by cheri block
We navigated through some fierce weather last month on our way to and from New Mexico, weather that pounded my car and electrified the skies as the gathering storms built upon themselves by the minute, turning frothy grey cumulus clouds into ominous layers, like a silvery ruffled petticoat that only spelled trouble for the eager eye or wayward hand.
Perhaps a simple sandwich-board sign set in the fast lane of Highway 40, a major U.S. interstate artery, said it all: Do not stop in the lane.
I tried at least 50 times to photograph lightning, but I was always either clicking a second late or snapping when Zeus’s bolts were quivered.
Monsoon season in the Southwest delivers afternoon unsettled air, usually after a lovely sunny day. You are fooled into wearing sandals, sleeveless dresses, and frilly little summer sweaters. An umbrella? What?
The sun leaves, going home to keep dry.
The clouds show up, in large billowy formations, often tinted in pink, lavender, and orange.
Your skin looks lovely in the shadow of these colors and all blemishes seem to fade.
Then, the colors slate, ebony, silver move into the atmosphere quite stealthily, like sharks waving into a stable sea.
A few drops on your book, on your plate, on your front window cause you finally, to break your desert reverie and look up.
A thunder-clap as loud as a canon blast roils across the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, reverberating across the valley and back in a boomerang of deafening and ghoulish carillon, certain to antagonize the belfry of Loretto Chapel.
And then the air thins, the dessicated desert recalls its minions to once again, take control of the land that is New Mexico.