Not red or green chile. Though I could wax poetic about our spicy and savory New Mexican cuisine, I’ll save that for another day. And not gift wrap, though perhaps some of you are untying red or green ribbons for Christmas.
But red or green, or yellow, pink, blue, mauve, silver, or burgundy, and a few I can’t find words for—those are colors I saw this morning while hiking in the muted light of an overcast morning on the Sandia Mountain foothill trails I love to tramp. Once I began to notice them, color was everywhere. Some might view the desert as drab, but I see myriad shades of green—from the olive tones of the junipers to the epidote (its own hue, as far as I’m concerned) in the Sandia granite to the chartreuse lichen growing out of a crack in a boulder.
And what of the deep blue of a year-round resident Western bluebird’s back and wings (viewed through my binoculars, so I couldn’t get a picture) and the lighter brighter blue of his cousins, the Mountain bluebirds who winter here, but only let me see a flash of their vibrant feathers as the flock winged by on the chill breeze.
Flora, fauna, and, of course, stones of all sorts flaunted their varied shades, all seemingly enhanced by the subtle light.