Here we are thirty days into Spring, but you can’t tell without checking the calendar because in New Mexico during spring you can have all four seasons on the same day in the same place. I find myself feeling energetic and wanting to get outside and do something, and the next minute to stay inside and start a fire.

Last weekend was one of those stay inside times, chilly and windy, and we even saw a few snowflakes in Magdalena. I think in Pie Town they got around an inch in places.

Moving on, I don’t know if you were aware, but April 20 – this Tuesday past – is the date that is held in reverence by devotees of the locoweed, if I may. Back in 1970, some teenage boys in California would get together at 4:20 each afternoon to smoke marijuana at a certain spot on the high school campus. Long story short, soon after that  “420” became another cool code word for smoking that wacky-tobaccy.

Now that reefers, doobies and roaches will soon be going legal for the 21-and-over crowd in New Mexico, I’m wondering if there will be no need for code words anymore. I was reading in Time Magazine that there are over a thousand “wink wink” words for marijuana that go way beyond the familiar weed, tea, pot, hemp, ganja, herb, grass, dope and maryjane – the only ones with which I’m familiar, thanks to living through the hippie era.

But I digress.

Today we’re celebrating Earth Day. Earth Day also got its start back in 1970 with the idea to raise awareness of environmental challenges, and it’s observed pretty much all over the  …  well…earth.

It’s one of those quasi-holidays that I’ve never really known how to celebrate. Not that I don’t love the earth — I mean, it’s where I live — it’s just that you don’t see Earth Day party favors and what-not in the stores, and there are not a lot of Earth Day songs out there.

But, like everyone else, I sure do want clean water and clear air and want the same for my great-grandchildren by the time they are born.

Besides the inevitable Earth Day sales, there are some simple things you can do on your own to observe the day, such as not driving when you can walk, planting a tree or bush, switching to LED light bulbs, paying bills online instead of mailing a check, using less water …those kinds of things.

I’ll do my part and skip taking a bath, I think. Well, on second thought maybe take a quicker shower.

If Earth Day is not enough, Sunday is what you might call Earth-ling Day, a day when some say a couple of extraterrestrials decided to buzz the good townsfolk of Socorro.

It was on April 24, 1964, that city policeman Lonnie Zamora reported seeing something in an arroyo off Fairgrounds Road, that he at first thought was an accident scene. What he took to be an overturned automobile turned out to be something wholly other which proceeded to lift off the ground in a roar of flame and zoomed out toward Box Canyon.

What it was is anybody’s guess. Dave Thomas of the group New Mexicans for Science and Reason wonders if it was somehow connected with an experiment of the Lunar Surveyor that went way off course. But of course, the folks at White Sands would never admit to making a miscalculation like that.

I’ve also heard that it was a hoax perpetrated by Tech students, but I don’t think they’d be spending the time it took to set up an elaborate stunt like that so close to finals week.

Whatever it was, you’ve got to give the late Sgt. Zamora some credibility for writing an honest and accurate police report.

Like it or not, here in New Mexico we’re stuck with being known for UFOs, and the Socorro story has one of the top head-scratchers in that department.

Pardon me here while I veer off (like a Lunar Surveyor) onto another matter.

I was reading an article on the web last week that was based on another one of those statistical studies that purported to tell us that no matter how good you think your job is, well sir, you just don’t know what you’re talking about.

The article – on US News – listed 50 careers as the best for 2021. Physician Assistant came out on top. But what’s this? In another list, USA Today ranked newspaper reporter was listed as the third-worst job.

Whoa…hold up there, Tex, they’s fightin’ words.

Without resorting to petulance or sinking to self-aggrandizement, I can honestly say that I would rank writing for this Socorro, New Mexico, weekly newspaper as the best job anybody could have.

However, truth be told, all I ever really wanted to be is …

A lumberjack.