First thing I do in the morning is check the sky.
In New Mexico, it is almost always sharply clear and strikingly blue.
Next, I go to the newspapers. The view is not so good here.
In the headlines, I quickly see New Mexico’s underbelly — so soon after taking in the sky.
Today, on the Albuquerque Journal’s website, ABQjournal.com, it was, “Woman strangled girlfriend’s dog to death, police say.”
And, all to often — my view jolted from broad, blue sky to East Central Avenue motel — it is something like this Journal story in March: “Baby rushed to hospital with bleeding brain; 3 adults charged.”
A sense of justice came with this February headline in the Journal: “Parents shot by 2-year-old charged with child abuse.” But it didn’t make the morning news any prettier.
I worked at the Albuquerque Journal for 33 years, and I’m still not sure whether Albuquerque is just a rough place or the Journal pays more attention to the roughness than papers in other cities do with their backyards.
These days, it also doesn’t take me long to start thinking about drought. And with drought, I again have to consider the range of my lens, as I did a couple of mornings ago with this story in the New York Times.
Analysis of tree rings suggests that western states have had many droughts of two decades or longer, including two megadroughts lasting longer than 100 years.
Meanwhile, our big Placitas rain storm on April 14, barreled through here in 30 minutes or so, headed in the direction of Tucumcari. It hurried out of the west about 5, but looked like this by sunset, leaving only what the weather pros would depressingly call “trace amounts” of rain.
Still, I continue to look skyward.