Wild Maximillian Sunflowers

So much life was interrupted
during the ravages of this summer’s heat
and drought—
many ponds dried, amphibians and fish died,
gardens had to be abandoned—
that it is seems surprising to find plants
and animals
that survive.
The amazing prairie is abloom
with its fall blossoms.
Russian Sage,
one of the xeriscape plants—
the only plants in my flower beds
to survive the heat, drought
and grasshoppers—
is covered with clusters of blueish purple blooms.
Despite the discovery of dead turtles,
there are some now traversing the roads.
I happily discovered a newly-shed snakeskin
this week on the rocks
around my little goldfish pond
(which has no goldfish
because a hungry snake ate them.)

Great Blue Heron

And it was a thrill
(I even exclaimed aloud, startling myself)
to spot the Great Blue Heron again,
on a neighbor’s diminished pond
and then on a shale-pit pond
just east of our Big Pond.
It has been weeks since we’ve seen
this glorious bird,
normally a daily visitor to the Big Pond;
its distinctive call normally a daily greeting
as it flies above,
casting a shadow briefly over the neighborhood.
Too, there are several Red-Tail Hawks
soaring
and I am beginning to hear the soft swish
of flocks of Red-Winged Blackbirds overhead.

Doe Creek

And there is water in Doe Creek again.
My friend Deb says
she feels like laughter is racing through her body
now that the air has cooled,
there is rain.
I can’t even begin to describe
the relief I feel.