Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Exalted Simplicity

The next few blog posts will be all about winter.
It hasn't snowed in a couple of weeks, but something wonderful and beautiful and entirely fascinating has been happening with the weather recently.
For a couple of weeks Atomic City was deeply embedded (as much of the rest of the country was) in unseasonably cold temperatures.
Temperatures dipped down to -20 at night, and did not get higher than -4 during the days.
Day in and day out it was freezing cold.
When day time temps finally began to get closer to the twenties, night time temps were still close to zero.
At the same time the amount of moisture in the air increased dramatically.
And what we have been waking up to recently are layers upon layers of icicles covering both the ground and all the trees.
The desert - which is so brown for so much of the year - magically turned into a white, winter, wonderland.
Ground covered with so many ice crystals that it looked as though it had snowed.
Sage bushes, trees - everything has been completely covered with ice crystals.
With so much moisture in the air, and such cold air, every drop of moisture has frozen onto every surface it has touched.
It is amazing to see.  Something I have never seen before.  And it makes the world around us look very beautiful............
A wind chime in one of our neighbors' trees..............
For a Florida dog, Kory has seemed unfazed by both the cold, and the snow and ice.
We walked outside when the air was meat locker cold.
Me dressed in so many layers that I could barely move and her immediately embracing winter.
She plays and runs and happily rolls in the snow, and after being afraid of it the first time she saw it, she now loves snow............
LC and I have played "the hot dog game" with Kory a number of times since that first time we let her off leash and allowed her to run freely on BLM land.
That first time was a nerve wracking experience where she ran away from us at first, happily turned on the trail and ran back to us, and then played and roamed close to us with bribes of hot dog slices to keep her near.
We have been out onto public lands a few more times and she is responding very well.
She now stays close but is easily distracted, but we have thankfully not had to chase her down since that first time.
These pictures were taken on a gray day that was full of a dampness and frozen-ness that no sunshine could possibly penetrate.
Kory and I wandered through town and I snapped pictures of white trees and bedded down deer and the silence of an isolated desert town that was completely wrapped in mist.
It was a beautiful and calm day............
I love this picture.
One shot of color in an otherwise color-less world............
Kory and I disturbed the deer a couple of times as we wandered, ever though we walked slowly and tried not to.
The deer for a time were all together within the city limits - about 15 or so does, with two bucks vying for attention.
Recently they seem to have broken off into two smaller herds again.
They are wonderful creatures, and I cherish their presence in town.
A sweet gift of nature in a quiet world.................
Throughout the summer we saw many vehicles with out-of-state tags.
They would quickly drive through town, snap a quick picture of the bar or the old abandoned cafe or the old abandoned lubrication joint, and then blow out of town.
I know that most of them saw a whole buncha nothin'.
Desert.  Abandoned buildings.  Beige land.  Buttes in the distance.  Mountains further in the distance.
I learned a few years ago that if you slow down and look - really look - that there are all kinds of things to see.
Just about the time I think that I have seen everything in this tiny town that there is to see, I find something new.
An old scooter.  A lasso on a hitching post.  a bird house.  Animal yard art made of old metal tools.  A funky face made from wood and who-knows-what-else all hanging from a tree.
A little gnome hanging from a rope..............
If you click on the picture it will enlarge and you will find Waldo.
Or at least a couple of deer camouflaged against their background...........
He who marvels at the beauty of the world in summer will find equal cause for wonder and admiration in winter.... In winter the stars seem to have rekindled their fires, the moon achieves a fuller triumph, and the heavens wear a look of a more exalted simplicity..........John Burroughs

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