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08.28.03   Slow Progress

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Wow... almost 4 whole months have gone by!   I had really hoped to have accomplished more at the land by now, but a deluge of paid website development (very good), a car in the skids (very bad), and a bike that has trouble with inflated tires (somewhat bad) have all conspired to limit my progress. Yet, some progress has in fact been made.
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I quickly put up a dirt-simple place to store materials using some free wooden palettes found at a local Walmart (yes, Taos has a Walmart too) and a couple of polypropylene tarps (pictured right). The palettes are also on the bottom to keep the materials from touching the ground and the water that flows by during a deluge (yes, Taos gets heavy rain sometimes). In fact, I was caught in such a deluge during one of my last outings.  If this ever happens to you out on the mesa, seek cover quick!  New Mexico is known for having the highest number of lightning strikes per year of any U.S. state, and there is no natural place to run and hide on the mesa.
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The storms also behave unpredictably due to the dramatic changes in wind speed and the presence of mountains all around. In fact, having tracked Taos (zipcode 87571) at weather.com, I can tell you first hand that the forecasts are never correct, not even within 24 hours, and that is no exaggeration.  Sometimes the storms threaten at the edge of the mesa for a whole day without biting, sometimes moving in very slowly and predictably, and sometimes swooping over you unexpectedly like a bat out of hell.  It's one of the things I like best about the place.  There is no denying that nature is in charge here.
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If you should ever be at your home site during a deluge, take the opportunity to see how the water flows across your property; it can be very enlightening.  I discovered that my building site was probably located at the highest point on the whole 6 acres.  This was the result of both educated guessing and luck.  On the flip side, I also learned that the path I was using as a road into the site was hit with the heaviest collection of water!  I will likely have to build a longer road around the the opposite end of the building site to avoid exposing the path to damming and erosion.
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I have in fact gotten farther than the little temporary storage shed you see pictured, but I haven't been able to get back to the land for photos in 2 weeks!  I have the wood frame (posts) of a work shed just about complete, awaiting a waterproof canvas tarp roof.  I've also started clearing out the site where the temporary shelter will live.  More on both of those things when I have some photos to go along with them.
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In the absence of anything else for this installment, I've included some selections of the photos I am constantly taking.  The absence of film in digital cameras truly encourages you to keep your camera with you prepared at all times.  The play of light and shadow on the landscape changes so rapidly that photo ops come and go at an alarming rate.  Enjoy!
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related images (click to view photos in full resolution) A quick storage shed made of wooden palettes and a poly tarp
A quick storage shed made of wooden palettes
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Caught in a deluge . Caught in a deluge .
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Mesa at dusk . Mesa at dusk .
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Early summer at the Taos apartment . Early summer at the Taos apartment .
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Pink cloud over Taos Mountain . Pink cloud over Taos Mountain .
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Cruz Alta sunset . Cruz Alta sunset .
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Orilla Verde . Orilla Verde .
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Neighborhood . Neighborhood .
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Near Pilar . Near Pilar .
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