By Maellen Blodgett
Summer is filled with hot, sweltering days and cool, breezy evenings. The scent of flowers and evergreens fill my nostrils as I watch the white, puffy clouds turn dark and foreboding in just a matter of minutes. In an instant, I have gone from feeling the sun scorching my skin, to being drenched in the life-giving water of a typical New Mexico downpour. I love to watch the lizards scamper away, as the roadrunner looks high and low for her food.
Autumn is when you will find me hiking in the Jemez Mountains, or camping in the Pecos. The golden, almost sparkling leaves, dance on the aspen trees. The familiar crunch underfoot, of fallen, dry leaves, melds with the soft tinkling of the stream nearby. The musky, sultry smell of chili wafts through the air, as I drive down the street toward home. Brown adobe walls surrounding casitas with red chili ristras hanging on the bright blue, wooden doors call out a welcome to all. I love to watch the multi-colored balloons float gracefully and silently through the air, and hear the soft blowing of the propane tanks filling the envelopes and helping them to travel higher into the heavens. This is the season with the best smells of all - making me feel warm, cozy and like there is nothing wrong with the world.
Winter brings the cold crisp air, with the smell of pinon burning in fireplaces. The desert covered with a sprinkling of powdered sugar across its vast expanse, makes everything feel fresh and clean. The cool, blue skies are a peaceful backdrop for the purple, majestic Sandia Mountains that I am sure the song, America the Beautiful was written about. The birds that decided to stay, flutter around, hunting for berries and foraging for insects. The icy chill in the air in the early mornings stings my cheeks and wakes me up, as I scrape the thin layer of frost off of my windshield.
Spring carries the hope of new life, as daffodils shoot up and crab apple trees sprout their sweet, pink blossoms making clouds of profuse, pink haze around each branch. The pungent smell of the brilliant yellow forsythia fills the air, as well as the puffs of cotton floating gently down to earth, from the giant cottonwood trees along the Bosque.
When I think of New Mexico, I think of bright, fiery sunsets! Hot, sweltering days! Cool, breezy evenings. Cultures and colors galore! I love New Mexico! The mountains stand guard as they watch over the many different peoples of this desert land. It is indeed, enchanting!