Thoreau called them, "Earth's Eyes."
John and I saw an “earth’s eye,” (a lake), last week, one that will be no longer there in about a week, fragile and delicate, birthed by this desert
land and copious spring rainfall. This “earth’s eye,” however, was
not a body of water, but purple-blue camas blossoms--a lapis lazuli pool.
We’ve had a really wet spring this year and consequently wildflowers are everywhere. John and I drove north this week to take in the show.
Outside Elko, every hill was a patchwork quilt. Bright yellow Balsamroot Sunflowers, Bitterbrush branches draped heavy in creamy yellow.
Servis bushes smothered in brilliant white blossoms. And in the
Independence Valley by Tuscarora thousands of Camas lilies are
massed in spots like deep blue lakes.
The Camas bloom sports a hyacinth-like spike of bright blue on a
somewhat tall stem, with petals and stamens complmentary in color,
purple-blue petals, yellow-orange stamens.
As we took it all in the sun periodically broke through heavy clouds;
the Camas glistened and rippled.
In the distance mating sand-hill cranes gargled, and the song of a
meadowlark mingled with the raspy call of red and yellow-tailed
blackbirds. Clouds were low and the temperature was near 32.
When it started spitting snow we got back in the car and headed
to Taylor Creek bar for lunch.
In the restaurant we struck up a conversation with the young woman
who handed us our hamburgers. She’s married to one of the cowboys
on the “Span,” short for Spanish Ranch. He’d been gone cowboying
since early June and wouldn’t return until July 4. They’d left late
this year since spring rain/snow had made earlier riding impossible.
The Independence Valley is an important ranching area of brush and
rich grass, home to domesticated cattle, horses, and sheep. The
Spanish Ranch, one of the many in this valley, is one of the largest
ranches in Elko County.
But that’s another story for another time perhaps.
After our burgers we headed back to Elko glad to be in the warm car
and on a paved road, not mud.
We took pictures, but they terribly inadequate and disappointing.
Maybe I can find one that at least shows the lush thick grass in this
beautiful land this year....