By Doranna Durgin
I live in the Tijeras Canyon foothills of the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It's an upper Sonoran ecology with high desert mountain/plains transitional area; we're just close enough so we're still part of the foothills' rolling, sloped flats and deep arroyos; our little swale is surrounded on all sides by jagged, steep ridges.
We're lucky enough to live near a wonderful collection of open land acres--at least, that's what they are for now. They belong to the school system, but nothing's happening there and they're more or less community-use. A couple of us on horses…others on ATVs.
It turns out there aren't a whole lot of things more fun than riding bareback through the arroyos: middle-aged me on my getting-older Lipizzan, playing with nature's rollercoasters.
Too bad some in this community is just plain stoopit. This is a fragile land of sparse bunch grasses, juniper and cedar, and scattered ponderosa and piñons. Any areas of unprotected adobe soil are rock hard in the summer and pure, unadulterated, impossible-to-imagine clay-sand splooge in the winter. It erodes easily, and needs all the protection it can get from those bunch grasses. For that reason, I strictly manage my horse's access to his pasture, and I don't ride the open land when the ground is steeped in snow-melt.
THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO DO DOUGHNUTS ON THE OPEN LAND.
Destroyed grasses, ripped and vulnerable soil, tire treads to gather and channel water...
Dear ATV-riders: It's the only earth we've got, and it is not yours to destroy. Grow up.
Doranna responded to all early injunctions to "put down that book/notebook and go outside to play" by climbing trees to read & write. Such quirkiness of spirit has led to an eclectic publishing journey, spanning genres and form to include mystery, SF/F, action-romance, paranormal, franchise, and a slew of essays and short stories.
Her new release is Storm of Reckoning: Lisa McGarrity exists to hunt ghosts... but lately, it seems as if the ghosts exist to hunt her. And while fierce, mostly human Trevarr exists to hunt demons, lately he's looking over his own shoulder... and hers. It's time to figure out what's going on in the Southwest...
For more information on Doranna and her books, visit her web site: www.Doranna.net -- and check out her blog, Wordplay.