Red Rio

With the silvery minnow on the knife’s edge, rain wet the Rio Grande through Albuquerque this week, turning it a muddy reddish and making it look a little less anemic than usual. I rode yesterday across a couple of different bridges where the bike paths give a view of the river, just to see it flow. The thunderstorms have been building afternoons the past few days, and the runoff must be making the little fish happy.

Down through the bosque, the ravages of last month’s bosque fires are not as bad as I expected. Like most wildfires, they hopped around, mixed patches of black and green (well brown, really, it’s a drought).

Crews were out repaiting the levee, which was torn up by the fire trucks. It was always sandy to begin with, lots of soft patches, and apparently it’s in pretty bad shape now.

I stopped to talk to two city open space rangers, who were doing crosswalk duty for the heavy equipment working on the levee and seemed happy for the chance to talk to relieve their boredom. They said rews will begin marking the cottonwoods soon, figuring out which ones can survive and which need to be taken down. It’s going to be a lot of work. Nature used to do this all for us with the big spring floods, but Cochiti Dam ended that back in 1973. Now if anything’s going to be cleared out, it’s going to require fossile fuels and human muscle. Or, come to think of it, wildfire.

Tomorrow morning Lissa and I are going back down. Saturday was my first visit since the fire, and she hasn’t been yet, so it’ll be nice to take a nice slow pass and a careful look.