I could clearly smell the rain
And I watched as the thunderheads gathered
But the rains fell in the mountains,
Not on my little garden in the valley below.
The Indians, the buffalo
And the beaver are long gone.*
Like moist misty memories
The tall grass prairie of thunder.
The cattle over-grazed and ate the virgin grasses,
The rains then came and eroded the thick sod . . .
Vanished like a rainbow . . .
Tall grass prairie of thunder.
"Man meant to you no harm
But his horses and cattle had to eat
And these changes must come,
Like Russian Thistle (tumbleweed) and Mesquite."
In 1540, the river, San Pedro
Was one mile wide where beaver
And Sonoran otters could hide.
In the cool tall grass prairie of thunder.
And now it rains mostly in the mountains,
But on the plateau mostly in memory of:
The cool tall grasses
On the prairies of thunder.
All the while the rain clouds thin and disperse
Leaving little to no rain
On my garden in the valley,
Where tall grass and buffalo once stood.
As Coronado described:
"Tall climax grasses that were luxuriant
Enough to hide a man on horseback."
The cool tall grass prairie
Beneath the Mountains of Thunder!
*Beaver may be reintroduced back into the San Pedro ecological system, but the buffalo may never return as
the native grazing grasses are now too sparse to support the herds that once flourished in days of yore.