In the Imperial Valley

At Louise’s I learned that I can walk on the dirt road along the drain ditch at the side of her property. I can walk a quarter of a mile east and back in about 20 minutes. Or I can turn the corner and keep walking another quarter mile south almost to the interstate highway that passes on the north side of the Kramar ranch across Silsbee Road. Flatland is not completely endless, but it seems so, because the mountains are so far away on all sides.

The first time I walked there I heard the antiphonal voices of birds singing a variation of “Jig Up the Fiddle-Er” that my dad had taught me was the meadowlarks’ song in Iowa when I was a child. They were indeed meadowlarks, dozens of them, with nowhere to sit but on new alfalfa growth and one tiny scraggly bush along the bank. They seemed pleased to have my company and flew back and forth across my path, continuing their cheerful song.

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