Friday, December 17, 2010

morning mountains

One of the scenic features of southern New Mexico, and Las Cruces, is the Organ Mountains. They are visible from virtually everywhere in the valley, and since they are east of town, they provide a handy - and oft used - directional marker. They were named, so I understand, because the peaks, which are kind of jagged, resemble a pipe organ through the central portion of the range. Well, at least the central portion near Las Cruces.

There is good hiking up in them thar hills. Some abandoned mines attest to the past and hopes of gold, and other minerals. There is a now-abandoned inn with the remains of a tramway tucked in the pass north of where the highway now winds through the mountains. The range rather marks the edge of the White Sands Missle Range, and is home now to quite a few oryx.

In addition to their landmark-iness, as I have already mentioned, they are indeed scenic. Most days they are a mixture of purplish and bluish greys. In wet weather, there is a bit of green added in. Some days they almost fade into the horizon, while other days they seem to loom over your shoulder. They are fabulous for watching the moon rise, full and huge from behind their craggy peaks.

This morning, as I got on the freeway to drive to work, I noticed the cloud cover. Not the clouds in the sky, the ones covering the mountains. Obscuring them beautifully with fluffy, foggy greys in light and dark. It was beautiful. It was amazing. It was winter in Las Cruces.

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