Living Jewel

horned toad close-up

About four inches long? Not quite grown I’d say.

Last night it rained. I mean, really rained. Went on for hours, soaking, heavy at times. The gods must have heard my craven yowls and figured this would shut me up. It does.

Today began with sun and wind and all the plants excited. The ground was actually damp. Moisture was evaporating. There were new smells everywhere. I decided to go walk immediately because of the intensity. Can you imagine? It’s been months and months since a rain like the one last night. Suddenly everything felt possible and fun. The air, the air—just enough humidity to nourish, cool enough to make you wonder if a T-shirt is enough. “Let’s go!” weather. So I went.

There were lizards everywhere. And grasshoppers. And giant horse flies that left me alone except their buzzing was like voices. I saw many wonders on this hike, and we shall start with this amazing “horny toad.” One miracle per post, approximately. There will be more.

Notice how the rain has washed the dust off all the little colored rocks. The same thing happened to the plants. Everywhere I looked today, the saturation was increased, the contrast turned up. This guy (?) looks like a lizard in a jewel box. See the colors of the stones? Pink and green and purple; orange, yellow, red, and white. Now look at all the colors on the horned toad!

“Just a desert,” “just rocks,” oh no. If you look too closely, you’ll go mad. Can’t step anywhere without crunching diamonds. Can’t go too fast for fear of what you’ll miss.

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John Hamilton Farr lives at 7,000 feet in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A. As New York Times best-selling author James C. Moore tells it, John is “a man attuned to the world who sees it differently than you and I and writes about it with a language and a vision of life that is impossible to ignore.” This JHFARR.COM site is the master writing archive. To email John, please see CONTACT INFO on About page. For a complete list of all John’s writing, photography, NFTs, and social media links, please visit JHFARR.ART  

  • Marti Fenton July 1, 2013, 10:53 PM

    So happy to know we still have a few horny toads. Well said about the rain. Life comes out of hiding.

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