Sunday, April 18, 2010

Signs of Spring

This year has been a great one for Joshua tree blooms. They don't bloom every year, and this is the first time we've seen them. This photo of a tree with an obligingly low branch was taken in Hidden Valley.

Everyone and everything is glad that winter is over. Now that things are finally warming up, we have been on the lookout for the first snake of the season. Bill saw it yesterday--a rosy boa in the back yard. Rosy boas are harmless and this one was moving very slowly. It inspired the following poem:

First Snake
The first snake of spring, a rosy boa,
inches along the rock wall, somnolent,
testing the barely warm enough air,
and shaking off torpor with each small thrust
of its head. No rush. The dark secret
of a winter lair is irrelevant. On a rock
already warmed, the grey and rusty coils
drape like an exhausted shawl.
Every year it’s too cold for too long.
But this is home. There is no changing it.

Unfortunately, there is trouble in paradise. Burrtec, our local trash hauler, wants to build a new facility about a mile from our house, on 7.5 acres of open desert pictured above. (Those Joshua trees are tagged for removal.) We are involved in the effort to stop this from happening. You can read all about it at