Monday, August 23, 2010

The Las Cruces Report for August, Part 1: Misery

Flies in the early morning light
Click on the photo to enlarge it. If you concentrate really hard and look at the air about halfway up the trunks of these pecan trees surrounding our house, you will see what I was trying to capture--millions of flies, swarming around in the early morning. Millions more of their brothers were perched on the side of our house and flying around my eyes and into my ears on that same day; the day I was outside sweating and swatting and trying to do a little gardening at dawn.

You probably can't see them, but take my word for it: August has been a month of bazillions of flies and of heat and stickiness. Oh, and mosquitoes, too. Pretty miserable for us here in the Pecan House with few window screens, no air conditioning, and a swamp cooler that promises nothing during monsoon season. Poor us! However, I keep thinking about all the people in the world who do quite nicely without any a/c, not to mention all the people who lived here in the Mesilla Valley before there was electricity and before the city obligingly sent out trucks to spray against mosquitoes and the dangers they carry.

Human misery aside, the feeling of living in a rich and fertile oasis in the midst of the desert has never been so strong. That hot sunlight and all of our afternoon rains have worked their magic on the local field crops and the cotton plants down the road seem to grow a foot a day. My poor struggling roses, looking so pathetic in their first year, have sprung to life with new leaves and a second blooming. The vitex (Texas lilac) has grown over two feet in height since it was planted in early July and is blooming again, too. The hollyhock seeds that a friend gave me are coming up all through the garden, promising lots of flowers for next year. The Farmers Market is overflowing with bounty: Corn, grapes, honey, sweet melons of all kinds, and peaches--juicy, wonderful, ripened-on-the-tree peaches.

There is one more crop being harvested, but its importance is so great that it deserves a report all its own. Tomorrow, Green Gold.*

*Thanks, Pat!


Sylvia K said...

Your post for the day definitely made me appreciate Seattle!! And brought back miserable memories of growing up in west Texas! Hopefully, it will pass soon and you can enjoy the beauty again that is there as well! Stay cool -- if possible!


clairz said...

It's actually kind of funny, Sylvia, that 30% humidity here freaks us out. I think of all the times back east when the humidity was up in the 90s! However, our nice dry desert air really spoils us.

OmaLindasOldeBaggsandStuftShirts said...

I have been following your blog for awhile, just hadn't commented before. Hi Neighbor....I live in ABQ.
The Monsoon time of our year is very difficult for those of us who still have swamp coolers (no AC cuz we can afford it), so I understand ya. Used to spend part of the summer with a friend in Mesilla as a kid and I have "not so fond" memories of mosquitoes, no see ums and flies. But I also have super fond memories of the bounty of fruit and veggies to which you referred. And as for the coming green gold post....I will await it with anticipation, The Olde Bagg, Linda

clairz said...

Linda, thanks for visiting and commenting. Hope to hear more from you. I've just added one of your blogs to my blog list and am going back to look at more!

Jean (aka Auntie Bucksnort) said...

Oh The Humidity!!!!

Sandy ~~~ said...

OH...your post sounded so miserable and so wonderful at the same time. Is that possible?

becky said...

Hi Clair!
I clicked a couple of times to enlarge, and YES, I can see all the bugs! It's a wonderful photo, though with the shadows of the trees & the backlighting. Sorry the bugs are bugging you... we don't them like that here. Could your upcoming post be on GREEN CHILES, perhaps? Can't wait! Will you be going to Hatch for the Chile Festival? That's something I've been wanting to do ever since hearing of it a few years back. Someday I'll make it there.
FYI- New Mexico Magazine has a photo contest going on, I didn't know if you were aware of it, but thought you might like to enter... deadline is sometime in September.

becky said...

clair, What template do you use to be able to put such large format photos on your blog? I've gone thru the standard templates & can't find one that allows such large photos.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

You make the misery of flies, heat and humidity sounds like a beautiful thing. lol!

Seriously, we used to live down in the Rio Grande Valley and a swamp cooler was a must have all summer long. And most houses that have been built there over the past 10 years or so have all been built with A/C because of the monsoon season.

Up here at 7,000ft we have neither and A/C or an Evaporative 'swamp' Cooler and we really don't need it.

Even this past summer when we had temps in the 90's for a week, inside our house it was cool and comfortable. Our walls are thick and help keep us cool. Plus our house has passive solar, so we pull the blinds down over the windows during the summer days and let them back up all winter long.

Interestingly, this past week the temps have been dropping into the low 50's at night and the flies are starting to peter off. In another month we will be seeing our first snowfall.

It's weird how different parts of New Mexico can be, isn't it? Altitude plays a huge part in that. We're above 7,000 ft here, but we just drive east 20 minutes and dip down into Albuquerque and the temps rise more than 15 degrees.


clairz said...

Sandy, yes--we are miserable and happy, all at once!

Lisa, I can't believe you will be having snow in just a month.

Becky, have you changed to the new blogger editor? When I did that, I had the choice of "x-tra large" photos. I still go into the HTML and change the "s" number. I had a lot of help from Linda at the 7MSN Ranch to move from little photos to bigger ones. I picked a template with the biggest middle space. Let me know if any of that makes sense.

I'm skipping that photo contest, as they want printed photos mailed to them. Can't remember how to do those things, lol.

We'll probably be thinking about the Hatch Chile Festival for next year, once Beez gets retired in 69 more days (see the counter down below on the blog page).

Deb from WhatsInMyAttic said...

I saw the little "flecks" right away. Are these like regular house flies? Incredible.

Now I can't wait until tomorrow to find out what green gold is!

Mary Hulser said...

can't wait...can't wait for the green gold!