Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Actually, being green seems easy


August 30, 2017

In some recent summers, it seemed that Tucumcari was surrounded by a dome that allowed us to see storms developing all around us but kept the water away from our city.

This summer, however, I think we’ve gotten our share.

The weeds in my yard have gotten huge, and my half-hearted efforts at yard work have been inadequate to keep up. The parts of the yard I can’t get to with my lawnmower and weed whacker are beginning to look like they could shelter whole herds of deer.

On the other hand, cool rains the past week have made the difference between sweltering and being merely uncomfortable in my house as I have had to severely limit use of my ailing air conditioner.

I ordered the part I needed from Amazon. It came a few days ago and fortunately the weather stayed clear, so I could make the repair in my own plodding, error-prone way.

The night before, however, a sudden gust of wind on the windows woke me up. A spectacular one-flash-a-second lightning show filled the eastern sky, and I opened a door to a cool rush of air.

I opened both doors in the house and let the wind blow the hot air out of the house before the rain arrived and I had to shut the doors again.

We had clouds for the solar eclipse, too, and our 76 percent of totality was still worth some effort to see.

Once in a while I could, like President Trump did, turn my eyes toward the sun and catch a hint of the crescent of the eclipse before turning away and blinking away the glare. Not recommended, but our cloud cover allowed me to get away with it.

Then I put two dark compact disks together, which seemed to allow a straight-on view of the moon’s shadow consuming the sun. I can still see, but until I can confirm it from an expert source, I will not recommend this method, either. Still, the clouds helped.

I have until 2024 to do that research. That’s the next time an eclipse will be visible in the U.S.

This summer, to quote the old Joni Mitchell song, “I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now,” with more opportunity to do so than usual.

They have brought both the blessings and inconveniences of rain in abundance this summer.

Overall, however their legacy is a deeper green in the farm and ranch lands around Tucumcari than I’m used to, and that has been very refreshing.

Steve Hansen writes about our life and times from his perspective of a retired Tucumcari journalist. Contact him at:



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