Lost balloons

Last weekend scheduled the White Sands Balloon festival. A smaller version than the Albuquerque one, with only a couple of balloons, but with the beautiful settings of White Sands near Alamagordo.
We got up at four in the morning. We stacked picnic, chairs, water, sweater and camera gear, and had a truly good spot in the queue. Traffic was guided, HW70 in the dark is not where you want to maneuver a lot. The gates opened at six in the morning, it was good we got there at 5.15.
The balloon guys got precedent over onlookers, and passed us at the gates. It all was very exiting, I felt very awake.
Behind us the headlights of the pour souls who arrived later, the row of cars reached far back towards Alamagordo. And slowly the sky started getting lighter. The sun was preparing to get up also.
Never before had I been in White Sands before or after sunrise. Very magical. The sand looking dark blue, waiting to be colored in by sun rays. It’s not really sand, gypsum is the correct name, better known as plaster of Paris.
Families unloaded cars, the little bobbing sledges present, to slide of the dunes at high speeds.
I found a good spot with view towards White Moutain in Ruidoso. The sun on my side once she was out, to have good colors on the balloons.
Mr Wonderful brought the chairs, so I was set up quickly. All ready for sunset, more people coming in.
Silhouettes against the sky made for a fairy tale moment.
Loved to see the families setting up against the marvelous colors above us. I felt so privileged.
The clouds made for a spectacular feast of reds and oranges. So much still to discover in my new life, who would ever have thought that I was going to spend a saturday morning seated on a white dune, watching nature performing magic.
Slowly the dark reds dissolved into orange, with a blue background. The mountains in the distance becoming more and more drawn, my world was perfect. Needed nothing more.
More families and groups arrived, I could hear laughter, babble, a dog barking. Subdued sounds, the people present all waiting on balloons.
Children going up and down from the dunes, no time was lost. They kept themselves busy.
Aaron kept himself busy also taking Whisper out and about, I saw them disappear and come back on the other side. Happy dog and happy man.
Neighbors found us, it was a perfect moment.
Until some speaker announced that it was too windy for the balloons to go up. All that went up this morning were kites. We had gotten up for nothing. Well, I should not say nothing. I loved to see the sunrise above White Sands. So nice to see the sky color transform from darkish to white pale blue. And to just be there, happy with whoever passed by your spot. I want to do it again. Morning in White Sands.
And I will be here again next year! Hopefully the weather will allow for balloons to take off.
What a great beginning of the day it was!


A Yorkshire day in the desert: rain perfume

I swear, a true Yorkshire day in the desert, with grey looming clouds and grey thinkings. Funny how a blue sky immediately changes my mood. Grey skies stand often for grey moods. Will have to go and look for some extra color to balance it out again. And I don’t even have to do anything. By tomorrow the sky will be blue again. For sure.
Still going through my folders of a year ago, and digging nice memories mostly. The photographs are not always technically up to par, but who cares as they are my own pics, with only one goal: to not forget my last days in England. Did the same for my last days in Belgium, at times you just want to go under a little in old dreams and time frames.
Instead of my Markington tree I now have mountains and desert. So different, and both with their own beauty. How many times did I stand here, on the cross roads, one way to Fountains Abbey, the other to Markington, and the third one an alternative way to Base.
When we left it was harvest time. The so known hay bales waiting to be picked up. Hoping with the farmers that it would stay dry till they were under wraps. Food for winter for the animals.
I do miss the possibility of having a bunch of cows trotting down the rural road. Always a welcome sight, hoping that it was going to be a big herd. Being blocked for a looonnng time… Saying hello to Minnie and Bella and Ida and Milly…
If cows were not available, sheep did the trick too. High up in the hills, where they roamed the roads and heather spots. I bet the heather is blooming now in England. Purple all over. Every year I had a heather drive, relaxed, going up,  talk to some sheep, and smell the smells of coming fall.
Going to base via Shaw Mills, and go back home over Pateley and the Moors. Such a different life compared to the good life I have now.

A time for everything and just makimg every day count. British or American. The Yorkshire day in the desert brings much needed rain. I can go dance in it! All the doors and windows are open so the smell of that rain can come in.
Rain perfume!