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Plants of the Western Slope Feb. 14, 2018

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It's Over

It has grown dark and the moonlight is bright. My mind wanders to the pair of owls that sang at this time. And I'll always remember the raven pair. The male was dreadfully distressed ... he was in the pasture this morning, but couldn't seem to remember his task. He kept flying back over where our cottonwoods had been.

It was all so noisy that few birds came near. But yesterday the scrub jay came to prance in our ornamental pear-tree (it's gone too), and the little juncos went whizzing by our dining room windows. Lewis's woodpecker sat on the entry post and squawked until he couldn't stand it any longer. He left. Flew down Myers Road toward Highway 65.

I keep telling myself to think about the cranes since they'll be here before we realize it. But then I think about the empty space where our trees were before. We've written the check. Chatted with Andrew. We've heard his final plans to finish up here and be gone. And it is dark outside. I can hear cars going by and today a few people stopped to look.

I'm immensely tired. Far wearier than I ever thought I would be. Jan, our neighbor to the east said on the phone, "I know how you must feel" but her voice said "Oh, I KNOW I don't!"

I recall a spring day with clear blue sky. I'd gone down to the reservoir to check on birds. No cranes yet, but I watched a doe on the other side of the pond ... she was sleek and had lost her winter coat. I wondered where her fawn was. She disappeared into the shrubs.

Then I observed a blue-billed ruddy duck about a third of the way out, but no other birds were near him. He was practicing his bubbling-display technique. He dove and I lost him.

I started for home, with a quick check from Crane Point. I took county road 2190 (it used be dirt, but now it's paved), and came by the "new houses." I turned left into our driveway but I wasn't really home! Our 27 years of cottonwoods were gone.

I know that time will "heal" my loss, but right now it doesn't help.

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Surface Creek
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Evelyn Horn, Plants of the Western Slope
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