bodied song.
I stopped by the Sister Grove Creek section of Lake Lavon on the drive home. I had been there a bit over a month ago, when the drought had converted much of the lakebed to grassland. Now the drought has advanced further, so that much of the land under the bridges is dry and filled with vegetation. Great white herons walked in the shallows, a hundred yards away, while killdeer perched in nearby trees rather than in their accustomed shoreline haunts. I took video, snapped pictures, and recorded sound.
We went to dinner with my brother and his wife. Our lives are richer for having family so nearby--my brother and his wife are local, while most of my other close relatives are a half-day's drive away. We ate grilled fish, and then went back to their home, about twenty minutes from our own.
We had a good talk, and my brother and I walked their dog, the vivacious Chihuahua mix Arnold. Here again, birdsong was abundant, and I once more pulled out my Olympus voice recorder, and captured on the etheric media a crape myrtle tree full of house sparrows, in vigorous song.
It was a good day, despite numbing heat. I thought about choices and priorities and finding ways to make the days matter--the importance of building community, that old-fashioned but essential thing, a form of grace.