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The NDN Silver Blog

Dawn came and went in a flash of green sky this day, the pale expanse marked only by a single coral-colored lenticular cloud arching over the peaks to the north of El Salto. By full sunrise, though, the smoke had returned, and with it the shimmering haze that is at once mysteriously beautiful and suffocatingly […]

After several days of beautifully clear skies, our fortunes have shifted with the winds. Smoke from the nearby wildfire drifted in overnight to blanket the valley, and the air is once more a dirty gray-white, ashimmer with particulate matter and stinking of sudden death. Meanwhile, those closest to the fire are preparing to evacuate. The […]

Dawn broke across a clear sky this morning, shades of shimmering white and amber and coral fading into a lapis western expanse. The aspens are now as gold as the sun itself, cottonwoods and willow leaves, too, and our small world sits in circle of rainbow light. Yesterday was a good day, better than most […]

The forecast this morning was for clouds, and we have a few: not the kind to give us the fiery dawn of yesterday, but enough to make the light of the rising sun seem mysterious and frankly otherworldly. It’s nothing like those of the images above and below, either, but we’ll take what we can […]

We were granted a brief but beautiful dawn sky this morning, shades of amber and and coral and slate unfolding above the peaks and valley, backlit by the glow of a still-unrisen sun. Now, in early but full morning, the clouds remain but the color has vanished on the chill wind. It’s cold now in […]

In autumn, this Earth delivers gifts found at no other time of year. After several drought-riddled years that have destroyed the ordinary process of turning leaves, and a summer and early fall this year shrouded in a suffocating pall of smoke, we at last have fall back in all its radiant color and fire and […]

I speak regularly of the great gifts of autumn here, of the [usually] perfect clarity of the air and the otherworldly light. What’s perhaps less obvious to those not from here is the magic and medicine that are made when the two combine. The light here is always a wonder, but it varies substantially with […]

It’s another beautifully clear autumn day, this one slightly colder than the last. There were only a few faint strands of cloud to the east at dawn, soon driven out by a combination of wind and light. Now, the blue skies have returned, and with them birds large and small: the tiniest siskins, the finches, […]

The smoke returned yesterday, the pall marring what was otherwise a perfect fall day. It was here again with the dawn, hovering just off to the west over the horizon, waiting for a shift in the wind to carry it forward to settle here. Still, even that was far better than last week. On this […]

Dawn broke this morning amid coral clouds adrift across a pale turquoise expanse. Even now, the sun veils most of its face as it rides high in the southeast sky, although the blue shows through everywhere else. These, though, are the ordinary clouds of October: a feature of the dawn, one that does nothing to […]

For the second day in a row, we have been granted a perfect autumn day. If anything, the air is even clearer today than it was yesterday, every line and notch visible in the crags of El Salto’s cliff face, the mountains at long last visible in equally sharp relief at the horizon in all […]

It’s a flawless October day: a bit cool with a well-honed edge on the slight breeze, skies blue, leaves gold, air clearer than crystal. This is the best of what autumn has to offer here, and it’s perfect for this particular day . . . an extra gift on a day that is hard at […]

We have been granted another clear October day, all blue skies and shimmering golden light, and at last it feels possible to hope for a real fall. El Salto’s craggy face glows warm beneath sun; on its northern slopes, so, too, do the aspen lines, whole swatches of mountainside painted amber now. The aspen leaves […]

The weekend is here, and with it, a clear day at long last. A faint smoke haze still hovers over the horizon to west and south, but elsewhere, the air is perfectly translucent and shimmering with the October’s golden light. It’s a bit of a revelation once again to see the cliff face of El […]

Last day of the work week, and the wind has blown a few bands of light and wispy clouds into the area — not enough to shroud the sun, just enough to marble the blue of the sky. The greater gift is that those winds have driven out a bit of the smoke — not enough […]

Dawn broke this morning across skies the color of a new peach: pale orange, backlit with the warming tones of amber, radiant with the silvered glow of a golden sun. The skies seemed clear at first, but it only required a moment’s gaze to realize that the smoke haze is still with us, mountains softly […]

Along with the smoke haze, this October is marked by unseasonal warmth. The lack of rain is unsurprising at this time of year, but the mercury has been reaching the eighties every day (although the forecast predicts that that will change over the next two weeks). Even the wild creatures are finding it difficult to […]

Our own trees still remain more green than not, but on all sides of us, our small world has gone gold now. This is early, even for here — a direct effect of this deadly drought, but still a gift. In recent years, this same drought has meant that we too often have no real […]

The first full week of October, and our world feels entirely out of balance. It’s a product, true, of colonialism’s lack of anything approximating leadership, giving free rein to its fundamental genocidal tendencies now. It’s the tools and byproducts thereof, identified most readily now with the pandemic that continues to consume lives needlessly and heedlessly. […]

Another day, another round of suffocating smoke haze. It has given us some spectacular sunsets and moonrises, true, but I’d trade it in a heartbeat for the purity and clarity of our usual high-elevation October air. I’d trade it, too, for the return of the October light. Which is not to say that we don’t […]

The air quality is miserable today, smoke so thick the southeast sky is a dirty yellow and the western ridgeline is entirely hidden by a wall of cloudy slate. Breathing is difficult; it’s not safe to be outside without a mask even here at home, for reasons entirely unrelated to the pandemic. This is not […]

On this day, there is far less of fall’s golden light. The sky has been a muddy gray, the air a dirty, hazy yellow. It’s a mix of residual smoke and thin but unseasonal clouds, and combined with a mercury that has gone from a hard freeze to uncomfortable warmth in less than a morning, […]

The first day of October, and we are mostly awash in golden light. I say mostly, because September went with a bang of a warning: a battle sun setting, followed only minutes later by the rise of a blood moon, both brought to us by the latest fire. Our colonial state government and faithful local […]

Today I was up with the dawn, the eastern sky washed silver by the radiant glow of a sun not yet risen above the peaks, the aspen lines on their eastern-facing crags and slopes ablaze in shades of gold and amber. It is cold this morning, but not quite so cold as these two days […]

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