Wednesday, January 16, 2013

    We got our first and perhaps only real snowfall of 2013 early.  It amounted to three inches, I'm told.

We thoroughly enjoyed it.  The cat was a lot less charmed by it, though he finally ventured out into it.  It snowed Thursday night fairly heavily.   We watched it snow all day Friday, huge but comically infrequent flakes, but a thick blanket of grey clouds made photography unpromising.

When the sun finally peeked out through a narrow horizontal firing window between clouds and horizon, we drove out to take advantage of it.   (Then we drove into town for the First Friday Art Ramble, and found we had the downtown nearly to ourselves
because of the cold -- and next morning the Farmers' Market was nearly as sparsely populated.)

Saturday morning I ventured out as soon as the sun climbed high enough to shine over the mountains onto the desert, its plants still cheerfully carrying their allotted burdens of snow.  Even the windmill blades at one windmill has snow on 'em.

We went out again in late afternoon.  Even though fog still covered the town and even our place, there was plenty of sun on the Organ Mountains.  Unfortunately, most of the snow had melted.   Anyway, here are some shots from the occasion.  (For additional images from Las Cruces and the Organ Mountains under snow, see Snow in the OrgansSnow Days, a column on Las Cruces in the snow, and Snow Country.).

According to Wikipedia, Aermotor Windmill Company, established in 1888, is the only windmill manufacturer in the U.S.   Engineer Thomas O. Perry developed the all-metal windpump through extensive experimentation.
Company founder La Verne Noyes hired engineer Thomas O. Perry for a different job, but recognized the windmills’ potential.  The company sold 45 the first year, and was considered a joke by its competitors, but it sold more than 20,000 windmills by 1892, despite substantial competition.  During the three decades that followed, Aermoter expanded considerably.  Aermotors became by far the most popular windmills during the 20th Century, and have been called the Cadillac of windmills because of their design and quality workmanship.  That so many survive tends to confirm that opinion.
Throughout my decades of wandering around the Southwest, Aermotors have been the brand I’ve seen most often.  Most are probably the 702 self-oiling models, which have been on sale since 1933.  In any case, in a host of isolated locations, often at sunset with no one around but a cow or two,  I’ve looked up, seen Aermotor’s name on the windmill, and smiled as if at a familiar face.
The company currently operates from a 40,000 square-foot facility in San Angelo, Texas.

    Sunday night, two huge, healthy coyotes stood around awhile in our backyard at sunset.  The sunset was unrealistically red, as if God had been using Photoshop somewhat tastelessly, and the coyotes had interesting marking son them and didn't run off the moment we paused by the window to gawk at them.  Fine animals, though I was glad the cat was in for the night already.  Didn't grab the camera either for the sunset or the visitors, but thoroughly enjoyed both.

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