Welcome to my World

Welcome to the domain different--to paraphrase from New Mexico's capital city of Santa Fe which bills itself "The City Different." Perhaps this space is not completely unique but my world shapes what I write as well as many other facets of my life. The four Ds figure prominently but there are many other things as well. Here you will learn what makes me tick, what thrills and inspires me, experiences that impact my life and many other antidotes, vignettes and journal notes that set the paradigm for Dierdre O'Dare and her alter ego Gwynn Morgan and the fiction and poetry they write. I sell nothing here--just share with friends and others who may wander in. There will be pictures, poems, observations, rants on occasion and sometimes even jokes. Welcome to our world!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Joy and sorrow--that's life.

I finally got into Chrome and from there into Blogspot and I can do pictures again! Whee. Made my day!!
Yet the topic that comes to mind is not a joyful one for today.I think I will talk about forest fires; they are on my mind right now. They have been a bane of my existence for many years. I was about twelve when a 'controlled burn' got away and took out much of Mingus Mountain on the west side of Arizona's Verde Valley which was my youthful stomping ground. My family and I had many favorite spots where we hunted, rode horses, cut fire wood and fence material and explored old mines and other interesting spots. To see much of this go up in smoke made a lasting impression. Ever since then I have had a fear and fierce dislike of wildfires.

Here is a very old picture of me and my favorite mare, Tina, who I got as a yearling for my birthday, again the twelfth one. She was a mix of Arabian and Thoroughbred or so I was always led to believe. She was tall when full grown and certainly looked more Thoroughbred than anything else. She was fast, sure footed and for a long time the love of my life! In the background is part of Mingus, a part that did not burn that we called "The North Point." A trail went up and onto the semi-level top of the mountain there, but its not visible in this shot.

This is a later picture, probably while I was dating my future husband. It was taken on a hike in the Huachuca Mountains, an area decimated by fire last year as more favorite country was destroyed. That fire actually threatened the town of Sierra Vista and did destroy some landmarks and history in the valley there.

The story has been repeated too many times. Now a huge fire is raging in the Gila Wilderness near where I lived for a short while in the little town of Hurley, south and east of Silver City in Grant County, NM. I used that area as background for a few stories in the last couple of years. Now nearly 300,000 acres of rough and wild beauty has been burned out. Closer to my current home, the Little Bear fire has destroyed a number of homes and summer cabins, part of the Ski Apache resort and threatened both Capitan and Ruidoso, towns where friends now live. I think it is more or less under control now and evacuees are being allowed to go back but the 35,000 acres will be barren and raw for a long time.

Some attribute the worsening fires recently to climate change, and I cannot dispute that. There were two huge and horrible ones which took out much of the White Mountain area in Arizona in 2002 and 2011 and are probably the largest in recorded history at about 400,000 and 500,500 acres and there have been several very devastating fires in Colorado the last few years too. I won't argue with those who espouse it but am not a total believer in the man-caused global warming doctrine. I am sure the situation is much bigger and more complex than merely the fact we are burning fossil fuels and --maybe--increasing the carbon level in the atmosphere. Climate has fluctuated greatly for millennia--since long before we were here! And I expect it will continue to do so as long as the earth endures but I do agree we need to be better stewards of our world and take care of the treasures we have here. But part of that to me is suppressing fires! I know it is expensive and dangerous but there has to be a better way than what has been happening! I certainly pray for answers and improvements to come. I can almost hear the trees scream as they burn and certainly ache for the woodland creatures driven from their homes, injured or even killed as they flee. This is a true tragedy, even without the frequent loss of human life and property.

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