Thursday, August 15, 2002

El Rancho Critters

Luna lays double yolks. We have had three so far. She lays big, brown, smooth eggs. They fill the hollow of my palm. Gracie and Rosie are laying now too, but we have not witnessed which is responsible for the small, pale brown eggs, and which lays the pale cafe con crema, round eggs. Luna announces her accomplishments. She clucks and vocalizes sounds for which we have not written words. "Cquruck, arhp." Rosita and Graciela are quiet, unassuming. They sit together in the dust or on the rock. Feathered companions, passing the heat of the day beneath the shade of the oak.

Two hawks have been circling southeast of our back yard. They must be scouting the valley below. They soar and glide in and out of each other's paths. They call out; a note like a scream, but without distress. They never touch, but are so connected one can almost feel the bond that holds them. They ride the thermals, never flapping, and then turn and beat their wings against the hot wind that comes through the valley. Their tail feathers are golden, rust, brown and black, patterned. Bird watchers would identify them, name them. I recognize their predatory form, their noble demeanor, their purposeful flight. The chickens acknowledge this too; they sit beneath the shrubs, cock their heads and eye the sky.

William is finding baby lizards. They are smaller than a child's pinky finger. They are delicate and trusting. Or perhaps they are not trusting, but so fearful they cannot think to scurry away. At least they are not in danger from the boys. They set them on the porch table, or in a gentle hand and admire their skinny little lizard fingers and tiny lizard eyes. They look for the turquoise bellies and stroke the length of their slender tails. They give them names, like 'Dinosaur' and 'Edward,' and find them homes in rocky places, away from Chango, our cat. Last year, when we were moving in, we found many baby lizards. They frequently sat on the door mat or were discovered stepping in to the house. If we created a calendar, this would be the month of the 'New Lizard;' small and curious and beginning.

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