I have mixed feelings about Elephant Butte Lake. It is a man made lake nearly 60 sq. miles in size with a WPA backed damn that holds back water from all who live below Truth or Consequences, NM namely Texas and Mexico. The fish are stocked. The wind is unpredictable with huge gusts that have knocked people from boats and taken lives. There is hardly any life around the lake except for weekends when over 100,000 people appear with boats and things that float and lots of beer. Mostly one sees only sand, distant mesas, scrub. A prehistoric bed of fossils and bones lay below.
This is not a natural story so much as one in which man interfered with a natural process and forced a form on it. Today the lake shrivels. Watermarks show that there was once water in the giant reservoir. Islands and land bridges appear regularly. Boats toeing jet skis zoom by as if they hardly notice.
The huge lake has a moonlike, stark beauty. I wonder if it is due to the New Mexico sky, which features a flattering light bulb for any landscape and makes ratty trailers look reasonable.
For me something will always be missing. Maybe I want mother nature to be the signature and not the afterthought.
Posted by Wendy Jehanara Tremayne at Tuesday, August 28, 2012