18 November 2012

Evening Commute

Golden cottonwood, tamarisks, and rabbitbrush, Highway 169 near Alamo, NM, Nov. 2012
Driving daily along the rolling hills, intimate valleys, and open plains between Magdalena and Alamo, I watch the seasons slip from one to another. Maybe half a dozen cottonwoods dot the landscape, tucked into arroyos where they can get enough water in our mostly dry climate. They began changing in early October, first a few golden leaves just around the edges, then toward the trunk, then finally a full-out luscious explosion of deep gold that seemed to glow even after the sunset.

Just after Halloween I realized I'd been watching and enjoying this view daily for several weeks but hadn't shared it yet... so I found a safe pullout, wandered around this arroyo for the few moments I had left before darkness settled in, and got a photo good enough to post (once I'd lightened it up a bit). The leaves have since been blown away on a gusty late-autumn storm, so now we wait a few months for winter to come and go, and for the first tinge of spring green as the hills and valleys come back to life. Maybe we'll get some good snow in the meantime, which might make the commute a bit hairy but will also make for some beautiful landscape.

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