A week’s time

Evening path. Fruitful piñon. Orphaned oak. November. Paris on my mind. Trying to get my head around war. Democratic debate tonight. I’ll see what Hillary Clinton has to say.

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Overlooking the gravel mine and car wrecks at dusk. The mine is encroaching on my home and my Honda is suddenly banged up, but tonight I am looking long, still convinced retirement is on Easy Street. Eighteen-year-old truck still running. Took it to Bernalillo for a funny noise, but for Erasmo it purred.

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I am reading about Star Wars story-telling and movie-making genius George Lucas and feeling very small.

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Breaking: Montezuma’s Ridge competing with Cabezon for evening attention.

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The Sandias and the Rincon are always in the game.

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Not quite sunset for the two below, but I’ve been having such a hard time shooting sandhill cranes in flight with my small cameras that I’m including them because I finally got a few. I also had to drive into Albuquerque before the sun went down. The first frame is with my iPhone, which was all I had with me on my afternoon walk. (It’ll get slighty larger if you click on it). The second is with a Canon Powershot pocket camera, which I hustled home for before the cranes got too far south. I had a little time. They tend to circle a lot over Placitas, seeking thermals, I am told, for another shot down river. I’ve always meant to go over to Tsankawi on the west side of the river, lie on my back on the sandstone and photograph the cranes from there. I’ve watched them from that vantage before — you’re at a good elevation and not far from the river — but in those day I always was without a camera. I know I could just go to the South Valley or the Bosque del Apache and wait for them to arrive for a winter’s stay — or just go to Jemez Dam to see them on an overnight stop — but it thrills me to see them overhead. If I can see them. I always can hear them first, and then it takes my eyes a while to pull them out of the blue. (And I am in deep wonderment about how they disappear into the blue in the hundreds and then explode back in formations of white. My suspicion is that it has to do with turning and their bellies losing and then catching the light). I used to have a dog, a St. Bernard mix named Sadie, who every year heard them before I did. Cooper, the Australian shepherd mix who is my current walking companion, is more attentive to things at ground level, and now I’m on my own in terms of crane alerts. They were pretty raucous on Wednesday, though, chattering perhaps about where to stop for dinner.

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