During the last dark phase of the moon, Dr. Mario Anzaldua and I planned to do some star gazing at an isolated spot in Starr County, Texas. I enjoy tagging along to learn a bit about galaxies and star clusters. I sometimes get an eerie feeling when looking through his telescope. Occasionally, I’ll even get a sense of vertigo pondering the unfathomable distances between earth and those far off objects oftentimes visible only in one’s peripheral vision. I’ll take a step back and get my bearings and spend a moment or two looking down at the ground not wanting to look up into the endless universe. The last three times, however, we’ve been buffaloed by clouds that appeared near sunset as if some unknown power decided that on that night we would not be given the privilege to gaze into the heavens. That’s when we spend the evening listening to the nocturnal calls of birds and relishing the distant yodels of coyotes. Perhaps we’ll be lucky and glimpse a rare snake. In the afternoon I always try to share my love of native plants with Mario. To his credit he listens courteously even though I have a tendency to get a bit technical at times.
Mario’s other love is photography. I think he has a great eye. Here are a couple of photos he took that afternoon as I tended the fire and the sun fell behind the mountains in Mexico.