Winter Journey – Percha Dam – December 2016

Traveling south toward Percha Dam State Park

Friday December 2nd, after spending last night at the Socorro Walmart, we arrive at Percha Dam State Park in southern New Mexico around noon. I am very happy that the site I was hoping for is available. It has a shelter with a rock wall windbreak, a campfire ring, and a big back yard, with woods beyond.

Campsite with stone windbreak and big back yard

After we get set up, it is still warm enough that I can play cello outside for awhile, serenading the trees and the birds.

Percha Dam cello in our big back yard

Lots of birds winter here, including Sandhill cranes, which we can hear not far away. After dinner, I read for bit before heading to bed. Clifford stays up late, working with his ham radio gear.

Saturday December 3rd, it was very windy and a bit of rain last the night.

A camp elf dances in the wind

We are grateful for Terry being dry and cozy, as it is chilly and windy all day – a good day for inside activities, including phone calls, emails, editing, writing and posting a blog, writing and posting a statement in favor of the Standing Rock people, and finishing the novel I started recently. The only outdoor activity is a bike ride down to the restroom at the other end of the campground. During my quiet time this morning, from the book “The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace” by Jack Kornfield, I read The past is over: Forgiveness means giving up all hope of a better past. That is very profound, knowing how hard it has been for me to accept certain aspects of my past.

Sunday December 4th, I walk down to the Rio Grande River at sunrise, hoping to spot the cranes that we hear and see overhead. No such luck and sadly, the Rio Grande River is exceeding low, the life nearly drained out of it with the dam and agriculture. Windy for much of the day, so spend time inside doing bookwork, editing for Ang, and working on CI email. In the afternoon, as the wind calms, I am able to play cello outdoors while there is still sunshine at the campsite.  The late afternoon sunlight lights up the mesa to the east and the trees at the campground.

Mesa to the east at sunset
Camp trees at sunset

Monday December 5th, 19 degrees this morning and the frost is really quite pretty – probably as close to snow as we are going to get on this trip.

Frost in the morning light

The day is sunny and calm with the temperature reaching to 65 degrees by afternoon. We go to the nearby little village of Arrey to mail a few items and set up our general delivery address. Back at camp I play cello outside, with an audience – the fellow from the neighboring campsite comes over to listen. The blog for today was my trip to Montana – kind of a hard one to write, as my mom’s passing has been sad for me. Clifford continues to work with his radios and with a portable visible-NIR spectrometer for CI research. We certainly keep busy!

2 thoughts on “Winter Journey – Percha Dam – December 2016

  1. Hi Carol,
    That cello of yours sure gets around! Does she have a name? Regarding that Jack Kornfield quote/wisdom: It reminded me of stanza #4 in my poem “Love Is All” (pg.188) …

    “Love does not heed, nor need the lies of, the past
    And the so-called future and what it may hold, raises no worry nor concern
    It knows the Harvest is here now and the Fruit is ripe for the mindful picking…”

    1. Hi Daryl,
      I started a reply, but it disappeared, so if you see two replies, that is why. This cello is just called the Old School Cello because I used it at school when I was teaching. I have a better cello, but it is too valuable and fragile to take on a road trip due to the changes of temperature and humidity, as well as the greater danger of theft. So the better cello languishes at home, safe, but alone and lonely.

      I appreciate the words of your poem, as it does relate to the necessity of letting the past go and not being hindered by fear of the future, but instead staying in the present and appreciating what it has to offer. This has been an ongoing challenge for me, but both photography and playing the cello are very present-moment activities.

      Thanks for your comments.

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