The Sandia Mountains are pinkest in November. The scrub oaks have rusted to copper, and the angle of the sinking sun—so far south now—flashes the feldspar the color of ripe fruit.
After the rain, everything is golden. Clouds part, and the leaves, piling in gutters and still clinging to tall cottonwoods, gleam. Later, a rare fog settles in—inhabiting the space around street lights and passing cars. Intersections burn yellow-to red-to green; orange orbs pulse in syncopated rhythm; and beyond, the rest of the world is supple and black.
Great flights of geese and cranes arrive for the full moon—crowding the fallow fields and shallow estuaries along the Rio Grande in violet heaps. A fat moon rises, and they lift en masse—a rustle of wing and breath, in search of safety for the night. By month’s end, the trees are mostly bare, leaving space between branches for a brilliant sky and a sliver of moon. They will stay for the winter.