Long Shadow…A Night at the Ranch
Santa Ana’s late winters winds sweep across the desert floor. The long shadows lengthen and darken across the San Felipe Valley, a landscape that seemingly has been lost in time.
We can hear the faint call of the 200 year old Kumeyaay’s drums. They fill the valley’s void with the rhythm of their heart beat. Their ancient village rests 100 yards south of the cabin’s backdoor. The pottery shards left behind mark their ancient camp. It is nestled in a deep wash under gigantic granite boulders.
Looking across the valley, I envision the brave souls that took the stage west out of St Louis, Missouri in the late 1800’s. They passed thru this valley on their way to San Francisco in search of a golden nugget. I would imagine the landscape has changed very little over time. They spent the night at the Butterfield Stage Station site that once sat at Scissors Crossing. I can see its stone marker from the Ranch porch.
The pastel colors begin to change as the sun drops in the western sky. The San Jacinto Mountains with their deep canyons are sharply contrasted against the mountians’ soft dark green tones.
Now the late afternoon sun is lighting the very edges of the ridges. Because of the recent rains, the hills are looking as though a layer of moss green carpet is covering them.
It seems almost instantaneously that the valley floor is transformed in the darker shadows of Granite Mountain. The stillness is surreal… not a thing is moving, total and complete silence prevails.
The twilight is quickly replaced but a bright full moon. It is a magical transformation. God has turned up the lights. Everything seems lit in a fluorescent glow …
A pair of doves have found a safe spot in the porch rafters to build their nest. They are comforted by the song of the desert owl converses with the coyotes.
The well illuminated desert floor comes to life. Being part of this desert symphony is a very special treat. This is an area that belongs to the desert and it’s inhabitants.
Today and tonight we are blessed to share their home with them. WE ARE VERY BLESSED FOR SURE…
2-21-21 Jo and Ed at the Ranch…