Spring at 7,000 Feet

Looking northwest from Llano Quemado

This picture is so brilliant, I don’t know where to start

Warm and windy now, about 67 °F (19.5 °C), humidity 16%. You can do anything in weather like this, because the sun is glorious but you don’t get sweaty. So long as what you’re working on doesn’t blow away, it’s kind of miraculous, really. That cool/warm thing where you’re fine in shorts and T-shirt so long as you’re not sitting in the shade. The wind is blowing pretty hard, though. Every now and then a bucket of driveway dust blows past the open front door. That’s kind of a feature in these parts.

Naturally I took my four-mile hike today. As fast as I coud, no ambling. Two days ago I did the same and missed the cairn I built to mark the two-mile turnaround, walking a full quarter-mile beyond before I realized where I was. I love it when that happens. Today it hit me somewhere on the mesa in a sea of sagebrush: where the hell am I? SHUSH! And then I try to hold the state as long as possible. Oh sure.

There was more bird activity as well. Some kind of wren, I think, that ran down the trail ahead of me like a miniature roadrunner, then pivoted and fled into the bushes. I saw more than one piñon jay fly into a, uh, piñon tree and disappear. They must be nesting, because one flew out squawking with a fecal sack (doesn’t that sound just like a mother?), the avian equivalent of your neighbor tossing dirty diapers out her window. I wonder where they take those things.

This morning I was upset because I went to the dentist yesterday and now I’m out $2,500, just like that. I ranted at the office manager over the phone for no good reason—teeth are teeth and I know what I’m doing—but later called back to leave a message saying “never mind.” (It wasn’t her fault, anyway.) At the recycling center on the way out to do my hike I called my wife and told her, “It’s no good worrying about this stuff. All I have to do is love you, have a good life, and be a writer.” She laughed and drove off to get her hair cut.

This is how it happens in the spring. And then it snows in May.

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John Hamilton Farr lives in Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A. with his classical pianist wife. “Possibly the only place I can get away with this,” he says. As New York Times best-selling author James C. Moore (Bush’s Brain) put it in a review of John’s first book, Buffalo Lights is the work of a man attuned to the world who sees it differently than you and I and writes about it with a language and a vision of life that is impossible to ignore.” John is the author of BUFFALO LIGHTS, TAOS SOUL, ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE, and THE HELEN CHRONICLES. He has been publishing online since 1996 (Zoo Zone, Farr Site, MacFaust, GRACK!, FarrFeed) and blogs regularly here at JHFARR.COM. See also → John’s Twitter profile, Amazon Author Page, video channel at YouTube, and website photos at SmugMug. To email John, please see CONTACT INFO on About page.  

  • Kaye April 5, 2013, 4:24 PM

    Yep-while cleaning out the bunny pen today, I thought I might put our winter boots and the sidewalk salt in the cellar. It was bright and sunny outside.
    Now, it is dark and cold and snow may be in the forecast!
    Oh well. A good night for pizza!

    • JHF April 5, 2013, 9:07 PM

      Don’t worry. We’ll have snow again here before June, you can count on it.

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