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Issue #100 South Zapata Lake, September 3-6, 2004

south zapata falls
in view of the great sand dunes
ground squirrel flicks tail

both hikers and fog
swirl up canyon towards the basin

red aspen, spots of yellow
the fall trail gives evidence
of changing seasons

september snowstorm
with thunder at midnight
leaves an inch of whiteness
not deep enough to cover
the still-green grasses
rushing morning clouds
over our mountain perch
a hawk glides effortlessly
under the cloud-masked
orb of sun, traversing
this entire basin;
disappearing into the valley
beyond my sight,
a dynamic atmosphere
of swirling, eddying clouds
bunched up around blanca peak

amazing how mood changes
with each blast of sun

out here weather is everything
the one channel our little wireless
device receives from the
outside world is weather
a study of the changing
phenomena that shapes our planet
the poetry of walking up
a windy, foggy ridge
following a stepping-stone
path to the base of a waterfall
watching a wet dog with bad legs
look for it's master
the minutiae of landscape

meadow grass poking
through new-fallen snow blanket
clouds rush overhead

hawk, traversing skies
catching the edge of the storm
at ease and at home

fresh snow, blue sky, wind
a clarity to the air
my mind follows suit

south zapata lake
in shadow of blanca peak
water green; ice cold

tiny mole by lake
brown and quivering, shooting
in and under rocks

reluctant to melt
early september snowfall
barely covering

water gurgling;
percolating through filter
of granite boulders

pica, high and dry
wonders at the intrusion
of paige taking nap

in it's wake, the storm
cleanses jagged, stormy teeth
leaving snowy film

adept rock-scrambler
busy at work building house
for winter ahead

squeaking as he runs
whiskers pumping up and down
that pica sees me

where glaciers once crept
rocky ramparts now remain
like the bones scraped clean

vigorous stream flows
straight into side of mountain

creating network
in labyrinthian grotto

i like the feeling
the slower you go
the higher you get

sunlight appears
birds start chirping
it's a happy day
in nature land, says paige

cool morning air
streams on either side of us
finally, walking downhill

the last few blossoms
asters or mountain daisies
survive the snowstorm

didn't see any
fistulous edulous
up here this time

forgot to tell paige
that i saw arctic gentian
on solo hike

the only mushrooms
high, on alpine bog
humid and stocky

great dane
too big for the trail
worn out on the sand dunes

she asks, 'where are we' ?
clearly lost, with small poodle
cuddled in her arms

white feather corkscrew
mountain mahogany twist

solo/group kukai
jonathan machen