Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Autumn Musings

Once again, drifts of autumn leaves shift with the winds in South Fork, in the Chiricahua Mountains. Madrone berries are peaking, and pulling in feasting birds. Above, the sky is frisky with mares' tails, foretelling an impending storm. All this richness!

Autumn along the South Fork Road (Photos by Narca)

And one friend who fully appreciated wild richness, no longer is here to do so. Farewell to Rich Stallcup, who showed me my first Montezuma Quail right here in the Chiricahuas, more than three decades ago.

Montezuma Quail (Acrylic painting by Narca)

Mexican Jay, tossing leaves

The only industrious creatures this afternoon are the jays, proving by their behavior that we've overlooked some subtle relation between them and the leaftossers of Central America... a musing that returns to Rich, who often connected ideas in an original manner. He told Peter Warshall, "They've put vultures and storks in the same family. Seems like a birder's great melding of bringing babies and recycling the dead."

The main idea that stayed with me from reading One Hundred Years of Solitude was Márquez's notion that the key to living well in old age is to reach an "honorable pact with solitude". We also face the challenge of reaching some peaceable accommodation with the loss of friends––with losing all of those whose going leaves an empty place against the sky.

Mexican Jay, a portrait


  1. "[A]n honorable pact with solitude". I believe those who move here and stay have reached that accommodation finding joy in simple pleasures.

  2. Thank you for posting on the ListServ! I get to meet another Arizonan birder:) Look forward to reading your blog. Chris at Las Aventuras