Lat: 40° 1’ North / Long: 105° 0’ West /Elev: 7120’
18 November, 2007
Easterly gusts modulate from brisk to none at all. Bucks, in full rut, lower their heads, chase bleating does up and down the hillside. Dead perennials and joyous prickly pears crunch underfoot, the ground hard and dry. “Dry as a bone” falls way short. Rock. Dust. Draught. Death.
Nearly Thanksgiving and no snow. Smoke enters my lungs and for yet another reason feels all wrong. Careful with that ember. A cold beer with guacamole still sound good, when it should be a hearty red with roast beef and yams, or a bowl of chili with a neat scotch back, by the fire. Fire altogether a bad idea.
Promising rain clouds passed over yesterday, county-sized and sodden, bound for Nebraska and Kansas. Entirely too warm: I still take coffee outside in the pre-dawn darkness, light jacket on top, nothing below. If I stay not too long, my flower won’t shrivel and bake like the Indian paintbrushes have.
I dream of Santa Ana’s and the edgy, dangerous feeling among the coastal locals. I imagine scenes from John Ford or Howard Hawks westerns, protagonists and bad guys crossing the barren empty belly of Nevada or lost in the redrock canyons, out of water; Slim Pickens face down in the salty sand, lips parched, his canteen lying empty just outside his reach.
They promise snow Tuesday, cagily committing only to “some”. We’ve seen “some”. That won’t help Slim. Like the fundamentalists picketing fallen soldiers’ funerals, claiming war casualties are payback for our tolerance of homosexuality, draught may be Colorado’s penance for sins yet unspecified.
Completely calm now. Back to the movies, “It’s quiet, too quiet.”
Small birds flit and sing, unaware they should have left by now.
Seven thousand feet, the eastern-most rampart of the west, looking at the sky, on edge.
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