…well into the second 5 year mission!

Archive for January, 2016


Yesterday was a grey day here in the campground.  There was not a hint of blue in the sky, the temperature was in the high 20’s and, surprisingly for New Mexico, it felt damp and raw.  So, of course, Jim and I went hiking.

Actually, we went west into the Gila National Forest, looking for hiking and snow or ice photo ops.  Well, surprise…  As we drove west toward the Gila Mountains, we began seeing hints of blue near the horizon, behind the peaks.  As we got closer, we began to see trees with a dusting of white.  It didn’t look like snow, though.

1 Gila frost 2015-01-02_0

2 Gila frost 2015-01-02_1

3 Gila frost 2015-01-02_2

4 Gila frost 2015-01-02_7

It wasn’t snow.  Clouds had come through the pass, spilled down onto the trees, and the sub-freezing vegetation encouraged the moisture to form tiny feathers of ice on every surface.

5 Gila frost 2015-01-02_18

Finally, the sun hit the feathers, creating a magical few minutes.

6 Gila frost 2015-01-02_23

7 Gila frost 2015-01-02_15

8 Gila frost 2015-01-02_24

Shortly, the temperature had climbed above freezing and those feathers turned into droplets.  Pretty, but it couldn’t compare with what we had been seeing.  A few minutes earlier, and there would have been no sun on the crystals.  A few minutes later, and the crystals would have been gone.  Serendipity.