Even knowing
there would be big
biting mosquitoes—
not so present during the dry years—
I set out on a twilight walk
across the lush green prairie.
Grasses are already thigh-high.
I wonder
who has been making
a narrow path
through the thick greening
and find the answer
when an armadillo and I
surprise each other.
Milk Thistle is just blooming
(those tall, beautiful purple flowers—
will be have to be mowed.)
Last year,
for the first time in forever,
there were almost no sunflowers.
This year, they blanket
giant patches.
The impact of water
on parched life
is astonishing.
The creek is flowing,
ditches are filled,
water stands in low spots.
Mosquito clans whirl round
my head, but cooling night breeze
and my waving hand
keep them from landing.
My shoes get wet
as I jump not quite far enough
over creek and puddle,
and I am glad.
As the light vanishes,
Venus and Jupiter,
high in the inky blue western sky,
glow brilliantly.
I stand in awe.
And listen
to frogs.
And breathe
in the cool, loamy air.
Then, there,
along the road,
the golden blinking lights
of summer.
Seems way too early,
too cool,
too wet.
But there they are:
flashing in the darkness,