Morning Glow

Anyone who knows my work or where I’ve worked knows I enjoy the uncommon embrace of light, where sun can be too common.

What the desert doesn’t sustain in flowers for long, it compensates with in light.

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The first light on the top of the next ridge is only matched by the tops of the ocotillos and barely on the barrel cactus. The scent, the breeze.

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In bright light these Echinocactus horizonthalonius would have open flowers, but the bright light would fade them. Here at sunrise, this trio is are subtle, but with magenta promise.

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7/31/17 weather: 93 / 67 / 0.50″

Water vs. Rock and Sand

Our monsoon season was late in starting, but it’s now in full force. Our plants are sporting fresh leaves, new flowers, and storm water flashes down arroyos to seep into the soil. Mornings are cool.

Picacho is the isolated, volcanic mountain north of my neighborhood, topping out at 4,959 feet elevation – a mere 1000 feet above the river.

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Past the low, gravelly hills there’s a canyon. The action of water can be seen, then skirting around the rock “dam” until it finds a gap to keep flowing to the Rio Grande.

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Bluish or cool gray rocks in sections of the canyon look like volcanic ash or tuff to me, but I’ve never found any information on that.

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Good scour action there.

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More scour action from a recent storm, including a lone Rhus microphylla growing out of the rock outcropping. And a gallery of Chilopsis linearis on the far bank of Picacho Arroyo. Burrowing Owl habitat…

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Back to the house, so I can get ready for work. As the burrowing owls sound out to announce another day.

7/28/17 weather: 95 / 67 / 0.00

Colonia or Community

Home to 35+ colonias as designated by the federal government, our county and area is in need of continued planning efforts, plus escape from the extremes of apathy and gentrification.

That takes a moral compass that’s stronger than politics.

Let’s take a quick drive south. Crossing the Rio Grande, the banks lined with Salix exigua as far as the thunderheads build.

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Principal-centered folks will be part of the solution, helping turn colonias into communities. These are opportunities for where people already live.

Entering tiny San Miguel, adobe row buildings define NM-28.

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The nicest woman who I assume owns the market helped me, after the younger woman in front of me was sharing her day in Spanglish!

Older, she spoke of how this time of the year – the monsoon season – “we want the rain but now we don’t.” My guess is 2006 and 2008 are fresh in the minds, not to mention the 2-3 inches of rain that fell the night before.

Water used well and problems becoming made the solutions are a low-cost, high value solution – green infrastructure. So is getting people to take pride in what they have or could have.

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These houses are growing tomatoes and other plants for themselves.

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We can redevelop better so water after our every-other-day downpours is put to use.

Shade is the first thing that comes to mind, but I have many others including public spaces for residents and tourists alike, with maintenance programmed in.

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At about 50 miles of driving, Mount Cristo Rey in the high background is near where I turned my vehicle around; see my previous post.

7/27/17 weather: 89 / 70 / 0.02