Two Tales: A Desert Snowfall

2013-02-20

Sunday was a great day at the sweat. It is quite the community, very spiritual. A great deal of energy and ritual today, helping a mother and family. They had just lost an 8 week old child to SIDS. Wonderful love and support from everyone. Just nice naked weather with friends and new acquaintances. Monday, I found myself studying in the sun, I nearly burned, getting quite red. Tuesday, it was once again a good day for the sun bathing. Wednesday, BLIZZARD! Not desert lizard! I said, “Desert Blizzard!” Two or three inches in the afternoon and three more towards evening, AND then some. Maybe not much where you hang out, but here…! This IS after all, the Sonoran DESERT.

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The Onslaught of Phenomena

I took a walk, photographing, eating fresh snow and observing the sight of it all. This doesn’t happen, but every many years. Usually it is a phenomenon of the morning lows, a light cover until the warm sun rises. This time it was mid-day and beyond. Bunnies were stunned and made due. Large birds were flying in confused configurations. A local skunk put up a stink and a flock of little birds in the bushes were evidently migrating through at the wrong time. Tiger Woods and the golf tournament just over the hill from me (I couldn’t even see the hill for the snow) were frozen by the white blanket on the fairways:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/golf/snowstorm-postpones-accenture-match-play-1721587

The snow’s blanket effect and ground moister protects the plants usually. This is a little different and we shall wait to see how it works out.

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My Driveway

My Driveway

The large flakes pile high on wire thin palo verde sticks

The large flakes pile high on wire thin palo verde sticks

 

The Mountains to the West have Disappeared

The Mountains have Disappeared

 

The neighbors Looking Miserable

The neighbors Looking Miserable

Adding insult to injury, the dog continually harasses the horses

Adding insult to injury, the dog continually harasses the horses

I had fun. It is gorgeous. There was that silence in places. That silent calm. There was also, at times, the alarming sound of the freight trains 10 and 15 miles in the distance, bouncing off the clouds. It was like they were now traveling through the neighborhood.

The dirt road was mucked up with the slippery sludge.

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The streets of Tucson were full of people who hadn’t a clue as to how to drive in snow. They were dangerously sliding around. I had headed home to stay away from them all and to enjoy my natural habitat.

I’ve been looking at JMF shots in the snowy Alps, the guy who publishes “Radonnes” (see my list of recommended sites) and this was my opportunity to try some nude experiments, while the gettin’s good.

The Naked Experiment Begins

The Naked Experimentation Begins

I got naked other than boots and socks (I tried the barefoot thing, but that was not a good idea). It was cold, yes, but you never know what’s under that white blanket in a desert.

I jumped like the Tibetan monks to warm up and get the blood and chi flowing. I moved slow and I moved fast. When the light breeze slowed, and the HUGE flakes gently floated like goose down, I got out there and just enjoyed the sensation of the refreshing cold, with the sting of each individual flake on my body. That didn’t last very long. I very soon realized that it was cold out there. I made my various attempts one to maybe three minutes each. It was fun. It was joy. And then it was getting cold. I certainly didn’t get very far. I heard the voices next door. I could imagine their remarks, if they saw the naked guy in the blizzard. The last naked foray was to gather a snow ball at the request of DF, who was socked-in in town at work. It turned into a small snowman, who is now lodged in the freezer section of my fridge, waiting for her.

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JMF, you must get quite an aerobic workout in those snow shoes. I can now, see how you do it. I’m impressed. I certainly didn’t go for any extended unclad romps, but I began to get a feel for how one can sustain a warm naked body in these conditions. I did enjoy my more clothed strolls. I went up a wash, about a half mile from my back door. It became calm, with no snow for a short time. I dropped pants and bared my torso briefly and realized that lack of wet snow and wind in the air made a good difference. Still, I understand that pink/red complexion that you sport in those pics.

This helped me to remember all of those times past, experiencing the different aspects of snow, the new wet, the large flakes, that stiff layer over soft powder as the temperatures drop.

When I got back to the house, I looked in the mirror to see that the large flakes had attached to my sweat jacket hoody. I had a pointy snow dome on my head.

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POSSIBLY THE COOLEST THING THAT I’VE EVER DONE NUDE

I hope that the many daylight pics help the imagination illuminate the situation at night.

Sundown had been a while ago. I can see the yellow porch light on the snow covered vegetation around the corner of the window’s view. I had just been talking to DF on the phone. She had been telling me that she had been out in her backyard in town taking pictures and making a small snowman. She confirmed that the moon was out. The sky had begun to clear.

Already nude, of course, I poke my head out of the front door and see wonderland lit up by a bright light.

Yesterday this bush was filled with bees

Yesterday this bush was filled with bees

I slip on the snow boots. They have a cushion sole and lining. It would probably be good to take a moonlit walk in them. With them, I would have no concerns of stepping on snow hidden rocks or cactus, damaging my foot or ankle. The feet are protected well.

I walk past the yellow porch light and into the moon light, down the steps on the rocky walkway, considering if they are slippery in the boots, or not. The cars are covered in snow. I have to duck as the branches are weighted down in snow and venture out into the driveway. I stand exposed and with a view, both are used to assess my situation. The sky is incredible; the moon is three-fourths full and high. It’s poking in and out of the clouds as they break up. The sky is freshly clear, no smog, nor dust. Everything is so bright and clear. Extra bright stars dot the gaps between the clouds like diamonds.

