Sunday, January 21, 2007

dreamin' of spring

We've been getting a snow storm about once a week.
i've begun dreaming about newest nettles and tiny pink mountain roses.
really now, spring in chacon is still quite a trial as its either wet wet snow or wind or mud...hey! maybe all 3 at once. But with a winter like we are having this year the one thing that we won't be worrying about is fire.
Last spring after a warm, dry as a bone winter i would smell fire almost every day. always a haze in the valley. crisp and dusty and dangerous. One fire that grew to 40k some acres was started by the backfire of an old pickup on a mountain road.
And without a doubt the arroyo by my house that feeds the garden will start to run as early as march. Folks that grew up here say that once upon a time that arroyo ran year round, in fact i've found remnants like and old hand pump buried in the dirt behind the house. but anymore these days, seeing as its entirely fed by snow melt, a good year is for it to run from march till september or so.
and with all this pain in the ass absolutely gorgeous snow, the river across the road will be rushing and maybe the fish worth catching and maybe the pasture will be taller and the aspens will stop getting these bruised soft spots all over their bark and the bears....maybe the bears won't have to come so far down the mountain and into human business. the big cats too.

its seems so precious these days, in this first ever man-made age of extinction, when the weather is doing what its generally supposed to do....some remnant of an intact eco-system in all its glory. My new land partner and dear friend is moving up here this hopefully greenest spring to join me in making this small farm all that it can be, and possibly once was....she says to me on the phone,"erin, we farmers are a dying species..."
and i think of her kids....what will the planet have to teach them? what will there be when they've grown? will they tell seemingly tall tales of how when they were young....the water flowed.....and there were predators in the forest....that there WAS a forest.
Maybe the forest will be standing.
winters like this give me a glint of hope.


Anne in K-town said...

Yes, the snow is glorious, isn't it? I wanted to drive to Flag this weekend to run errands and pick up some goodies, but the snow gave me a good excuse to hunker down and spend the good part of one morning teaching my good friend's toddler how to make snow angels and snowballs. The promise of moisture in the spring, fodder for the animals, and less drifting, blowing sand makes my heart glad.

One time when I was away, someone asked my how I could live in a place that was so dry. (She had grown up in northern Michigan.) I told her that even in the high desert, you are surrounded by signs of water all the time. When I hike up the slickrock near my home, you can see where water collects when it rains or when the snow melts. You can see the cracks in the rock that offer just enough protection and moisture that plants can gain purchase. It's everywhere.

erin ambrose said...

Hi anne! been meaning to get back to you...glad to know you are alright and still enjoying life there in the high desert rez country.
also glad to hear of the snow there! yes!