Above: In early 2016, Albuquerque photographer Rich Brown captured this image of a snowy Sandía Crest overlooking the Manzano Mountains.
Now the snow cloud has lifted and out there under the white cover, I can see the Sandías. The high pines, the firs, the piñons and scrub oak all blended. By tomorrow evening, the sun will have left only plumed hats on the pines, but up in the canyons and along the shady slopes where the snow lies deep, weekend skiers will glide and race. For many weeks to come there will be tobogganing and even next Fourth of July, up on the rim we may find enough snow under a low shrub to make snowballs.