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The NDN Silver Blog

Another too hot, too dry day in what should be the rainy season, and we watch the amassing thunderheads with a longing yet jaundiced eye. There has been so little precipitation, thunder and lightning and wind and walls of stormclouds notwithstanding, that we know better than to expect that the skies will adhere to what […]

Every once in a while, when I dig back through old photos of Wings’s work for a #TBT feature, I find a piece that suits the week’s themes perfectly . . . and find that the available photo is subject to the limitations of the light in our old gallery, resulting often in images that […]

Monsoon season, and the rains have vanished, leaving a dry and dusty earth in their wake. They will return — we hope; we can no longer say with certainty that such patterns are a given — but for now, the day is hot and much too bright, scarcely a cloud in sight, the high winds […]

We have no crops this year to speak of: no hay in the fields, no Three Sisters in the gardens. The land in burning up. By now, we would normally have received rain measured in inches, plenty of them; we would be nearing our second cut of hay; the corn would be well past knee […]

This day is gray and blustery, wind circling like a wolf around its prey, yet unbacked by anything more substantial than a few stray sprinkles here and there. It’s frustrating, this errant weather: This should be the one time of year when we can rely upon the rains, and yet they mostly refuse to fall. […]

The Four Winds are here today: circling, shifting, changing position and direction, speed and intensity with all the mocking, mischievous caprice of their Trickster namesakes. We have been granted precious little rain today, but the skies have shifted from cornflower to lapis to violet to iron with remarkable alacrity, and the gale surrounds us seemingly […]

“Science” has now confirmed what our peoples could have told you for millennia: The trees and plants rest, too. The experiment in question was done in Finland, with birch trees, but it’s a phenomenon long observed in non-tree plant life, such as sunflowers, which open and track the sun during the daylight hours, then close […]

Mid-July, and weather and climate have finally conceded to the calendar, getting down to the business of summer at Red Willow. The clouds come daily, the rains almost as often now, if not in the volume and duration of years past. The elders tell stories of rainy seasons that included near-apocalyptic floods, just as they […]

We were granted yesterday the gift of a real monsoonal rain: long-building, fast-arriving, hard and heavy and fierce in its power. It lasted for a half-hour or more, a good length of time for this land, then moved southeastward leaving intermittent showers and sprinkles in its wake. It was not enough, of course, to fill […]

Today is hot and humid, at least for this land. Glossy grackles and indigo piñon jays crowd feeder and birdbath, seeking sustenance and cooling hydration in equal measure. And for once, there is actually a credible threat of rain in the forecast. We got a sprinkling late yesterday, not really enough even to wear the […]

Montana may lay claim to the proper name, but as a descriptor, this land has always been big sky country. Here at Red Willow, the heavens are a vast blue vault, a bright cornflower expanse spread out over peaks and valley alike, its sheer scale dwarfing everything beneath it. More days than not, the blue […]

Our chance of rain today is supposed to be slim, but they said the same of yesterday, and we were blessed with two quick but heavy storms. Our skies of late have been leached of color — much closer to what Crayola calls “Sky Blue” than our more usual cornflower and lazuli shades of summer. […]

Only small short scattered showers interrupted the heat yesterday; today’s forecast is for less yet. Still, on awakening yesterday morning, the grass was damp, the raspberry patch spangled with diamonds, and the air fragrant with wet sage. By now it has all dried and the brown dominates, but what green patches remain seem just a […]

For the first time all season, we were given the gift of a downpour yesterday evening — hard heavy rains that lasted perhaps just a bit longer than the usual monsoonal cloudburst. A stray light shower or two followed, interspersed with an exhibition by the clouds and multi-colored show of water and light. Perhaps Thursday’s […]

Media and meteorologists are making much of our newly-increased levels of clouds, proclaiming, apparently without irony, that monsoon season is now here. It may be the season, but the rains remain mostly absent: Yesterday saw an hour or so’s worth of showers in the morning, followed by nothing more than the occasional stray drop as […]

Dawn. The clouds advance on all sides, and the air smells faintly of rain. July 5th, the day in which the world finally gets down to the real business of summer, and perhaps the forecasts will prove right after all. For us, that would be much more than a blessing right now, in the face […]

To the world outside our boundaries, the colors of the day are red, white, and blue, but here, the only ones that matter at the moment are brown, gray, and green: the first two by their unwelcome presence; the third by its accelerating absence. We do not celebrate this day as any sort of holiday […]

The air is slightly cooler this morning, but the sky is still bleached half-white, as though the heat has leached all the color from it. In this place, our summertime blues, more usually the turquoise and indigo, cornflower and cobalt of the desert sky, are not much in evidence this year, leaving us with blues […]

July 2nd, and the earth here is browning fast. Each day the mercury exceeds ninety; each day the wind rises; and each day, the thunderheads mock us from behind a veil of smoke from wildfires too close for real comfort. There is no water and no rain; precious little green remains. The ditches have been […]

Today is Wings’s birthday. It is also, by coincidence, the birthday of The NDN Silver Blog: We launched it, and the revamped site, four years ago today. [The site itself has been up and running for nearly eleven years now.] Given the importance of this day to us personally, I had hoped that we would […]

It is hot, hotter than the weather service declares. Their forecasts are nearly always wrong anymore, since climate change has taken this land by the throat, but their real-time readings are increasingly off, as well. The mercury will rise near the century mark before this day is out. There are fires burning all around us, […]

  There is very little turquoise to today’s sky; too much gray haze, the smoke of fires insufficiently distant, hangs heavy in the air. Only a few of the wild birds have decided to brave such conditions: a couple of tiny finches, the occasional blackbird, our magpie regulars, a small number of ravens and crows. […]

Morning, and our skies are barely blue. Smoke from the Sardinas Canyon Fire has seen to that: We spent a mostly sleepless night thanks to the smoke blowing our way, and now our whole small world here is veiled in a haze of silvery gray. As we wind down the days of what is typically […]

The hummingbirds arrived early this year, misled by harsh drought conditions into believing that official summer was already here. The wildfires came, too, and the hummingbirds vanished as fast as they had first appeared. It makes sense, of course; the smoke is hard on our human lungs, large as they are. How much more difficult […]

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