Taos La Nina Landscape

When I anticipated the winter here in Taos I pictured, well, let’s face it, snow. This photo was taken last week, on my way to town via Maestas Road. Lately the weather has been warm and dry. The answer my friend is “La Nina.” I was talking to a shopkeeper in Taos a couple of days ago who was raised in the ranch life here. She stated it as a fact and a lightbulb went off in my head. I found a nice website that shows projected maps and such: La Nina Drought Tracker.

This lovely scene is the reservoir along Maestas Road just east of the cemetery. I learned about it from a woman I met who used to walk her dog there regularly. She said she had to stop because the water got so low she didn’t want her dog getting in it. Maybe it was murky mud by then? This was my first look at it and a fine illustration for this blog about an expected drought this winter.

For those of you not sure where the heck Maestas Road is…it connects between the far end of Talpa on 518 (the High Road) east over to the hospital and ultimately to Canyon. I live near the 518 end of it and usually take it up to Hwy. 68 and on into Taos. But if I’m in a mood for some slower driving and better scenery I head across Maestas. The photo above I took as a bow to the last vestiges of the yellow Chimasa that bloomed so brightly this year along the road. Notice little, if any, snow on the Sangre de Christo Mountains in the distance.

And this mysterious photo shows the remaining stems and leaves of last summer’s morning glories. I arranged for the ones in the foreground to climb up some small trees in the backyard. The ones in the left lower corner were grown in a more conventional tipi of sticks. I was tempted to remove the “dead” remains of both but have discovered I am enjoying looking out the back window and watching to see how they will break down through the winter. A little snow would hasten the process no doubt.

That bell was an existing part of the yard decor when I moved in and it rings whenever there’s a good breeze. I have become very fond of it’s simple but effective design and placement, not to mention the sound it makes. The horizontal pole behind it was just too tempting not to hang somewhere dramatic. It connects two groups of small trees that lean toward one another over it, with the bell at the center. Yard art.

As I write this tonight we are getting some sparse snow down in the Taos valley. Maybe I’ll leave the window open a crack and not run the humidifier. Moisture is a good thing.