Huachuca Means Thunder

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.

Van Stetler
August, 1995