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Friday, May 30, 2014

The time of hunger

That's what the prehistoric inhabitants* of the Big Bend called the time when it was hot, before summer rains started. Things are bleak right now. No interesting birds or butterflies.

Bit by bit, I worked on the tank, cleaning and patching, before it got too hot.

Around 1996 I planted both Afghan Pines (Elderica) and Mexican Pinyons under the same conditions. I water them about the same, but if anything, the Afghan Pines get more water. They grew faster and taller, but the pinyons are almost as tall now, and soon may be as tall. Meanwhile, the Pinyons look way better. My soil is sandy. I don't know if that makes a difference.

Today I saw four Aoudad, but they took off as soon as I aimed my camera so I didn't get satisfactory shots. You can only see the head of the fourth one in front of the rump of the front-most one. It looks like two are young ones.


* They were Uto-Aztecan, the same as the Tarahumara of Mexico today. We call them Jumanos, and the Spaniards called them Jumanos or Jumanes. Early records show they were extremely numerous and no one knew where they came from or where they went to. They actually had no name for themselves, as native peoples seldom did. They were just the People. However, Tarahumara legends claim that their ancestors came from this area, and they've always called their elite runners, Jumames. The Uto-Aztecan word for runner is juma. So I postulate that the Spaniards, demanding a name for the men they encountered (never mentioned encountering women and children) called them by the only name they  knew themselves as, before disease and warfare drove them into the impenetrable mountains of Mexico. It's too long a story to go into here, but that's who I'm referring to when I say "the prehistoric inhabitants of the Big Bend." And this time of year, I always feel for their pain and hunger. They were way tougher than we are, though.

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