Fall Comes to the Sandias       

sandia view 2The mulberry bush outside the window behind my computer has turned yellow. I’m staring at the wood pile under the junipers and the huge hunk of cottonwood which has Dick’s axe laying artistically on top of it ready for splitting wood for tonight’s fire.  And we will have one, I’m sure. In fact he’s out there right now selecting the right mix of woods. We have already had several cozy dinners in front of a mellow, but sparkling, fire in the living room kiva fireplace. Our wood pile consists of pinon, a little precious oak, juniper (from the trees which got battered by last winter’s snows) and wondrously dry latillas cut in handy approximately 16 inch lengths—unbelievably good fire starters having been baked by the sun for fifteen years or so while providing a shaded area by the pool. There are now new latillas sprouting from the north side of the pool house roof, but alas the pool was tunnel springsclosed up for the winter today. So sad as the surrounding gardens are truly lovely right now; roses, snap dragons and chrysanthemums giving their last best shot for the year. Yesterday, the geraniums, also blooming exuberantly, were moved into the sunroom just as the first snow flakes began blowing by. I had my enthusiastic and faithful young helpers pushing and pulling those heavy clay pots until they submitted to their winter location. We rewarded ourselves for a job well done enjoying the season’s first tea party complete with silver teapot and Lenox eggshell tea cups in front of the fire, while reminiscing about the Mad Hatter’s tea party and Alice in Wonderland, of course.

Snow caps the Sangre de Cristo mountains today, and there is a dusting of white on the Sandias. Pat and I climbed up through the Embudo Canyon to the North Crest Trail Sunday morning. The wind was relentless. and it was rather chilly. Pat: “Where, and momwhen, do you think we intersect with the ridge trail?” Lucy:  “Over there where that cloud is blowing by, I think. I’m glad I have my silk gloves, ski hat, and  scarf.” When we did get to the cloud, (well—we didn’t really get quite that far) we had to decide whether to risk blowing off the cliff or not. We decided we were tough cookies and descended the loop as intended. Actually there were some spots that were strangely and unexpectedly sheltered, and the sun intermittently warmed our backs. It was marvelous looking down on the gulch and the cottonwoods by the creek, with their golden leaves, and the entire village in vivid colors. It wasn’t picnic weather – pink cheek weather is more like it, but it’s still great when Fall comes to the Sandias.

Lucy Noyes is co-founder of La Puerta Real Estate Services, LLC, 505-867-3388 outside Albuquerque, New Mexico and has a million stories in her head, just waiting to get out.

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