January 05, 2008


The wind seeks every crevice in the house. On the high ridges of the Wet Mountains, shallow-rooted firs will be falling, their tips pointing northeast. A report comes from Westcliffe of gusts to 96 mph.

Higher still, it is snowing. When I walk the dogs up the east ridge, I can see the cloud wall to the west.

Here in the ponderosa pines, trees are less likely to fall, although a few small branches startle me with their sudden drops. The ponderosas seem more likely to snap halfway up when they do break. Big junipers never break; they fill up with birds.

No birds are moving in the woods, no one but us, and the dogs stick a little closer.

A downslope wind--a chinook--raises the temperature. The snowy ground changes to mud and ice. It may reach 60 degrees F. today in the wind, or so says the forecast. Porch furniture collects around the downwind railing.

It's hard to sit still when the wind is blowing.

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