Monday, December 22, 2008

The Dead Grasshopper


There was a day Father Sun lifted his gaze unto the designated workload here in Soarbird Sanctuary Radium Springs and decided G and I would visit the Rock Home. Workload means nothing to FS. So off we went.

The Rock Home is way back down the Marble Mine Road named for the marble Quarry many miles back in. Some folks call it other things but G has lived right here for a spell and they don’t so his name is the one that stuck for us. The Marble Mine Road is G’s back yard, spiritual homeland, thousands of square miles of land the BLM thinks it owns. The non-reality of THINKING to own desert sand populated by scrubby mesquite, creosote, ocotillo, barrel cactus tucked in under like secret easter eggs is that no agency behaving itself ought to act as if it could own all that majesty and life and why would they want to when it is there to befuddle the thinker. But they do. Act like they own it—signing over grazing rights to cattle men who let loose their scrawny cows to manage somehow on grazing back the side oats grama and bluestem grasses that are growing a little bit. The cows make a benevolent and passive presence on the Marble Mine Road.

Jack rabbits, night hawks, millipedes, snakes, walking sticks and lizards are other friends. Many evenings and nights G and I hear the coyotes telling their fables to the night sky with the oversight of the hoot owl and bats.

But this time it was morning daylight and mostly the inhabitants were doing other things somewhere else. We didn't see much of anyone when we went up. We knew they were there as we drove the several miles up the MM Road to the Rock Home turnoff which is on the top long flat stretch with the majestic vistas. Pull over and park—no other traffic—rare to see another vehicle for days up there. Walked down the scabbily roadish piece of mountain to the arroyo leading into the Rock Home I had my Coolpix out and snapping the whole time because I love all my pictures. Not that they are professional pictures but they are mine and I seem to bond with them in some way that pleases me.

Scrunch scrunch we scrunched in the loose sand and then there she was! She was a beauty—blue and green and thick and perfectly shaped and abandoned—dead. A hefty substantial empty grasshopper body that must have been a real terror to whatever she ate when she was alive because she had some girth to her. No information about what terminated her—she just sat there like it was all part of the scheme of things, like an old 57 Chevy truck with its engine long blown out sitting in the weeds of the side yard of a country house where it is never in the way but always visible. Makes you think of what stories there are that will never be told and probably don’t need to be. But this old 57 grasshopper wreck has a short story written about her and has some good Coolpix taken of her expired self. I bet she becomes famous as the unknown grasshopper of that well-loved and interesting blog.

Next time maybe I’ll tell you about the lichen and the Rock Home and Gord with the gourds. Let me know what you think.

Words and photo by Laura Solberg

3 Comments:

Anonymous Jacques Conejo said...

Your words serve well to convey the feeling of the place "Rock Home". I much appreciate the view of the BLM you shared as well.

I wonder if that grasshopper (or anyone else) could have imagined her rapid and miraculous ascent to immortality.

She's well along the way to becoming:
"The Famous Unknown Grasshopper".

Fascinating photograph! I especially like the legs. Amazing. it also, while obviously focusing on the creature, somehow conveys the feeling of the environment as well....

Thanks!!!

4:44 PM  
Anonymous Jacques Conejo said...

Hey! Thank you both for your feedback on my "Treacherous Waters of Meaning" post. I much appreciate your perspectives. I got a kick out of the "had fun searching for meaning" comment. Gosh, I hope there wasn't any in there.

Thanks

Jacques

4:53 PM  
Blogger Judyk said...

One of my sharpest memories is from about 1983, when I came upon a grasshopper's shell. I was packing and moving from one phase of life into another, and I knew things would never be the same. I sat with the empty shell and wept for a long time.
Hey, I linked to your blog in my blah blah blog this morning. http://judyk4.wordpress.com

6:34 AM  

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