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The NDN Silver Blog

The first full day of summer, and from all indications, it will be as dry as yesterday: a buildup of stormclouds threatening from all sides, but no substance behind the display. Meanwhile, the entire West is in flames, and for those places where the fires are spreading, there is no relief in sight. We are […]

It’s the first day of “official” summer, but by that measure, it’s not summer yet. No, that moment comes late tonight — at 11:32 PM local time, to be exact. Which means that only 28 minutes of this day are summer; the season’s first full day, by colonial reckoning, at least, is tomorrow. Not that […]

Officially, today is the last full day of spring, but in truth, summer has been with us for a good while now. It’s been ten days since we’ve built a fire (a necessity here even through most of the summer), and the mercury has risen well past ninety for the entirety of that period and […]

This has been a day of extremes: ungodly hot, giving way in mid-afternoon to a sudden icy cloudburst. It was not any mere momentary storm, either; the torrent lasted a good hour, with softer showers thereafter. Even now, toward the north, thunderheads have coalesced into a bold new blue-black bank across the sky. This is […]

Sometimes it feels like the fire is all there is, or at least the smoke from it. It’s a toxic, oppressive miasma, one that doesn’t clear out with the rising wind, only spirals in closer. And in official [colonial] terms, summer isn’t even here yet. On days like these, it takes a different kind of […]

It’s a week of a world on fire, a total of four known ignitions here in this state plus innumerable others in states nearby. Parts of California, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado are in flames, and while there is ancient Indigenous science buried in the adage about fighting fire with fire, sometimes you still need its […]

Today will be a day of fire, metaphorically and unfortunately literally, too. We have two separate wildfires burning uncomfortably close to us now, one at El Rito to the west, and another in the Pecos Wilderness south of here. Both present no immediate danger to us here, but we have had no precipitation for more […]

Last night, the western skies turned red. Not the brilliant clarity of the crimson and copper and mulberry above, no; this was a dusty, smoky red, rusty underneath and purple only at the edges of the smoke plume polluting the falling dark. For the outside world, it’s the first working day of a week that […]

There are precious few wingéd spirits abroad this day. It’s hot and hazy and the air is oppressive with pollen and smoke; even the songbirds, ever greedy, have mostly abandoned the feeders. The bees seem to thrive where their cousins do not. Perhaps it’s their constant proximity to blossoms and nectar, a sufficiently sweet and […]

It’s a beautiful day despite the haze, now not merely from the. Arizona fires, but from two new ignitions within this county. One was a lightning strike, the other allegedly still of indeterminate origin, but what is abundantly clear is that carelessness cannot be an option now; recent rains notwithstanding, the new summer heat has […]

The smoke has returned, and with it the glittery haze of heat-suspended ash. It gives our whole small world here a faint shimmer, a little like heat waves, but without their undulating qualities of distant iridescence. But there are other spirits adance now besides the light. The hummingbirds are buzzing eagerly around the feeders outside […]

We awakened this morning to a return of the smoke. Since then, the wind has shifted, and much more blue is visible on all sides, but the early inward drift of particulate matter still wraps the land in a hazy shimmer now. It’s not pleasant for us, of course, but the bigger worry is for […]

The wind shifted overnight, and dawn broke over mostly clear skies today. Oh, there’s still a haze in the air, and a plume of pale gray smoke banding like nascent stormclouds along the western horizon, but overall, the day is bright, and it’s possible to breathe once again. Our nonhuman relatives are clearly as happy […]

The colors are bright only close to the earth today: The higher you go, the browner the air, skies grayed by the wildfire smoke pouring in from Arizona. Even at midday, the light seems the product of not much more than a chrysalis sun, not yet fully birthed, much less matured into a glowing golden […]

Today feels like full-on summer. It’s hot and hazy, air heavy and close. Not a cloud in the sky, but the blue is less than bright: There’s a shimmering veil of pollen and dust on all sides, and heavy band along the western horizon that could be smoke, or could be a storm gathering in […]

After a series of scattered-drop fits and starts, yesterday’s clouds delivered a storm. It was a classic monsoonal cloudburst, violent and torrential — and far longer-lasting than the norm for such weather here. It delivered barrel-loads’ worth of medicine to a ground still thirsty from the last three years’ intensifying of a five-hundred-year drought that […]

Today is a perfect example of the summer monsoon season here: skies brilliantly blue and utterly cloudless this morning, piled high with white thunderheads by midday, and now blanketed with the violet-tinged slate of the impending storm. Of course, it could be like yesterday, no more than a few quick drops as it spins past […]

There was no rain overnight, as far as we can tell, and this day has dawned beautifully bright. But even now, the clouds are amassing again on all sides — still puffy and white, but ready in the beat of a bird’s wing to turn to something at once darker and more powerful. “Darker” here […]

The clouds are building again, and fast, great towers of white climbing the sky. There is plenty of blue surrounding them still, but it appears that we are likely to have more rain late again, as turned out to be the case yesterday: a few scattered heavy drops here and there in the afternoon, then […]

Monsoon season is here. It’s a bit different from those of year past: earlier in the season; mostly later in the day; a little colder and a little less consistent. But it is here, and no mistake, and we are grateful for it. Unlike its historical iterations, our rains are coming mostly in the evenings […]

June first is a beautiful day. It’s a little cooler than what we regard as our norm, true, but leaving aside the fact that all our norms have been obliterated now, on this day the faint chill is a direct result of yesterday’s glorious rains. For once the forecast was entirely accurate, with an abundance […]

These are days of Impressionist skies, clouds daubed across their canvas like paints in the dusky shades of the storm. Even our cloud patterns are different now, no longer tracking their usual cycles, and no longer as useful as predictive tools, either. The extremes of climate change and colonialism’s damage to the earth at the […]

It’s a brilliantly sunny day here, but thunderheads climb the sky on all sides, and there is a perceptible trace of moisture in the air. Perhaps the rain will arrive as predicted this afternoon after all. Our rain levels, of course, are nowhere near where they should be, even in the driest of ordinary years. […]

It’s the first day of a long weekend, and it’s a beautiful one. It’s true that to us, such weekends are indistinguishable not merely form any other weekend but from any other day; when all of your work is based out of your home, every day is a workday. That’s true of so-called “holidays,” as […]

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