Dear List

Last night's low was 31.1 degrees F. ( -.5 C).  Yesterday's high was 80.5 F (26.95 C)  Snow is forecast for Northern New Mexico this weekend.  My place is just south of the forecasted snow but who knows.

The frost is on the pumpkin.  The trees are turning.  The Russian olives are sadly worn.  Grass has stopped growing and is turning brown.  The sandhill cranes are here for the winter and the hummingbirds are gone.  Quail are everywhere but the doves have departed.  Crows are seriously depleted in number and the hawks that are going to overwinter are sitting on their power poles (man does provide nature with some good things but I'm sure the hawks would get by without the poles).  Snakes and lizards are asleep.  Hairy critters are getting  a little shaggy.  My neighbor just finished harvesting beans and corn (maize) is being chopped into silage throughout the valley.  Soon he'll go Elk hunting and then settle into his barns and sheds and start the greasing and overhauls of his equipment for next spring.  The days grow short while the night grows long.

As Ezra Pound wrote:

Winter is icummen in, 
Lhude sing Goddamm,
Raineth drop and staineth slop,
And how the wind doth ramm!    
                               Sing: Goddamm
Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us,
An Ague hath my ham.
Frezzeth river, turneth liver,
(etc. etc.)

I'll not quote it all.  see page 120 of "Personae" for the whole poem and then see page 1 of "The Oxford Book of English Verse" edited by Christopher Ricks for the 13th century poem known as the "Cuccu song"

Sumer is icumen in-
Lhude sing, cuccu!
(etc. etc.)

Hope rains eternal. (pun intended) And the hummingbirds will return as the sandhill cranes leave and my neighbor will plant beans and hope but also work for a good harvest when the hummingbirds leave and the cranes return.

Rick Seddon
McIntosh, NM