… and the grasses sinuously ripple to reveal the unseen wind with its fickle zephyrs.
Surrounding me, the empty husks of grain and seed seem to whisper conspiratorially the secrets of their graminaceous nature.
The movement is mesmeric and draws me deep within their story, I lie down with them to listen.
As I do, a shadow briefly flickers over me and I look up to see the great Spanish Imperial Eagle soaring majestically overhead as it looks for the unwary or the infirm on the encompassing prairie.
Perhaps triggered by the eagles presence, a charm of Goldfinches rises into the air, their bell like voices chattering excitedly as they alight upon the thistles to feast on the feathery Autumnal down of these armoured plants.
Today, there is an edge to their behaviour, almost an anxiety as they feed. These birds are storing energy for the dangerous crossing of the Straights as they head to Africa for the winter.
There is the sense of a great departing sitting within the nodding heads of the grasses, they seem to be keening a sonorous lament for the passing of Springs rich promise.
While these grasslands are the seat of that early and great abundance, their seasonal resources are nearly exhausted. The parched and hard soil is left gasping for the solace of the rains to come.
Even the lizards are looking desiccated and pinched at the end of this long dry.
As the birds depart into the distance, each fulfilling its role with within the ecology, I am left alone with the soughing grasses and the patient waiting for the wheel to turn and bring relief to the inhabitants of the expressive flatlands at the foot of the mountain.
Photo: The plains of La Janda. Courtesy of the author.