This past weekend, the weather was decidely un-New Mexico. We had morning fog Friday and Saturday morning, and on both days we had clouds and rain all day.
Here, the cloud has settled on our mountain, obscuring the distance, bringing the close objects nearer, and as we walked the familiar aspects of the landscape seemed different, closer, more intimate.
On Saturday afternoon the thunder rolled and the heavens opened up! In the first wave, 0.30 inches fell in about ten minutes.
The stream in the drive became a river, and I could not help but wonder what it looked like in the culvert on the new road.
The general geological principle of gradualism--that changes on the earth's surface happen by the slow and steady weathering of rock does not totally explain the changes wrought by our western cloudbursts. Here, at the southern end of the new road at Los Pecos Loop, this one cloudburst wore down the borrow ditch by about a foot, and spread rocks and silt on the roadway.
Water is very powerful, being a reasonably heavy compound in which the molecules a pulled together by polarity. It moves very fast downhill, so that about two feet of water on a slight incline can sweep away a grown man.
A desert mountain cloudburst can downcut an arroyo by three feet in half-an-hour!