Friday, May 16, 2008
Beasts of the field
We stopped by the little Catholic cemetery in Yeso, N.M., just to see what was there and because we like cemeteries. The onlooking cows obviously expected us to come up with some cake or hay or something and stood by the fenceline looking expectant for the whole time we were there.
We saw lots of animals, mostly wild, along the way -- pronghorn antelope in N.M. and in the Panhandle, north of Dumas, a big tom turkey on the road to Lake Maloya outside Raton, coveys of quail in several cemeteries, cottontails and black-tail jackrabbits, and deer in several places. Up in the New Mexico mountains, a pair of deer stood quiet for a time and then took off, one lightly hopping over a fence and the other dropping to her knees and slipping under the fence. Stopped right before cresting the hill for one last look back.
I grew up in a county with fewer than one person per square mile, which meets the old definition of frontier land. It has fewer yet today as almost all the young people leave the minute they finish school. If you don't inherit agricultural land or a business, there's little opportunity in a place like that, a pity as there are some advantages to life lived in small, isolated places.