Coyote Mercury

words, birds and whatever else by James Brush

Tag: neighborhood trails (page 1 of 5)

three ducks
wing down to the pond
north wind

Nameless Stream

I walk as in an autumn dream
to this sweet and secret stream.

Cumulous roiled sky and leaves,
reflections in this cloudlet stream.

Come winter nightfall stars shine
time above this comet stream.

Raindrops pelt the surface of this
momentary wavelet stream.

Despite well known creeks, I’m drawn
each spring to this minute stream.

Turtles travel the muddy road
of this slow and temperate stream.

Summer noon, birds disperse; only
wind around this quiet stream.

How many days have I explored
and sat beside this favorite stream?

Great Egrets

Evening on Brushy Creek




Summer, Baby

Every summer, it takes a little more time to get used to the heat, but this summer it’s come on so fast and blinding, I wonder if I’ll ever get used to it. Late last month (where did that month go?), when I walked down to the pond after work on Friday, it was 102 degrees out. I joked that I was going out to look at the vulture and grackle and that’s mainly what I saw, although down by the pond, I did see a pair of black-bellied whistling ducks. It’s only the second time I’ve seen whistling ducks in the neighborhood, the first being May 27, 2009. Two years to the day. I couldn’t help but wonder if it’s the same two ducks. What do they make of the heat? Maybe this is just a stopover for them on the way to somewhere cooler.

Eastern cottontail

The paper says that in the next century Austin’s climate will come to resemble that of San Angelo as the Chihuahua Desert continues it’s slow eastward creep. I like deserts, and don’t care much for Austin’s humidity, but damn, I’d hate to see this town turn into a desert town and I shudder to think what the effects might be on the golden-cheeked warblers and black-capped vireos not to mention all the other less-endangered wildlife.

That’s a lot of heat to get used to, but I usually do get used to it. It’s not uncommon to go cycling when the temperatures are in triple digits, though that gets harder with each passing year. I like to think that’s because the heat is just more brutal, and I think I’ll keep telling myself that.

I don’t know how often I’ll be posting in the near future. Between the writing and the posting of this we had a baby. We’ll call him Fox Mercury around here, though I doubt I’ll write about him much on the open web. Still, I’m a father now and already that awesome responsibility and awe is settling into me and so it’ll likely inform my writing and it’s already impacting how I think about and see the world. It’s odd… we’ve known he was coming for months and yet everything changed in an instant.

Here at the beginning of this new adventure, it seems appropriate to be looking at these pictures of the neighborhood trails I can’t wait to show him. But first, lots of sleeplessness and tired wonder. It may be quiet around here in the coming weeks, but I’m still writing (but behind on posting) my daily stones at a gnarled oak, but that’s not about the blogging.

Texas Thistle

Texas Thistle (Cirsium texanum), where the goldfinches go.





Prairie Verbena


Prairie Verbena aka Dakota Vervain (Glandularia bipinnatifida)

Yes, I’m still taking time off to investigate and learn the flowers that are able to withstand this drought.

(click images to enlarge)

Plains Coreopsis (Golden Tickseed)



Plains Coreopsis aka Golden Tickseed or Goldenwave (Coreopsis tinctoria)

Evening-Star Rain Lilies


Evening Star Rain Lilies (Cooperia drummondii)

It actually rained here last week. Free water fell from the sky. Now, these starlike beauties have appeared everywhere. I stopped on my bike ride to photograph a few to ID, and was pleasantly surprised to discover their starry name.

evening-star rain lilies
along the trailside

a blanket
for a few more
cool nights

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