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Palabras Pinturescas: Annual time changes don’t faze milk cows

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By Editha Bartley

This old ranch and our animals have survived yet another “move the clocks back an  hour” event. There are some stray cats who have moved into our hay barn and yes, I feel them every morning (along with the daily lecture about the necessity to catch those pesky gophers who try to change our fields one mound at a time). A neighbor asked me if I liked daylight saving time and I had to be  honest. My inner clock runs on the same time, month after month, year after year.

I know from years of first-hand experience that milk cows do not have a clock that tells them they will be milked an hour later tomorrow.

Yes, our horses are right there by the gate every morning, waiting for their treats as well. If all of the various animals — the horses, cows, chickens, rabbits, pigs and even our pet deer Bambi were told they would be fed an hour later every day, they would be very upset.

I know daylight saving time is here to stay, and I hope everyone’s inner clock has now adjusted to it.

I had a pleasant surprise on a recent rainy Saturday afternoon. Another former neighbor and always friend wanted me to meet a newcomer to this area. Stephen Burstein is a planner with Architectural Research Consultants Inc. based in Albuquerque and he has been asked by our San Miguel County Commission to work on a plan for this big county.

I quickly pointed out to him that he was now physically in Mora County (the county line is about a mile down the road from our front gate). I welcome the county’s decision to hire a consultant and planning and zoning is a favorite interest of mine. I was secretary of the Mora County Planning and Zoning for 14 years, way back when subdivisions were just beginning to pop up around here.

I know from first-hand experience that proper planning, followed up by successful implementation of a plan is critical to every county in this big state.

However, and there is always a however, I have learned even the best of plans can fall by the wayside because the money just isn’t there to support the basic good idea. I have thought a lot about our fun visit that day, and my primary concern with the future of every county in this state is water, or the lack of water.

Water wells must be drilled deeper every year now and I will always wonder where and when potable water, in the amount needed to supply a community year-round will no longer be available. Aquifer recharge doesn’t happen when we don’t have the very big and frequent winter snowstorms of long ago here.

Wind power can provide electricity, but every living thing needs water to survive. Yes, it takes electricity to pump water from deep wells. So, how deep can we go to harvest this essential product?

I look forward to another visit with Mr. Bernstein after he scouts out San Miguel County and discovers first-hand its many possibilities to grow and develop in a progressive and healthy way.

And, if you, my readers have any good ideas about what and how the county can improve, do let  your county commissioner know. That is what that commission is there for in many ways.

Editha Bartley lives in Gascon in Mora County. She may be reached at 454-0563.