After one of the coldest winters I remember, there are finally a few tiny hints of spring. One of the tiniest is this fern I saw in the Sandia foothills, its width about the same as a dime — at its widest point. The orange background is lichen.
I was walking in the Sandia foothills a couple of weeks ago when I saw several deer up ahead of me. I came closer to them and realized I was in the midst of the largest herd I’ve ever seen in the Sandias — at one point I counted 15 of them and I’m pretty sure I missed a few. They let me hang around for 10 or 15 minutes and yes, they really did seem to enjoy chowing down on the cholla.
A surprise snowstorm came along Friday night and blanketed the Sandias with snow; we rarely get this much so late in the season. And, while I’m beyond grateful for all the moisture this year, I’m done with winter and really hope it warms up soon.
I care less and less for winter with each passing year. This one has been particularly tough for me because it’s been colder than usual. (But also wetter than usual — and I’m so very grateful for that!)
On the other side of the coin, it’s right around this time of the year that the light from the setting sun is most beautiful on the Sandias. I fall for that soft warm light every time.
A view of the Sandias at sunset from Albuquerque’s west mesa. Sandia means watermelon in Spanish, and it’s at this time of the year that I most often remember how they got their name.