Tag Archives: snowmelt

Field Notes #10

March 15, 2010.  This winter paved the desert over, storm after storm laying down two-to-three feet of whitetop, setting spring back by more than half a month.  Since December 21st, I’ve been out only rarely, the deep snow creating hazards well beyond my abilities to negotiate them.  Who knew that when I moved to southeastern Utah I’d find myself wanting a pair of snowshoes?  Last year I hiked all the way through winter, staying home only when snowfall piled up over eight inches, which it hardly ever did.

I tried going out yesterday.  An overnight cloud cover had insulated the ground against a freeze.  The result: dense but soft snow, still ranging in many  place from 10-20 inches deep, and on bare ground mud so fluid that, holding still, you moved, gliding on a sloppy escalator whichever direction happened to be “down.”  Every step on snow resulted in a 10-20 inch drop straight to the ground, a vertical fall I’ve learned to move with on a limited basis. The body learns from falling, but when it happens every footstep, you expend a great deal of energy moving the least distance forward.  Meanwhile each footfall on mud resulted in movement barely under control in an only slightly less vertical plane.  Downhill in spots I surfed muddy rolls and creases, riding the soles of my shoes like mini-shortboards. Continue reading Field Notes #10


The Saturday after Thanksgiving, my husband and I made a dash to Moab, over an hour away, to pick up ingredients for my special needs daughter’s designer formula.  Moab has a health food store, Moonflower Market, which sells several of the ingredients we use in her special blend.  This tourist town also sports a large City Market that carries the varieties of yogurt we add to the mixture—higher-quality brands that our local grocery refuses to stock. (We asked; they said “No.”) Continue reading Ornaments