I don’t know whether it was the coyote ruckus and Cowboy barking or the smell of rain that got me out of bed at 4:30 in the morning but we were out observing. Not a drop fell here north of the Sandias that I could tell but the smell of rain to the south and east was unmistakable. I felt foolish outside in my longjohns but then knew that prying myself out of bed was worth it for that smell alone. While I drank coffee and watched birds later in the morning, my sister in Montana sent me maps of Western drought. Santa Fe National Forest tweeted that because of weather conditions it was putting off a prescribed burn in Pacheco Canyon, below the Santa Fe ski basin, where smoke always sets off alarms.

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