This big stone is almost entirely covered in lichens. I have heard that some hippie deodorants are made from lichen...my mind certainly races toward under arm smell whenever I look upon a heap of lichens. Why, just the other day I was loitering outside of the local Y when the most hideously smelling man on the planet bounded out the front door, eating a raw onion like it was a cantaloupe. Not a moment later five or six entrepreneurial-looking long-hairs charged up to him with bagfuls of lichen. "Put some of these in your pillow, and you will never smell again." I almost vomited.
Don't know what kind of ants built this mound of gravel, but I like them! Normally very conversant with plants, I couldn't get one stinking word out of the piñons today. Picture me, homesick and a little hungry, squatting on the precipice of an arroyo, gabbing with a scrubby little pine tree no bigger than a medicine ball. "Hey brother...wanna smoke some weed? How 'bout a beer? What's that? Your girlfriend doesn't shave her legs? She uses lichen deodorant?" Not one lousy word. Piñon trees got the lock-jaw these days. A few years back some bark beetles wiped them out. The population is so focused on recovering itself, it has no time for idle chit-chat with a blogger who is a long way from home.
That's a piñon tree, where pine nuts come from. Not today, however. No pine nuts in sight. Not the season for pine nuts. Don't know when the season is. Don't particularly care. Ah, now the tree is talking. It's telling me that it doesn't care when my birthday is. "My birthday can go to hell? Do you know how that makes me feel?" Callous tree. Probably bitter because it couldn't get a date for the Junior prom. "Not the Junior prom, bonehead," says the tree. "Senior prom." Big whoop. Get over it. Don't you see how beautiful this place is?
So yeah, I had the homesick blues today. Had them, almost cried, took a hike in the hills. In summation: lichens, hippie deodorants, pig man eating onion, ants, piñon tree who couldn't get laid, disappointing lack of sidewinders. Wanted really badly stumble upon at least one poisonous snake today. Poisonous snakes cheer me up.