At this time of year and on till the end of October, the hills around Santa Fe are heavy with gold hunters, carloads of people who want to look at the gold leaves on the Aspens. And yes, the gold is there, although there will be more as the weeks go by and daylight shrinks, disproving the old adage that it’s frost that causes the leaves to change. It’s chilly here now but we’re still a long way from frost, and the leaves are changing.
I wonder how many people will notice and wonder and ask questions about the groves of nearly skeletal Aspens, their leaves stripped during the summer by bark beetles, the invasion worsened by the drought that, during the past four years, weakened the Aspens’ ability to resist. I think we have all been weakened during the past four years by the invasion of another form of bark beetle, one who was strutting his stuff on television last night.
I was hoping that Joe Biden would make an opportunity—force it, if he had to—to talk about climate disruption. “Change” is no longer adequate to describe what we as well as the Aspen are experiencing.
Gold of another kind is at the root of the political process and until we are able to reform campaign contribution rules, that kind of gold is likely to govern the results of this election.