Not easy to see. Here’s a little closer up. It moved amazingly fast and would not stop to pose. I think it’s a Northern Walkingstick (Diapheromera femorata).
Near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, USA.
Josefina Trujillo died in 1952. Her grave lies next to that of her husband Frederico in a well kept plot in Taos. This morning three young skunks hunt for grubs under the flowers on her grave. One seems a little smaller maybe because it is more playful while the others search for food. Life abounds in a cemetery. I’ve obviously chosen a seat too close to a chipmunk’s home as she chatters from a cottonwood nearby sending out an alert to unseen companions. Birds sing and a woodpecker taps in other trees. Cars speed past, but they are just mechanical beings, not full of life like the ants scurrying over gravel. The chipmunk wants me to move, so I will. To another cold concrete berm, this time by Thomas Martin. I steer clear of the skunks and Mrs. Trujillo, they too demand their space.
The sun is halfway to the zenith. It seems late for skunks to be foraging. It’s still cool especially under the old cottonwoods and the wind hasn’t picked up yet. It’s lonely in this corner with no chipmunk or skunk. No magpies rummaging in the bushes. And Thomas Martin is very quiet. I’m moving again. Looking for life in a graveyard. Three ground squirrels squeak their alarm and run for their hole – now part of an un-maintained grave, just the temporary marker with the name long since washed off. Now it’s the doorway. The two closest squirrels sit up very tall to watch me and then dive as I come too close. They keep some departed soul’s remains company because no person comes to visit. This isn’t a cemetery meant for visits, well, not for long visits. There are no plants that need water or bird feeders to fill or benches to sit on comfortably. The residents here are definitely departed. And yet life thrives. The three orphaned skunks still keep the Trujillos company. They can’t visit their mother’s grave – it’s too near the road and has no marker.