Monday, December 17, 2012

It's too cold for you in Santa Fe! You'd hate it!

It’s cold out here southeast of Santa Fe, much colder than in Kansas City. Or, for that matter, Wichita, Liberal, Guymon, Dalhart or even Tucumcari, all of which towns I drove through, accompanied by Yonkel and Fry (neither of whom, it turns out, drive). There is snow on the ground from snows a couple of days ago, and the last leg of the trip, 40 miles up US 285 from I-40, was somewhat slowed by blowing and drifting snow (hey, the Galisteo Basin is a BASIN, flat, like high plains). Temperatures at night are in the teens, and in the 30s in the day. And it supposed to snow some more tomorrow or the next day. So stay in your nice balmy places further south or at lower elevation. You probably wouldn’t like it here.

On the other hand, there is the incredibly beautiful thing. I see great expanses of conifers (mostly juniper, but the piñons are beginning to return) white expanses, mountains in the (not too far off distance). And, of course, since we are not in Santa Fe, and you are frolicking in the warm weather, not a person around. I did drive to Eldorado for gas and groceries yesterday, but certainly not all the way (15 minutes) to Santa Fe, and today and probably tomorrow will stay here. I’ll go into town when Pat and the others get here, closer to Christmas.

We went for a lovely walk this morning through the snow, to the “back 40” (OK, it’s not 40, but it’s enough) to see the views over the Galisteo Basin. Fry is loving it; good old Yonkel stays closer to be near me. The black canvas duster with the sheepskin lining that Pat hates turns out to be perfect for keeping the wind out (oh, yeah, there’s wind too. Stay in Memphis). As long as your feet, head and ears are covered, the walk is great. Yonkel is barking at something I cannot see outside, but not too much last night. It was a “2 dog night” and they didn’t get up much.

I did, though. I opened my eyes around midnight and the eastern sky was full of stars. Got a little dressed and went out on the deck; no clouds in that direction, and so many stars I could barely find Orion in the middle of it all; most of the time, even down at the lake (and certainly in KC) that is all you can find. Among them, some planets, probably changing through the night. Straight east the Dog Star, Sirius, shining on my dogs, and right above the bright star Aldebaran from Taurus (they would have barked at that). This morning Sirius is replaced by the Morning Star, Venus. I couldn’t, of course, take pictures of the stars at night – it’s only a cell phone! – so I will share a couple of others, of the sunrise this morning, and of the reflected sunset on the Sangre de Cristo mountains to the northeast last night. I can’t write for long; the sun will soon be streaming into the “darkest” part of the house; the computer has been unusable in the main room since 7 am. It may be cold, but the sun is shining bright!

I guess I’ll just have to put on my cross-country skis and go see how the skiing is along the road. And then maybe it will be time for a nap.

Enjoy the warm weather!