Monday, September 4, 2017
These Unsettled Times
Fall approaches. I am not one to go by dates on a calendar. I think it is time for a major readjustment of the Georgian. Living on the land I find I pay attention more to the winds or lack there of or their direction or something as subtle as how they smell.
Generally there is a day in mid August when a subtle shift comes and whispers of a change of season. I really have not felt it yet. Others are talking about winter around the corner. Frankly, the far corner. But we are a ski resort historically and everyone starts predicting the winter to end all winters months ahead of time. They want their condos and vacation homes booked for the increasingly shorter ski season.
When I began skiing in the late 1960's the ski areas generally opened the weekend before Thanksgiving, and ski instructors and patrol had been on the slopes practicing the week before that. And ski slopes did it without making any snow. And when they closed after Easter it was with snow left on the slopes. And you had to have more snow in those days. Slopes were not as manicured as golf courses and grooming machines were often repurposed farm equipment. Everyone talked of depth of snow at midpoint. Kachina Post on Taos had to be at 50 inches at least and skiing was not good until it reached 70.
Now ski areas begin making snow on or before Halloween if the nights are 28 F or below for four hours or more. And they hope for days in the 40's at a max. Still the local area does not open until middle of December praying they can make it through spring break in middle of March. Nobody really know the answer to the often asked question, "How much snow will you have on Christmas?" asked by every person booking a condo. Nobody gets that doesn't mean as much as it once did.
It has been a really wet summer. New Mexico is out of a 17 year drought. But the locals will tell you a wet summer means a dry winter. The Great Mullen around my house is rather shorter than it should be to foretell a good snow year. And I don't feel driven to buy three cords of firewood just yet.
We all talk weather this time of year. Aspens are beginning to turn. Nobody acknowledges that has more to do with length of days and how cold their roots are. Not the leaves. But all the forecasts for peak viewing weekends are up.
I am enjoying my deck time. Cherishing the flowers which seem so great this year for longer. We had a late spring. Hoping the first killing frost (last year it was September 21st) is later this year. But Thicke is already putting on a winter coat, though the horses in the neighboring fields haven't. Then again the summer herds of cattle are moving down the mountain to where they were dropped off in May. Grazing has been good.
Everyone has an opinion about weather.