Judge Bean Country

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November 29, 2008
Langtry, Texas

My off-and-on late fall stay in the Lower Columbia no, that’s where I’m going! This is Rio Grande Valley, produced many fine and exciting butterfly encounters — though fewer, perhaps, than Border Patrol sightings, Winter Texans, chiggers, ticks, and other butterfliers. I have left it behind now for the endless Trans-Pecos, and the long journey west into winter, north to the green and wet. (T.B.C.)

This is a country of deep, scooped-out, pink-and-gray canyons with overhangs that look liked ravens’ bills; of raptors on the poles, and rattlesnakes in the road. As I pass through it, I am watching for Giant Skippers among the Lechuguilla and Shindagger, agaves and yuccas. Butterflies are not quite over yet in the desert.

So it was that this hamlet lost a perfectly good entomological name. Even so, Lily never came to see “her” town until after Bean died. It is unlikely that this is where she rolled naked in the morning dew (ala Pattiann Rogers’ poem), since every hillside is covered with those pointy host plants of the Giant Skippers (see previous card), cacti, or still other pricklers. For my part, sand burrs and acacia thorns will forever be a part of me — or so say my feet.

I have been told that if this butterfly lark doesn’t work out, there’s a job for me here in Langtry as a Judge Bean impersonator. I’ve also been Kenny Rogered this year. I preferred Jerry Garcia!

Until Kauai, Bob.


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