A couple of years ago, on New Year’s Eve it began to snow. It left us under a thick coat of white. We spent as much time as we could throughout the night and morning roaming, experiencing, photographing and at play. This post will become more of an Arizona Highways pictures with a story, rather than a story with pictures.
We showed up at the annual New Year’s Eve Party at a friend’s home a few miles down the road in Tortolita. When we arrived there was already a gathering including several musician friends. We had a conga with us. Electric equipment was scattered across the living room. The bar was outside, the potluck spread across the kitchen island counter.
DF and I dance and mingle, but a ruckus outside by the swimming pool catches our attention. Snow, big flakes are sticking to the diving board and chairs.
We continue to party, pitching in here and there with the excellent jams. While in an impromptu dance in the dining room, we notice out the window, a sight that goes well with the Christmas décor scattered about the house.
The snow is accumulating.
This continues. We soon find the diving board, like everything else, has a couple of inches of snow on it.
At midnight, we exchange customary New Year’s kissing and hugging. After a couple of hours more, it is time to leave, not just because of the hour, but the roads are now getting covered and part of that will be a slippery sloshy dirt road.
I slip into four wheel drive, grateful that we are high clearance instead of plowing through in the low slung Honda. In the headlights, the desert is looking incredibly out of its usual character. The snow is thick and the visibility like fog. We make our way the few miles to home, leaving some of the first tracks of the evening.
I head for my closet for my winter snow boots. They rest in dust for the most part. I have worn them fewer times than I have fingers. This is, after all, Arizona.
I have already disrobed. I had so much fun during the last snow at night that I am excited to try roaming in it naked again.
This time, as the snow floats down upon me, the boots are my compromise. I know that the white stuff hides any matters of prickers and sharp rock. The thick rubber soles are thick and bouncy as I walk in them. There is a spring to my step.
The initial foray is quick. There is an initial sting, which enlivens me. I know that the cold and flakes will be harmless. As long as I keep moving, my body’s heat will keep up with the unusual freeze.
There is no breeze to chill me, obviously as we have been watching the flakes float gently. Our bodies will tell us if we overdo it. Just keep moving and be amazed at what a nude body senses.
We decide on robes for a longer walk. Out the back of my property is the old jeep trail, which will take us uphill to a home site. There will be a view of the valley below.
Each foot print is produced with a joyful step.
This is a unique occurrence in the desert. It is a blizzard to us. This has only happened but every seven years as an average. I don’t recall as thick a snow covering since 1990.
We take several walks with joy. We thaw out indoors for a while and then are compelled to take off again. We drop the robes, handing off to each other and running freely nude. After a while we have exhausted ourselves. Until then, we will wait for dawn and then sunrise, sleeping a short nap.
Dawn and On
The cover is magical and wondrous as the sunlight pops out golden and transforms the reflecting white snow.
We eat snow for refreshment. I bite and tongue it from mesquite branches.
Snow ball flurries are exchanged.
We grab our cameras and take advantage of this highly unusual photo opportunity.
In robes, we happen on to a neighbor from the other side of the hill. This is the first time in nearly 20 years, that I have ever encountered anyone out here. We are all having fun. We are all moving about wide eyed and amazed. She says something to us assuming that we are in robes as we just got up to walk in excitement. She doesn’t even conceive that we are two who see robes as a quick convenient way to be naked in the snow. It is inconceivable to a textile that one could be joyfully living in unprotected skin, wandering in a frozen desert landscape.
As the morning progresses, the sun begins to slowly melt the snow. Snow rarely lasts past noon. Colorful glitter decorates each branch. We listen. The silent desert is filled of the sound of dripping water.
Each bush -like tree has a blanket which protects the soil, the animals and young winter plants under the canopy. As the snow slowly melts the dripping saturates the soil beneath. Not too much too quick, but a steady natural drip system. I notice that the layer of snow acts like a blanket trapping the ground heat under it and buffering any chilling wind. When the warmth of the sun melts it, the radiant light takes over the task of protecting from frost damage.
We try it robed, we try it nude, we pose for photos and do our best to capture the moment.
The air is clear and clean to breathe, a perfect complement to the lovely fresh snow.
Turquoise skies and white ground cover go well together.