As I wrap up a hundred details (death by a hundred paper-cuts), I must say I am sad to be ending my magical time in Taos. The willow and cottonwoods are viridescent! Lime-yellow! — unfolding their moist, brilliant leaves. Small airy shrubs, still bare-twig, have suddenly burst into ivory-popcorned blossoms, and pink crab-apple buds are starting to open. Everyone in the neighborhood seems to be installing a patio, so the days have been filled with the hard music of hammers and concrete-mixers, which is only annoying in that it makes me long to be up on the Yellow Dog Plains, building something with my hands, instead of merely tap-tapping with my brain and fingertips (but that is my usual spring dilemma, it seems). I’m also looking forward to seeing friends in Minnesota, en route to being a visiting writer at Marian University in Wisconsin. In Minnesota, this time of year, the great oaks are black with crows. In Taos, great flocks of turkey vultures have been coming in to roost in the giant cottonwoods, at night, spiraling shadows with glimmers of gold as their wings catch the setting sun. Eerie and yet serene:
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