A cuckoo is a bird that lays its eggs in other birds’ nests and lets them go about the hard work of raising them. It’s like that up on the hill. As the sun recedes from the southern grassland slopes, the bunchgrass nests (yes, nests, I mean look at them!)…
… rise up out of the skin of the earth (a covering of tiny plants that are the life of this place). The cheat grass has a different plan. Under the snow, it incubates, and the day the snow is gone (literally), it hatches.
Cheep cheep cheep.
In this way, cheat grass replaces the earth’s skin and creates midsummer drought. Those dry summers that the tourist Okanagan is proud of? Just thank the aliens up on the hill.