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.
After reading about the latest Santa Fe style controversy — “Santa Fe takes battle over green house to court” — I wanted to revisit an old New Yorker cartoon. It helps me keep my head on straight.
I have to note, though, that hysterical style debates don’t just happen in Santa Fe. I moved to the Placitas middle ground while still newspapering in 1989 — 30 minutes from the Journal plant in Albuquerque and 45 minutes to the Capitol in Santa Fe — and the first local controversy I encountered was whether beige is an earth tone. My initial coyote fence proposal was rejected by the neighborhood architectural control dude, who said it was not an indigenous style.
I love both places — Santa Fe and Placitas — but I almost feel like I’m chickening out now by sending my pink flamingos with Santa Fe friends to the friends’ second home in TorC. I can only hope they still have the old Volvo wagon with flames painted on the sides so the flamingos can migrate south in style.
Meanwhile, you’d think they might have more pressing things to wonder about in the foothills southeast of Santa Fe: Like fire danger and groundwater.