Springtime in Winter


Blue skies, warm temperatures, it's springtime in the winter!

After weeks of below 20 degree mornings, our part of the high desert is now experiencing spring like temperatures. It appears the jet stream has changed course once again bringing the southwest 60-70 degree afternoons. Couple that to the intense blue skies with plenty of sunshine makes New Mexico a great place to be right now. As a matter of fact, we typically experience well over 300 days of sun out of 356 days in the year.

So, what do you do when the winter simulates spring? Shed that thick fleece jacket, and head to the park of course, where I tether Chloe to her 30-foot long orange leash and try to pick up on the recall training that we started earlier this fall. Unfortunately, her cocker spaniel hunting instincts get in the way, and we spend much of the time as Chloe crisscrosses the park sniffing the dry grass for new scents. I'm sure it's a collection of people, dogs, rabbits, birds, and even coyotes. 

New Mexico coyote, sightings are not uncommon in our area.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia
Prior to my dog walking days with Chloe, I've witnessed a number of wild coyotes that have navigated the hiking trails as a means to access the foothills. It can be startling at first, when they appear from the brush in the early morning hours, but they've always gone on their way. I've even come across wolf packs that contained 3 and 4 coyotes of which my first rule is to keep an eye on all of their movements at once. Certainly not the best situation, but one which is not all that uncommon in the open fields of urban Albuquerque. 

Even though we're enjoying a little springtime in February, I don't believe winter is quite ready to depart, especially since March is just a few weeks away and that month can still bring us a snow storm or two, ..and don't count out this year's El NiƱo weather patterns of Southern California that are bound to make their way west with plenty of moisture. For now though, Chloe and me will certainly enjoy our springtime in winter.

Chloe crisscrosses the park looking for new scents to follow.
Tethered to the 30-foot leash, Chloe explores the park on her own.
This large tumbleweed makes for an interesting find.
...and of course, rolling in the dry grass is the best!

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