Delightful to see several inches of new snow falling today. In the high desert we learn to appreciate precipitation in any form! Despite our dry climate, the spotted towhee thrives here year round. A colorful bird with lots of personality, it’s bold like a cardinal yet playful like chickadee.
In town it feels like fall + summer = fummer. But up here at 12,000 feet the ski hill employees are getting ready for a new season. Trickles of water flow under thin patches of ice. Winds chap your face to a bright red. And aspens transition from yellow to brown. Riding the lift for a better view just $12.
Of course all the days are 24 hours but FALL officially ends today starting WINTER’S slow progression. A nice lenticular cloud formed over the western horizon and cool blasts of air tell us to watch the time or get caught on the trail after sunset now at the latter end of the 4 o’clock hour.
6-7 million years ago volcanoes dispersed ash and rock over what’s now northern New Mexico in some areas up to 1000 feet thick! Weather, wind and water flows have eroded these deposits leaving an unworldly place now called Tent Rocks National Monument. In recent millennia native peoples have lived here (notice the fire scorched cave ceiling) benefiting from its closeness to the Rio Grande.
Winter is the right time to hike New Mexico. No scorpions or rattlesnakes in sight. John Wayne riding through an arroyo after the bad guys is easy to imagine (his movie The Cowboys was filmed here in 1972). Sharing a trail with a steer is possible if you’re near good water. And coyotes call to each other late into the night. One down side: it’s almost impossible to stop humming Happy Trails.