Roads in Earth and Air


As we rumbled down a dirt track south of Zuni, a young eagle burst from the roadside chamisa. Rising, it dropped the limp body of a rabbit, then circled through the hosting ravens and repossessed it.

We started a half dozen antelope, who paced the truck to 25 mph. When we slowed they burst ahead, clearly racing us.

Long wandering on foot brought us to a wide, quiet ravine whose walls were covered with petroglyphs: many macaws, prehistorically revered and carried on foot from Mexico. Only bushtits there now, whispering in flocks.  I started a big jackrabbit; as it zipped under the brush it folded back its ears, the way a cherrypicker folds to fit under a freeway bridge.

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4 thoughts on “Roads in Earth and Air”

  1. Aw, Betsy! You’re back at Zuni! I’m so jealous. I was just talking this morning to an RN who would like to go West to work on a rez. It made me homesick for canyons, chamisa, and trekking around them with you. Thanks for posting this. (Good timing, especially since I’m writing amidst a canyon of badly written undergraduate papers that need grading.)

    Bußis!

  2. I love thinking of a Macaw sitting on my shoulder, punctuating the journey with loud comments as I walk along the trail from aguas calientes to Zuni. Gracias…Helena

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