Joe and I
entered the south pasture
at the Lovers’ Lane gate
and were halfway down
to the pasture
when we heard Maizey
barking behind us.
We waited for her to catch up.
Just into the pasture,
out of a grassy ravine
ran a very large
and very furry
Made me wonder
if the animals are preparing
for a cold winter.
Joe chased after it,
through the fence and beyond.
Maizey stayed with me
and eventually Joe returned.
I noticed a smooth rock ahead
and suspected it was really an armadillo.
The dogs ignored it
and it kept digging
until I was right upon it,
then it scurried off,
its pointy tail in the air.
I realized at that moment
what “high-tailing it” means.

We walked passed the water-control reservoir
and watched the Great Blue Heron and ducks
glide onto the water.
So glad there is still water.
There’s water too,
in a small pond next to the Oil Blossom.
We climbed the Oil Blossom
(our grandfather’s word
for an unusual land formation,
a sort of mesa,
right here on the otherwise rolling prairie)
and I settled down on a flat stone
to watch the birds
while Maizey and Joe explored.
We eventually made our way
in the golden autumn light
up the dry bed of Doe Creek,
softened by layers of yellow leaves.

I turned toward the barns
to go home
but noticed water in the creek
to the north.
We went to look
and the water from three one-inch rains
a few weeks ago
has indeed collected
in the deepest parts of the creek bed.
The cattle have been drinking,
the shoreline pockmarked.
We saw no turtles or frogs,
but were thrilled to sit there on the shore awhile
as the water sparkled in the late-afternoon sun.