The Busy

A fringe of scarlet on the leaves of a Rocky Mountain maple. The fade to gold in the cottonwoods. A landscape gone tawny under sun-cured grasses. Short glossy hairs dropping off the horses, replaced by fuzz. Frost-blackened leaves curling on the beans, the squash, and the tomato plants. All of which raises the question: Where…

A Preponderance of Purple

My tastes don’t generally run toward clear favorites or coveting the “best” of this or that. I favor variety and contrast and have a tendency to be suspicious of my strongest biases, regarding them with clinical curiosity and trying to figure out where they’ve come from and whether they’re worth hanging on to. Evidently, though,…

Shoveling Water

Spring snows don’t last long. The sun has a better angle for its rays—and more hours in the day—to use against the accumulated white. The air temperatures are higher. And the ground is no longer frozen but is itself a heat source, a broad expanse of thermal mass slushing the snow steadily from below. Blizzard…

Opportunism

I know spring has arrived when the bluebirds stay put for snowstorms, toughing it out through the white and wet instead of moving down to lower elevations to avoid the cold. Three different storms dropped snow in the first three weeks of April, and I felt for winter-weary friends in the East as the weather…

Wind

Determined to not let the wind dictate my activities, I head out for a walk on a February day. The air pouring across the ridge is comparatively mild, by which I mean that I can hear something other than wind roaring in my ears: the rustle of snow and ice grains skittering over hardened snowdrifts.…

Minding the Details

Several times over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had people, in talking to me about my writing, compliment me on my eye for detail. I’m sincerely flattered, and am grateful that this aspect of my efforts has been rewarded with the notice of readers. Almost inevitably, though, I wish I could offer some context.…

Drift Season

There’s a certain irony in the fact that winter, when I’m inclined to spend more time inside, may be the season when I’m most likely to be hyperaware of the weather. Presumably this is because snow affects our access more than does summer weather—although road closures in 2013 due to fires and flash flooding point…