The Rio Ruidoso was higher than I had ever seen it today on my morning walk. It was running over its banks in several places from the rain that had fallen on the Sierra Blanca, and the water was muddier than I had ever seen it, but it was good to see so much water — a precious commodity in Southern New Mexico.
In May I had looked in vain for the wild sweet peas, but today I found them in abundance on the forest floor, ranging from pale pink to vivid magenta. Ah-h-h.
I walked along the river in the forest this morning. There was something comforting about the continual flow of water as it tumbled over the rocks in the river bed — living water, fed by mountain springs high above. The river bubbled with quiet sounds of swirling water and little falls. Yet, here and there, the water paused in tranquil pools before continuing on its never-ending search for lower ground.
I looked for the wild sweet peas that I saw along the banks last May, but it was too early, or perhaps too dry. When I looked up from my search, a tree was blooming.
Back in the mountains, I took my favorite walk along the river this morning. The forest showed no signs of Covid-19. New life was everywhere.
It took a while to find the wild sweet peas that I remembered from this time last year. They were few and far between on the forest floor, which made them all the more delightful when I spotted a few.
Above, enormous ravens and almost as large crows swooped from tree to tree. As I walked down the path, they called to their cousins up ahead: Beware of the human! They had an uncanny knack of avoiding the camera. I finally managed a fuzzy silhouette from a distance.
Honestly, I mean no harm.
As I retraced my steps, there was fresh scat next to the path, along with the faint scent of bear (similar to skunk, but not as obnoxious). The scat wasn’t there when I passed that way 10 minutes earlier. It was time to get my head out of the clouds and pay attention to my surroundings.