Oklahoma Pastureland

One of my favorite sights in spring is an Oklahoma pasture with grazing cows or horses, many with their calfs and colts beside them. I love the white clouds dancing across an everchanging blue skyscape. Pasture trees seem to turn green overnight. Barbed wire and rose briar fence in dry grasses beginning to show green from underneath. Often a hawk ornaments a fence post or a meadowlark puffs its black and yellow chest at the world and sings to the day from its wire perch.

He sings for sheer joy. Spring has come! He inspires the whole prairie with his song. From the creek banks treefrogs sing too, a chorus that intensifies when there is rain. Life stirs in the grasses. Birds build nests and rabbits give birth inside shallow burrows.

Hawks soar overhead on these afternoons – screeching at the world – a defiant – “I’ll get you” sound. Wind sweeps the whole picture, stirring the treetops and drawing the sap out to the waiting buds. The sap will feed the new leaves and make them hardy. Soon the fences will be punctuated with sprays of pink wild roses and honeysuckle.

Soon heat will come as the sun rises and heats the ground with penetrating light. Humid and eighty-five by nine in the morning; breathless and one hundred degrees by noon, the days will live long and ride slow. Lanquishing in the heat, cows will wade into the warm pond water. Dragonflies will zip and buzz like tiny helicopters across the cows broad backs.

Wildflowers and blackberries will bloom and bare fruit there. Clouds will build toward evening and thunderstorms and tornados lurk always near. The everlasting winds weary the earth.

That’s summer in Oklahoma. I can feel it coming!

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