Wednesday, May 16, 2007

How Green Was My Desert

Oh, all right. Actually, the title should be "How Green Were My Desert Mountains."
Call it poetic liscense.

The point is...well, look at the meadow in the picture to the right.

That's the point. Look at how green that meadow is! Look at the fog hiding the Sandias!
That's the point.

May in New Mexico is usually dry and sunny.

The Monsoons bring rain in July and August. For a few hours most evenings. Between about 4 PM and 7 PM. New Mexico gets a unimodal rain-fall pattern. Summer monsoons. Sparse precipitation the rest of the year.

But this May the weather is weird! Last night we got another 0.21 of an inch. And today it was foggy and cloudy and sprinkly. All day.

See the picture above? You should be looking at South Mountain. South Mountain is missing. Has been all day. I am thinking about putting an APB out for South Mountain. Heh, Heh.

I know we shouldn't complain. And really, I am not. But as soon as I get the weeds pulled, new ones spring up and grow a foot. Overnight. It's just really weird weather.

But it does have compensations.

This evening as we sat down to a late supper, N., speaking very quietly, said, "Look!" The quiet excitement in his voice made me go for the camera.

Three deer were feeding in the yard. My first two shots through the window were no good.

So I ever so slowly and quietly opened the French doors. I padded out on the patio in my stocking feet, and moving deliberately, took this shot from among the aspen leaves.

There was a buck, a doe and a yearling. I think they are the same group I saw around last fall. Once they crossed the road just ahead of me as I was taking my morning walk. At that time the white spots on the young one were just fading. Now that one looks to be the almost the size of the doe.

I got reasonably close to them. At one point, the doe looked up right at me and blinked when I took a picture. I think she heard the shutter click, as did the yearling. Both of them moved behind the scrub oak and continued feeding. The buck kept an eye on me, but continued munching--I could hear him feeding--for a little while longer.

I went back to my dinner. We watched the deer move northward past the scrub oak and then westward across the meadow. Finally, the disappeared into the forest.

Bruce said. "How very blessed we are to live here. We stop to see great sights on an almost daily basis."

That's right. It is a magical year here in our green desert mountains.


Megan Bayliss said...

Now that is cool. Deer in the back yard would be a very dear sight indeed.
I love your sharing E. I learn a lot.

Shawna said...

What an awesome opportunity! and a truly blessed way to dine and spend family time.

My mother lives down in Arizona, close to the Mexican border and goes on and on about the Monsoons...a very interesting and delightful experience for a native Californian. I plan to visit there during the season one year :-) Your post just made me want to do it sooner!

Kaber said...

You are so blessed to live in such a beautiful place! What a fun evening!

Lill said...

I think we have your monsoons, Elisheva, but they're constant rather than just in the evening. May has been so rainy here in Maine. However, our deer don't seem to mind. Neither do the birds, the squirrels or the porcupines, who blat from the top of pine trees, calling for mates. I saw an osprey holding a wiggling fish in its talons today. He and his mate have at least one chick in their nest down at the swamp and need to feed it rain or not. Your mountains are beautiful and the desert has a strange attraction for those of us whose mountains rise out of the Atlantic Ocean.


steph said...

I don't think we've had to water the garden it has rained so much this year! I'm envious about the grandparents lived up in the Sierras for 30 years and we could watch deer and raccoons in their yard whenever we visited; when we moved here I hoped we'd see deer more often, but I've only seen them twice in 3 years. We've seen foxes, coyotes and horned lizards, though (Brent's uncle picked one up on a walk once, which made for some great photos) as well as tons of birds out our dining room window (keeps the two year old occupied), squirrels (who eat the small branches of my trees and make a mess), and rabbits (who eat my daffodils, argh). Our neighbor told us a couple years ago he found a bear in his fenced yard once, which I hope I NEVER see. Our too friendly dog would want to make friends and end up as lunch...

Yes, it was hilarious to be planting in the snow a few weeks back (thankfully the snow didn't stick and nothing has died)...I really did read your post on not planting anything before Mother's Day (and told Brent, too), but his folks left a couple days later and we really needed to get going if we were going to take advantage of extra pairs of hands. I see what you meant, though...with hindsight I'll be planting the first part of June next year!

I love the sound of thunder, but I must admit we're so high up that it's the first time in my life I've been a bit nervous of it (incredibly loud and powerful). Not to mention lightning and wildfires. I'm so very glad for the rain and the abundant so this year!!