|Opportunisitic prickly pear|
Prickly pear. Agave. Mountain cedar.
Patches of mesquite and the occasional crown of thorns.
Each sightly at times,
But often, in the Texas Hill Country,
A sign of something else –
Man’s scarring of the soil,
Opportunistic plants from dryland edges
Found their chance to invade
Overgrazed pasturelands, stony hills and cloudy draws.
When you eat that Texas beef on your plate,
The fuzzy-edged, grasping and extending fingers
Of the Chihuahuan Desert,
And its semidesert outliers,
When you admire an “authentic” Hill Country mock ranch
For artifice from drier lands
The desert flora thank you.
Yes, a few of the specimens were in place
Before Texas cattlemen, or “Old West” realtors
But not like this.
Beauty is in the eye – and the knowledge – of the beholder.Jan. 7, 2012