I’m surprisingly comfortable nude. I’m delighted and decide to wander down the driveway. It is incredible. I walk past the horse corral and down to an area with neighbors. It’s after 10:00pm and all the lights are off throughout the neighborhood. They don’t know what they are missing this night. I have it to myself. All detail of everything is visible in the bright moonlight, amplified by reflecting white snow. The snow that had been stacked up on thin branches of bare thorns has melted slightly and now is forming crystalline icicles and glowing beads are capturing moonlight.

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I walk back home, toward a golden porch light, that is illuminating the snow covered trees, vegetation and rock formations. I stand in the driveway looking at the trail around the house. I haven’t had near enough of this. I’m completely nude, but for the boots. This might limit me. I consider that I have been, off and on, hugging my torso as it is. I decide to go inside and put something on for protection for a longer journey. I have no idea how far, or how long I’ll go. I choose a sweat jacket for a lining, with a denim truckers jacket over it. That’s enough, I hope. I step outside and find myself warm. No need for anything else. If I’m thirsty, I can chew a handful of snow.

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I find myself heading out on the old jeep trail, not knowing how far or where. I just know that the world is mine to receive. I can see for miles and miles. The moon, when full, illuminates particularly on the desert and with the snow, it does so even more so. The massive view is brought alive by traveling shadows in the distance. These are brought by clouds blocking the moonlight. It’s like large dark cloud beings cascading across the mountain ridges. Everything changes as they pass. Pockets of man’s lights glow in the far distance blue, white and gold.

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I walk up the hill, where last summer, we had been collecting saguaro buds joyfully naked in 105F degree heat. In the farthest distance, the clouds still shroud the mighty Catalina Mountains. Only the foothills are revealed. The temperature has dropped from earlier, and is noticed by the different sound of the crunch of the snow. I go to scoop a handful of snow and there is now, an icy crust to pop through to get to the soft fluff below. Occasionally, there is a glowing light that jumps across my periphery like a fairy, alerting me. I discover that it is the reflection of the moon in my glasses. On a magical night like this, it seems conceivable that fairies could be dancing about. I look down and snow glistens in different colors caused by the moonlight. There are tiny colorful lights in somehow bluish white snow. It could be sharp luminescent diamonds sprinkled across the white bed.

Up on the ridge, I stand with a 360 degree view. The lights of Tucson are down in the valley miles away. A few clouds of fog hang there and glow. The enormity of this blanket impresses me. The moon comes out of the clouds at his point. I disrobe as if it is the warmth of the sun and raise my arms stretching, realizing that I am in a salute to the Lady Luna and hugging this magnificent universe. We are one. I’m comfortable, the air is still.

With coat in arm, I descend. I grasp fully the sense of a miracle. Gratitude brings tears to the eyes. Yes, this could be one of the coolest experiences of my life.

A half mile later, when I begin to feel cold, I put the warm jacket back on. That’s okay.

I smell a fireplace burning dirty wood. There is no house for ½ a mile most of them further. All senses are alive, only the moment.

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As I climb the jeep trail, I come across the sight of my house in the distance. The pitched roof is covered with snow. The golden warm light from the windows is contrasting with the blue moonlight on snow, advertising like a beacon. Home.

No picture could capture this, no camera could grasp the color, or the three dimensional breadth. No words could adequately describe this wonderment. Only I know what this moment is. Perhaps you have experienced bits and pieces in other environments. I hope that you have and this jogs your memories. It is a very rare occasion that this Sonoran desert is coated like this, with this fuller moon at the correct height and at the correct time, for there to be clouds clearing, all orchestrated. Such incredible blessings last for a short time, then are gone. To be in this place, access to the desert location, wandering nude, serene, free and with solitude. Life so greatly blessed.

One last thing, when I return I find that the temperature is 32F or zero. I have been wandering on the desert comfortably, for the better portion of the hour and a half, naked in freezing temperatures! There’s a miracle. JMF, I’m catching on. I’m getting it. Now, shall I venture out again, this late at night, below freezing, to grasp once more something that may not happen again until I’m a very old man, or shall I rest? Perhaps I’ll set the alarm for the sunrise. Gamble on the possibility of colors, before this wonderment melts away.

Epilogue:

It was cold, I was tired and fell into bed. This morning, the alarm went off. The sun didn’t make it through the clouds producing the hopeful infinite gold…back to sleep.

I awake to the scream of one of the desert children next door, “Snow is awesome!” A child’s first snow.

I take a walk retracing many steps.

The jeep trail looks to be a different world

The jeep trail looks to be a different world

The markings of most of my many steps have melted away. There, is the sound of one hundred melting drips falling off of branches all at once.

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The magnificent Catalina Mountains to the east are once again revealed, this time white.

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Starry skies now are exchanged for traces of rich blue.

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Each saguaro still has a white cap on its top at the west side.

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A light breeze begins, chilling my naked body. All of this snow will be gone by noon. Nothing is static in the Universe, so love your moment, NOW.

 

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