small beauties: along the Rio Grande

2024 03 10 17.16.19

[ A tall photo, the very tops of still-leafless trees at the bottom; then blue sky, shading up from pale behind the last twigs to deepest cerulean at the top. ]

The sky was that blue, the whole walk, up until the very end, when the sun settled down behind a band of clouds in the west.

I find cottonwood bark fascinating, especially when compared to ponderosa bark; both are somewhat fire resistant, but where ponderosa bark grows thick with overlapping ‘puzzle pieces’, cottonwood bark develops deep fissures, dividing it almost down to the growing wood. I think each bark section in the picture below is a good two inches thick. Apparently the bark is good for carving, which I’m vaguely tempted to try one of these days.

2024 03 10 17.12.30

[ The edge of a cut cottonwood log, with deeply fissured bark. ]

Further down on the same log — mushrooms!

2024 03 10 17.12.18

[ A collection of shelf mushrooms growing on the old wood; each is somewhat fuzzy, a variety of colors from white to tan; the top and largest is rimmed in brown. ]

I spent a bunch of time walking along the riverbanks, & some just sitting, listening to the sound of the water. I do prefer the Land of Dry to the Land of Wet, but where we’re living is, honestly, too dry for me; I need SOME running water. I’m glad the river isn’t too far away.

2024 03 10 17.17.27

[ Several boulders lurk under the slightly clouded water; one, towards the back of the shot, stands clear, big enough to stand on if I could reach it. The sun glints off the running water in several places, scattered in the slight rapids over the rocks, then a near-solid band of it beyond them. ]

& a welcome sign that spring really is coming:

2024 03 10 17.19.18

[ A small bunch of dry, dead grass, but from the center of it, new green growth is visible, pushing its way into the light. ]

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