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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Wind Season

We came to Taos, six years ago, from Seattle. We were excited at the prospect of having actual seasons, rather than the drippy, grey gloom that hangs over the northwest most of the year, with a three-week sunbreak in August. After living in Taos for a while, we discovered that it does have seasons, but not the ones we were expecting.

We got here in April, which turns out to be Wind Season. Mud Season is just before Wind Season, and then comes Dust Season. Later in the summer, we have Monsoon Season. Fall and winter are more or less normal, with changing leaves, cold temperatures, and snow. We need the winter snow, of course, for water the rest of the year. So in a good year, there's lots of snow, which makes for a very healthy Mud Season, and so on...

Yesterday was the kind of windy day that actually frightens me. It started blowing in the morning, and didn't stop all day. I asked Rick to turn on some music. Loud music. I was hoping to drown out the wind noise. I spent the whole day in the office, at the computer, hiding in this little, windowless room in the center of the house. It's the best place to be if large objects start to take flight outside.

We had made plans to go out in the evening, so I braced myself, and acted brave. When we got out the door, all the chairs on the patio were upside down, and all the fences and trees in the neighborhood were filled with fluttery new "Taos Prayer Flags"... plastic grocery bags that seem to be in constant supply along the roadsides. They get kicked up in the wind and attach themselves to barbed wire and budding tree branches. I've started calling them Prayer Flags because it makes me less cranky than calling them "Garbage In The Trees".

We went into town for music and a little get together, but the music never showed up at the Taos Inn. Probably got blown off course... We hung out for a while anyway, and then took Kit Carson road home. It's the "back way" home, small and twisty, and lately, kind of cursed with bad juju. There have been some freaky accidents there in the last few months, and people killed. We've sort of jokingly said we think we should avoid it all together. Now I think we mean it...

We were driving along, and I hollered for Rick to stop, turn around, go back. I was digging for my camera, which I like to carry at all times, just in case something interesting turns up. And there it was, a huge, old cottonwood tree had fallen onto a motel. Right next door, another huge tree, a piney type, had snapped in the middle and fallen on the roof of a real estate office.

That wind! That blasting, nasty wind! It's the same mean wind that knocked me down three weeks after we moved here, and dislocated/broke my shoulder. Since then, I fear, respect, and hate wind. I get upset if I get in the path of a ceiling fan. I don't think I'm being silly to hide out in my office when the wind starts to rip through town. And I really think I'll stay off Kit Carson road for a while too. If you visit Taos during Wind Season, watch your backs, my friends. Sure, the weather is warming up, the leaves are budding out, the willows are drapey and yellow, and the daffodils, tulips, and lilacs are beginning to show their pretty faces, but I'm here to tell you, it's a lot more dangerous than Mud Season...



2 comments:

ElJean Wilson said...

Wow, that was some wind. I remember how the wind used to howl around the house when I was growing up in New Mexico. And how little bits of gravel would sting my skinny legs walking home from school.

Here on the north shore of Vancouver, B.C. we had a very large Douglas Fir tree fall on our house on one of the days with hurricane-force winds last November. Nobody was hurt, and I hope nobody was hurt in Taos either. We weren't even home when it happened, we were in Toronto, but the damages still haven't been completely repaired. I enjoy your beads and your blog.

Jean said...

you got some awe inspiring shots of something you described so amazingly well--what a story!